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Frequently Asked Questions
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Question 1: When and how often should you brush your teeth?
The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day.
In addition to brushing your teeth, the American Dental Association recommends that you:
- Floss daily
- Eat a healthy diet and limit between-meal snacks
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed
- Schedule regular dental checkups
Question 2: What causes sensitive teeth, and how can I treat my sensitive teeth?
When you have sensitive teeth, activities such as brushing, flossing, eating and drinking can cause sharp, temporary pain in your teeth. Sensitive teeth are typically the result of worn tooth enamel or exposed tooth roots. Sometimes, however, tooth discomfort is caused by other factors, such as a cavity, a cracked or chipped tooth, or a side effect of a dental procedure, such as bleaching.
If you're concerned about sensitive teeth, start by visiting your dentist. He or she can identify or rule out any underlying causes of your tooth pain. Depending on the circumstances, your dentist might recommend:
- Desensitizing toothpaste. After several applications, desensitizing toothpaste can help block pain associated with sensitive teeth.
- Fluoride. Your dentist might apply fluoride to the sensitive areas of your teeth to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce pain.
- Covering exposed root surfaces. If receding gums are the cause of your sensitive teeth, your dentist might apply a sealant to cover the exposed tooth roots.
- Root canal. If your sensitive teeth cause severe pain and other treatments aren't effective, your dentist might recommend a root canal — a procedure used to treat problems in the tooth's soft core (dental pulp).
To prevent sensitive teeth from recurring, your dentist might offer suggestions to help you maintain your oral health. Twice a day, brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Floss daily. Avoid vigorous or harsh scrubbing, highly abrasive toothpaste, and excessive brushing and flossing. If you grind your teeth, ask your dentist about a mouth guard
Question 3: When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?
In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday. If you have any concerns, please contact us at your earliest convenience so we may be able to assist in timely manner.
Question 4: What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?
Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.
Question 5: What should I do if my child has a toothache?
First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face if it is swollen. Give the child acetaminophen for any pain, rather than placing aspirin on the teeth or gums. Finally, see a dentist as soon as possible.
Question 6: How can parents help prevent tooth decay?
Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visitsand a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits
Question 7: How often should I have my teeth cleaned?
The simple answer is that you should have your teeth cleaned as often as your hygienist or dentist recommends. The more detailed answer is that it depends on the health of your gums and how committed you are to your oral hygiene program.
For example, if your gums are healthy and you follow a sound oral hygiene program, you may not need to have to have your teeth cleaned every six months, or even every year. Some patients take such good care of their gums and teeth that they could go two years or more without needing a cleaning. Admittedly, because gum disease is so prevalent, this is an exception.
Question 8: Crowns or Veneers?
Dental porcelains are used to create replicas of natural looking teeth for both veneers and crown fabrication. Although they share similar visual characteristics with natural teeth, one technique will be more suitable than the other, depending on the situation. As both a healthcare professional and artist, a dentist must take several factors into account when selecting which technique will provide an ideal restoration.
Whether veneers or crowns are used to enhance your smile, the truth of the matter is that no one should know that you've had anything done, just that you look great! The secret to a successful outcome is to know which to choose. This is where your trusted dental professional, who combines knowledge, skill and experience can help you by working with you based on your individual life style and unique needs.