Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I See the Dentist for a Check Up and Cleaning?
Most children and adults should see their dentist for a regular cleaning and check up every six months. People at a greater risk for oral diseases should have dental check ups more than twice a year. Tobacco and alcohol use, diabetes, pregnancy, periodontal and gum disease, poor oral hygiene and certain medical conditions are some of the many factors that your dentist takes into consideration when deciding how often you need your dental cleaning and check up. Going to your regular check ups will help to keep your gums and teeth healthy as well as detect any early problems such as gum disease, oral cancer and cavities. The best way to maintain good oral health is to visit your dentist on a regular basis. 27-Nov-2012

How Often Should I Brush My Teeth?
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing your teeth helps to remove plaque which causes tooth decay and can lead to gum disease. Always use a soft bristled toothbrush with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Make sure that the toothbrush fits inside of your mouth so that you can easily reach all areas. When brushing, use gentle back and forth strokes, brushing all sides of the teeth. Always brush your tongue to remove any bacteria and keep your breath fresh. 27-Nov-2012

How Often Should I Floss My Teeth?
You should floss your teeth at least once a day. Flossing in between your teeth removes food debris and plaque from in between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. Plaque causes tooth decay and can lead to gum disease. Another great reason to floss is that recent studies have shown that flossing helps to prevent a heart attack or stroke. When flossing, be sure to gently insert the floss in between the teeth, without snapping, which could damage the gum tissue. Gently move the floss up and down into the spaces between the gum and teeth. Floss the sides of all of your teeth, even if there isn’t a tooth next to another one. There are a number of dental products available that are designed to make flossing easier, such as disposable dental flosses. 27-Nov-2012

How Often Should I Change My Toothbrush?
Adults and children should change their toothbrush every 3 months because they become worn out and are not as effective as they once were. Exceptions to this would be if you were using an electric toothbrush, and the manufacturer states otherwise. Some electric rechargable toothbrushes have very good brush heads that only need to be changed every 6 months. If you have gum disease, you should change your toothbrush every 4 – 6 weeks because bacteria can harbor in the bristles. You should always rinse your toothbrush out with hot water after every use and change it after you have been sick. 27-Nov-2012

Fluoride – What is Fluoride?
Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, is often added to drinking water and is commonly found in toothpaste. Research has shown that the rate of cavities decreases in areas where fluoride is added to the water supply. Health authorities, such as The American Dental Association and The World Health Organization, both advocate the addition of fluoride to drinking water, and recommend you use toothpaste that contains fluoride, if age appropriate. If you do not have fluoride in your water, fluoride is also available in:

  1. Tablets
  2. Rinse
  3. Varnish
  4. Foam

Speak with your dentist if you are concerned whether or not you are receiving enough, or too much fluoride daily. Fluoride treatments are also given at your dental office after a cleaning appointment every six months to one year. 27-Nov-2012

Do Teeth Whitening Toothpastes Really Work?
Teeth whitening toothpastes seem to be popping up everywhere and you’ve got to wonder if they really work. Whitening toothpastes, like all other toothpastes, contain mild abrasives to remove surface stains. Teeth whitening toothpastes may have additional polishing agents and special chemicals that are more effective against stains than regular toothpastes. While whitening toothpastes can make your teeth appear a little lighter, by getting rid of stains, they do not actually bleach your teeth. Teeth whitening toothpastes are ideal for people who smoke, drink coffee and tea and eat certain foods that can stain your teeth. Teeth whitening toothpastes are also good to use after you have undergone a teeth whitening procedure to keep surface stains from building up on your teeth. If you decide to use a teeth whitening toothpaste, be sure that it contains fluoride for extra protection against tooth decay. 27-Nov-2012

What is a Veneer?
A veneer is a thin shell made out of porcelain or composite material. They are custom made and cemented to the front side of the tooth. A veneer can be used to treat dental conditions such as a slightly crooked tooth, discoloured teeth, chipped teeth or they can even be used to cover spaces in between the teeth. A veneer can be made by the dentist or in a dental laboratory, depending on the materials used and the preference of the dentist. 27-Nov-2012

What is endodontic treatment and why would I need one?
Endodontic treatment treats the inside of the tooth. Root canal treatment is one type of endodontic treatment. To understand endodontic treatment, it helps to know something about the anatomy of the tooth. Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called the dentin, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue and creates the surrounding hard tissues of the tooth during development. The pulp extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the roots where it connects to the tissues surrounding the root. The pulp is important during a tooth’s growth and development. However, once a tooth is fully mature it can survive without the pulp, because the tooth continues to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it. Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, an injury to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess. 27-Nov-2012

When Should I Take My Child to the Dentist for the First Time?
Children should visit a dentist when their first tooth comes in or no later than their first birthday. 27-Nov-2012

Which Toothbrush is Really Better – Manual or Electric?
With all the bells and whistles and hundreds of toothbrushes on the market, you’ve got to wonder, which is really the best toothbrush to buy — manual or electric? According to the Academy of General Dentistry, the best toothbrush that you can buy is the one that you will actually use. That’s it. Yes, it’s really that simple. While both electric and manual toothbrushes have some pros and cons, the bottom line is which one you will use. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes. If you’re not sure which type of toothbrush you would use the most, I have provided some pros and cons of both:

Manual Toothbrush:

Pros

  1. Inexpensive
  2. Most have an easy grip handle
  3. Some come with a tongue scraper
  4. Easy to travel with

Cons

  1. No built in timer to tell you when two minutes are up
  2. Can be difficult for some people to hold onto firmly

Electric Toothbrushes

Pros

  1. Most have larger ergonomic handles
  2. Some have built in timers that let you know when you have brushed for a full two minutes
  3. The feel and buzzing of an electric toothbrush feels good to a lot of people
  4. Some electric toothbrushes dispense toothpaste

Cons

  1. Some electric toothbrushes can be quite expensive
  2. Most electric toothbrushes require charging or battery replacement

Since everyone is different, I think it’s really good to have a variety of dental products to choose from. Deciding whether to buy an electric or manual toothbrush basically comes down to what the user desires as far as comfort and convenience go. Whatever toothbrush that you decide to buy, remember that using it is what’s really important. 27-Nov-2012

Why is Oral Hygiene so important during Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a very exciting and busy time. There are so many changes going on in your body and your mouth is no exception. Good oral hygiene is extremely important during pregnancy because the increase of hormone levels during pregnancy can cause dental problems to be intensified. One of the most common dental problems associated with pregnancy is a condition known as pregnancy gingivitis, which usually occurs during the first trimester. Symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis are usually bleeding, swollen, red and tender gums. Good oral health during pregnancy could also be important to your fetus. Some researchers have suggested that the serious stage of gum disease, periodontitis, could cause premature birth and low birth weight. The tips listed here can help you maintain good oral health throughout your pregnancy.

  • Visit your dentist for regular check ups and cleanings. This is the best way to make sure that you are maintaining good oral hygiene.
  • Brush your teeth properly at least twice a day to remove plaque.
  • Floss your teeth daily. Flossing will remove food debris from in between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach.
  • Use an antimicrobial mouth rinse. Antimicrobial mouth rinses can help prevent gingivitis.
  • Brush or scrape your tongue daily to help remove bacteria.
  • Eat nutritious meals and healthy snacks.

Now that you know what to do to protect your oral health, sit back, relax and enjoy this beautiful time in your life. 27-Nov-2012

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