Questions about your teeth probably pop into your head while you’re brushing and flossing. But then at your dental visit, the dentist asks, “Any questions?” Your mind is blank. “Um, no I don’t think so.”
Still, we know you have questions, so here are the answers to some of the most common. If you are experiencing severe dental problems or have questions that are not answered below, we encourage you the contact us directly. If it helps, write down your question next time you think of it and bring it to your next checkup.
Is there any reason to visit the dentist more than twice a year?
Every mouth is different, so some may need to see the dentist more often than others. If you have a high risk of tooth decay or gum disease, you may need to visit the dentist as often as every three months. A person with good oral hygiene is usually OK with only seeing the dentist twice a year. We’ll talk to you about visiting more often if needed so we can put you on the right path to a healthy mouth.
Is an electric toothbrush better than a manual?
The great debate: electronic versus manual. If a manual toothbrush is used appropriately, it can be just as effective as an electric brush. This means brushing for at least two minutes, twice a day with proper techniques. Electric toothbrushes are not necessarily “better,” but they do provide some ease to the process. If you are not sure, ask us during your next visit and we will help you pick the right one.
What is plaque and why is it bad for you?
Plaque is a sticky film, made of bacteria, that constantly grows on your teeth. As the plaque collects and hides from your brush or floss, it becomes hard and turns into tartar. If not treated, the tartar build-up will lead to gum disease.
What causes bad breath?
Bad breath, or halitosis, can be linked to various systemic diseases, but most of the time it originates in your mouth. A low level of saliva and dry mouth are common reasons why you may have bad breath. You need to control the bacteria in your mouth and neutralize the sulfur compounds that form from the bacteria build-up.
I have a cavity. Why doesn’t it hurt?
Symptoms are not common with dental problems. You may not experience any pain with a cavity until the condition becomes severe. Don’t wait for the pain to get it checked out though. The longer you wait, the more difficult and expensive it will be to have it fixed.
What if a tooth gets knocked out?
If your tooth gets knocked out in an accident, time is of the essence. First, find your tooth and clean it with warm water, but try to avoid touching the root as much as possible. Put your tooth in a cup of milk to be transported and have someone take you to the dental office right away. Your dentist will need to perform a tooth re-implant and don’t wait — the success rate of your re-implant decreases as time passes. If the accident happens after hours, your local urgent care or emergency room may be able to help.
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