How often should I brush and floss my teeth?
We strongly recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day – especially before going to bed at night – with an ADA-approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste. Brush inner, outer and biting surfaces of your teeth, as well as your gums and tongue. Electric toothbrushes of various types can be very useful, because they’re easy to use and can remove plaque very efficiently. Daily flossing is the best way to clean between your teeth and under your gum line.
Flossing not only cleans these spaces, but it also prevents plaque colonies from building up and causing damage to gums, teeth, and bone. Be sure to curve the floss into a “c” shape around each tooth and under the gum line for best results, gently moving the floss up and down to clean the side surfaces of each tooth. If you have difficulty using conventional floss, we recommend using floss holders.
And don’t forget to rinse! After brushing and after meals if you’re unable to brush, rinse your mouth with water and spit the water out. Over-the-counter rinsing products can be helpful for some people; just check with your hygienist about what’s most appropriate for you.
How frequently should I see my dentist?
You should have your teeth cleaned and checked by a dentist at least twice each year. If you have special concerns or conditions, we may recommend more frequent visits. Regular dental exams and professional cleaning are essential to preventing dental problems and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums.
We are committed to providing you with the best possible care, and to do so
will require regular, detailed check-ups and comprehensive dental cleanings.
Could I have gingivitis or periodontal disease?
Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it, because the disease is usually painless in its early stages. Periodontal disease begins when plaque – a sticky, colorless film of bacteria, food debris, and saliva – is left on the teeth and gums. The bacteria produce acidic toxins that inflame the gums and slowly destroy the bone.
Common signs and symptoms of periodontal disease are: red, puffy, and/or bleeding gums; persistent bad breath; new spacing between teeth or loose teeth; pus around the teeth and gums; receding gums; and tenderness and/or discomfort.
Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing gum disease. Talk to your dentist or hygienist about any concerns you may have about your own risk factors or dental health.
What can I do about my stained teeth?
Teeth whiteness is a common aesthetic concern, and there are many products and methods available for achieving a brighter smile. Over-the-counter products are commonly available, but they are much less effective than professional treatments and may not be approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). The two most widely used professional systems are home teeth whitening and in-office teeth whitening.
What don’t I know about tooth whitening? Is there any danger to the process?
Professional tooth whitening is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment that is an ideal way to enhance your smile. However, there are a few things you should be aware of before getting started:
It’s important that you have your teeth evaluated by a dentist to determine if you’re a good candidate for bleaching.
Some stains, old fillings and crowns and other conditions may require other cosmetic treatment options.
Tooth whitening is not permanent; a touch-up may be needed every several years to keep your smile looking bright.
Some patients experience tooth sensitivity after having their teeth whitened. The sensation is temporary and subsides within a few days to a week.
Should I have my silver (amalgam) fillings removed and replaced?
Dentists have used an amalgam – a blend of copper, silver, tin and zinc, bound together by elemental mercury – to fill teeth for more than 100 years. In recent years, there has been concern about the safety of these fillings, owing to claims that exposure to mercury vapor and particles can cause health problems.
Per the American Dental Association (ADA), silver fillings are safe; studies have failed to find any link between silver containing mercury and any medical disorder. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and others agree that silver fillings are safe, durable, and cost-effective.
However, if the issue still concerns you for any reason, we can certainly discuss options with you, as there are many alternatives to silver fillings, including tooth-colored porcelain and gold fillings.