Frequently Asked Questions

Swellings/thickenings, lumps, bumps, rough spots or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth. The development of velvety white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth. Unexplained mouth bleeding. Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal within two weeks A soreness or feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or changes in the voice Ear pain. A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together – a change in your “bite” Dramatic weight loss. If you notice any of these changes, contact your dentist immediately for a professional examination.

If you fear going to the dentist, you are not alone. Between 9 percent and 15 percent of Americans state they avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear. The first thing you should do is talk with your dentist. The key to coping with dental anxiety is to discuss your fears with your dentist. Once your dentist knows what your fears are, he or she will be better able to work with you to determine the best ways to make you less anxious and more comfortable.

If you want them whiter, the best thing you can do is talk to your professional oral health care provider about your options. Some people respond to various procedures used to whiten teeth differently. It is best to talk face to face with your Dentist to determine what is best for you.

Sometimes all it takes is professional prophylaxis to remove stain and then refrain from behaviors that stain teeth, such as drinking coffee or tea, or smoking tobacco. There are people that respond well to the use of whitening toothpastes while some do not. Other options available include bleaching, at home or in the office, with special whiteners or with lasers, as prescribed by a dentist. Sometimes a combination of both options are used.

Regular checkups will allow your dentist to detect any problems such as periodontal (gum) disease, a dry mouth or other disorders that may be the cause. Maintaining good oral hygiene, eliminating periodontal (gum) disease and scheduling regular professional cleanings are essential to reducing bad breath.

Regardless of what may be the cause, good oral hygiene is essential. Brush twice a day and clean between your teeth daily with floss or interdental cleaners. Brush your tongue, too. If you wear dentures, be sure to remove them at night and clean them thoroughly before replacing them the next morning

What you eat affects the air you exhale. Certain foods, such as garlic and onions, contribute to objectionable breath odor. After the food is absorbed into the bloodstream, it is transferred to the lungs, where it is expelled.

When you brush, floss or use mouthwash you will only mask the odor temporarily. Odors continue until the body eliminates the food.

By not brushing and flossing daily, particles of food remain in the mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Food that collects between the teeth, on the tongue and around the gums can rot, leaving an unpleasant odor.

Periodontal (gum) disease can also cause bad breath. With regular dental checkups, your dentist can detect and treat periodontal disease early.

Bad breath is also caused by dry mouth (xerostomia), which occurs when the flow of saliva decreases. Saliva is necessary to cleanse the mouth and remove particles that may cause odor

Tobacco products cause bad breath, stain teeth, reduce one’s ability to taste foods and irritate gum tissues.

If your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy, you may be referred to your family doctor or a specialist to determine the cause of bad breath.

The most common causes of tooth loss are dental caries, also known as tooth decay, and periodontal disease, which affects the gums and bone structure that supports the teeth. Dental caries are the major cause of tooth loss in children, and periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults; however, it too can afflict youngsters.

Fortunately, the dose of radiation you are exposed to during the taking of X-rays is extremely small. Even with the newest advancements in safety, it should be kept in mind, however, that the effects of radiation are added together over a lifetime. So every little bit of radiation you receive from all sources counts.

Sealants are a thin, plastic coating that are painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth — usually the back teeth (the premolars, and molars) — to prevent tooth decay. The painted on liquid sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and groves of the teeth forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.

Typically, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. In this way, the dental sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants.

Sealants can protect the teeth from decay for up to 10 years, but they need to be checked for chipping or wearing at regular dental check-ups.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that a child have his or her first oral health care appointment around age one. ADHA suggests an oral health visit as soon as a baby’s first tooth erupts.

There are a lot of products to choose from, and much of the decision depends on individual preference. A fluoride toothpaste is essential for optimal oral health. Your dentist can alert you to any other features that make one product more suitable than another for you as an individual.

Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.
Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion.

Never snap the floss into the gums. When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into the shape of a “C” against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth. Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth.

According to past studies both powered and manual toothbrushes can be equally effective when used correctly. In practical terms, which brush you use is not the critical factor, but how you use it.

Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums.

Move the brush back and forth gently in short (tooth-wide) strokes.

Brush the outer tooth surfaces, the inner tooth surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.

Use the “toe” of the brush to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, using a gentle up-and-down stroke.
Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

The best way to care for your teeth is to remove decay-causing plaque by brushing and cleaning the plaque from the tooth surfaces.

Brush your teeth at least twice a day, with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth, allowing you to reach all areas easily. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, which helps protect your teeth from decay. When choosing any dental product, look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, an important symbol of a dental product’s safety and effectiveness.

Cleaning between the teeth once a day with floss or interdental cleaners removes plaque from between the teeth, areas where the toothbrush can’t reach. It is essential in preventing periodontal (gum) disease.

By taking care of your teeth, eating a balanced diet and visiting your dentist regularly, you can have healthy teeth and an attractive smile your entire life.