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Dental Health – Frequently Asked Questions

What is air abrasion?

An alternative to conventional drilling, air abrasion is a process of using pressurized air with a non-toxic, fine abrasive powder to prepare a decayed tooth for treatment. Air abrasion is faster and quieter than a drill. Anesthetic is not required and several teeth can be treated in a single visit. Air abrasion is only used on smaller cavities. Composites, or tooth-colored fillings can then be used to fill the prepared cavities.

What causes bad breath?

If you don’t brush and floss your teeth daily, food particles will collect between the gums and teeth, and on your tongue. These particles then decompose, leaving an unpleasant odor. Bad breath can also be an indication that something more serious is happening with your health.

How often should I visit my dentist?

Two times a year is usually enough for most patients, though your dentist, the hygienist, and yourself should work together to determine what is uniquely best for you, personally. Regular checkups are recommended to accurately assess the condition of your teeth and gums to prevent any problems. Regular visits help you maintain a lifetime of optimum dental health and keep an attractive smile.

How do I get a whiter smile?

There are a variety of products and procedures available to help you whiten your smile. Start by speaking with our dentist to determine whether whitening procedures would be effective for you.

What symptoms indicate gum disease?

  • swollen, red or overly tender gums
  • gums that start bleeding when you brush them
  • gums which have pulled away from your teeth
  • persistent bad breath that will not go away
  • noticing pus on the gums between teeth
  • loosened, unstable teeth
  • changes to your bite (how your teeth come together)
  • a change in how partial dentures fit

Is gum disease preventable?

Yes — you can help prevent gum (periodontal) disease by:

  • Brushing teeth rigorously at least twice every day
  • Flossing between teeth after every meal and before bedtime
  • Eating balanced meals, reducing snacks
  • Keeping all of your regularly scheduled dental visits

An accident knocked a tooth out – what can I do?

If the tooth got dirty, hold it by the top crown (not by the root) and carefully rinse it off. Don’t scrub or remove any tissue fragments attached. If possible, gently insert the tooth back into its socket and hold it there. Otherwise, put the tooth in a cup of dairy milk and call your dentist immediately. Your dentist will instruct you to quickly bring the detached tooth with you to his office.

Why do I need x-rays?

X-rays are very useful diagnostic tools — X-rays can reveal:

  • the positions of your teeth
  • teeth that haven’t emerge above gum-line (impacted)
  • presence of dental decay, and its extent
  • any damage to bones
  • a tooth abscess
  • a fractured jaw
  • malocclusion, or misalignment of teeth
  • any abnormalities of teeth or jaw bone