Below are some of dental patients’ most frequently asked questions about dentistry and oral health issues. We would love to hear from you if you have any other questions or want to schedule an appointment.
Dental FAQs in Canton, TX
Read answers to these commonly asked questions:
What should I do if I have bad breath?
Bad breath (halitosis) can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition. Many of us may not realize we have bad breath, but everyone has it occasionally, especially in the morning.
One may have bad breath for various reasons, but in healthy people, the major reason is due to microbial deposits on the tongue, especially the back of the tongue. Some studies have shown that brushing the tongue reduces bad breath by as much as 70 percent.
How often should I brush and floss?
Plaque is a film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums. The bacteria in plaque convert certain food particles into acids that cause tooth decay. Also, if plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). If plaque and calculus are not removed, they destroy the gums and bone, causing periodontal (gum) disease.
Plaque formation and growth are continuous and can only be controlled by regular brushing, flossing, and other dental aids.
Are amalgam (silver) fillings safe?
Over the years, there has been some concern about the safety of amalgam (silver) fillings. An amalgam blends copper, silver, tin, and zinc bound by elemental mercury. Dentists have used this blended metal to fill teeth for over 100 years. The controversy is due to claims that exposure to the vapor and minute particles from mercury can cause various health problems.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), up to 76% of dentists use silver-containing mercury to fill teeth. The ADA also states that silver fillings are safe and that studies have failed to find any link between silver-containing mercury and any medical disorder.
How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?
Your teeth should be checked and cleaned at least twice a year, though your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend more frequent visits.
Regular dental exams and cleaning visits are essential in preventing dental problems and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. At these visits, your teeth are cleaned and checked for cavities. Additionally, many other things are checked and monitored to help detect, prevent, and maintain your dental health.
How can I tell if I have gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)?
Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it! Most people are unaware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages. Unlike tooth decay, which often causes discomfort, it is possible to have periodontal disease without noticeable symptoms. Regular dental check-ups and periodontal examinations are important and will help detect if periodontal problems exist.
Why is it important to use dental floss?
Brushing our teeth removes food particles, plaque, and bacteria from all tooth surfaces except between teeth. Unfortunately, our toothbrush can’t reach areas highly susceptible to decay and periodontal (gum) disease.
Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces but also disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.
How can cosmetic dentistry help improve the appearance of my smile?
If you’re feeling somewhat self-conscious about your teeth or want to improve your smile, cosmetic dental treatments may be the answer to a more beautiful, confident smile.
Cosmetic dentistry has become very popular in the last several years, not only due to the many advances in cosmetic dental procedures and materials available today, but also because patients are becoming more and more focused on improving their overall health. This includes dental prevention and having a healthier, whiter, more radiant smile.
What are porcelain veneers, and how can they improve my smile?
Porcelain veneers are very thin shells of tooth-shaped porcelain that are individually crafted to cover the fronts of teeth. They are very durable and will not stain, making them a very popular solution for those seeking to restore or enhance the beauty of their smile.
What can I do about stained or discolored teeth?
Professional teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel. It is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile. Over-the-counter products are also available but are much less effective than professional treatments and may not be approved by the American Dental Association (ADA).
As we age, the outer layer of tooth enamel wears away, eventually revealing a darker or yellow shade. The color of our teeth also comes from the inside of the tooth, which may become darker over time. Smoking and drinking coffee, tea, and wine may also contribute to tooth discoloration, making our teeth yellow and dull. Sometimes, teeth can become discolored from taking certain medications as a child, such as tetracycline. Excessive fluoridation (fluorosis) during tooth development can also cause teeth to become discolored.