When should I bring my child to see the dentist?
It is never too early to get your child acclimated to the dental office and all the sights, smells and sounds that are associated with it. It is also important for parents to be educated on the proper way to care for your child’s teeth. Bring them in perhaps as early as the first sight of that newly erupted pearly white or sooner if injury or trauma occurs in the mouth area. Normal eruption of a first tooth occurs around 6 months of age. If you think your child is delayed in getting their first tooth that also may be a good time to bring them in. We encourage positive experiences for children. The first visits usually involve a ride in the dental chair, showing them the water and air sprayer and suction, and the little mirror and “tooth counter”. We try to do the first real cleaning at or around 3 years of age. It also is important to know if there is fluoride in your water. If not, your dentist may recommend fluoride supplements. We do see many children in our practice, however, in rare cases; we refer children to a pediatric specialist.
My jaw clicks all the time, do I have TMJ?
TMJ stands for tempomandibualar joint which, is also known as the jaw joint. TMD is the disorder that is associated with this joint. Occasional discomfort in the jaw joint or chewing muscles is common and is not a cause for concern. Some causes of TMD include; injury to the jaw area, various forms of arthritis, some dental procedures, stretching of the jaw as occurs with inserting a breathing tube before surgery, and clenching or grinding of teeth. Discuss with your heathcare provider about proper remedies for your type of discomfort. Some of these treatments are over-the-counter pain medicine, prescription medication, gentle jaw stretching and relaxation exercises, and stabilization splints (biteplate, nightguard).
What causes my mouth to be so dry?
Dry mouth (xerostomia) can make it hard for you to swallow, chew food or speak clearly. It even makes your mouth more prone to get cavities and can contribute to bad breath. It is most commonly caused by medications. You should never discontinue the use of your medication before consulting your physician. It can also be a sign of disease like diabetes so it is a concern that should be brought up with your healthcare professional. There are some simple remedies that can help to keep your mouth moist throughout the day. Keep luke warm water with you to sip on throughout the day, suck on sugar free candies, on try over the counter remedies specifically designed for dry mouth like Biotene.
What causes bad breath?
There are many factors that can cause bad breath. The most common is overall bacterial accumulation in your mouth. Eighty percent of odor causing bacteria comes directly from your tongue, the other twenty percent from between your teeth from a lack of flossing. We recommend using a specifically designed tongue cleaner or scraper for cleaning the tongue more effectively than simply brushing it. That along with other good oral hygiene care will dramatically decrease halitosis. Rinses only mask the odor temporarily. Other causes of bad breath can include, smoking, periodontal disease, systemic disease like diabetes, certain foods and medications. Your dental professional can help you assess the cause so don’t be shy in mentioning it!
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease or gum disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. This occurs as bacteria accumulate in the pocket between your teeth and gums. If not properly removed through good oral hygiene (brushing, flossing, twice yearly visits to your hygienist) the bacteria will start to eat away at the gums, connective tissue and bone of the surrounding tooth. This increases the depth of the pocket making it more difficult to clean, thus perpetuating the cycle. There are two types of periodontal diseases Gingivitis, a less severe, reversible disease characterized by inflammation and bleeding gums. The second is Periodontitis, a more severe form that is characterized by inflammation, bleeding gums and bone loss and requires more aggressive treatments to control. Several risk factors for the disease include smoking or chewing tobacco, diabetes or other systemic diseases, some medications, ill fitting or defective dental restorations, and pregnancy. The hygienists at our office will assess the current condition of the health of your gums at every hygiene appointment.
Do I need to change my silver fillings to white ones? Is the mercury in them leaking?
Amalgam (silver filling material) has been used by dentists for more than a century. It is also the most thoroughly researched and tested material among all those in use. It is durable, easy to use, highly resistant to wear and relatively inexpensive. For those reasons, it remains a valued treatment option for the dentists and their patients. According to the ADA, the National Institutes of Health, the US Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization among others have been satisfied that dental amalgam is a safe, reliable and effective restorative material. Our team will assess the state of each filling in your mouth to determine the need for replacement. Over time, wear and tear can affect the durability and quality of the restoration, either silver or white.
What are veneers?
There are several different types. Porcelain veneers are the most common and are sometimes referred to as Lumineers or Da Vinci veneers. They are thin porcelain coverings that are cemented permanently on the teeth. In some cases a small layer of tooth enamel will be removed to make the position of the veneer compatible with the look of your teeth and smile curvature. Another type of veneer is done with composite, which is a white filling material. This can be done usually in one visit, tends to cost less, but may discolor and not last as long as the porcelain type. Both types of veneers can dramatically change the look of your smile.
How can I get a whiter smile?
There are now several different options for getting the smile you’ve always wanted. We offer a variety of whitening products including strips. We also offer a wide variety of cosmetic procedures such as veneers, composite restorations (white filling), crowns and bridges.
What can I expect during a dental examination at your office?
We do a number of things during your first visit to our office. We will review your medical and dental histories, a thorough examination of your head and neck, x-rays as needed, periodontal examination, a full dental evaluation, and a cosmetic review of smile and tooth color. Many times your teeth will be cleaned at this appointment by one of our Registered Dental Hygienists.