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FAQs

 


1)    What is fluoride and how does it prevent tooth decay?

  • Fluoride is a mineral found in soil, water (both fresh and salt) and various foods. Fluoride has a positive effect on oral health by making teeth more resistant to decay. Fluoride can also prevent or even reverse tooth decay that has started.

2)    When should I take my child to the dentist for the first time?

  • It's important to get an early start on dental care, so that your child will learn that visiting the dentist is a regular part of health care.
  • We encourage the assessment of infants, within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth or by one year of age. It's important to make the first visit a positive experience for your child - one reason why it's best to visit before a problem develops. If you think there is a problem, however, take your child to the dentist right away, no matter what age.
  • If you are a nervous dental patient, ask your spouse or another family member to take the child for the appointment. If your child senses that you are nervous, he or she may feel nervous too.
  • Be sure to get an early start on regular dental care at home. Start cleaning your child's mouth with a soft damp cloth before teeth come in and continue with a soft toothbrush once he or she has a first tooth. Limit the number of sugary treats you give your child, and focus on healthy food choices from the very beginning.

3)    How does gum disease get started?

  • Gum disease begins when plaque adheres at and below the visible edge of your gums. If plaque is not removed every day by brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar. Tartar promotes a bacterial infection at the point of attachment. In these early stages, gum disease is called gingivitis.
  • Your gums may be a bit red, but you may not notice anything. As gingivitis gets more serious, tiny pockets of infection form. Your gums may be puffy and may bleed a little when you brush, but it is not painful. Over time, the infection destroys the gum tissue. Eventually, you may be at risk of losing one or more teeth.

4)    How does the dentist treat a cracked tooth?

  • It depends on the direction and severity of the crack. If the crack is small enough, it may be removed by replacing the filling. Bonded white fillings and bonded amalgam fillings will hold the tooth together making it less likely to crack. Sometimes the cracked part of the tooth fractures off during the removal of the filling and this can be replaced with a new filling.
  • We may first place an orthodontic band around the tooth to keep it together. If the pain settles, the band is replaced with a filling that covers the fractured portion of tooth (or the whole biting surface). Other options include the placement of gold or porcelain fillings or even a crown. If the crack goes too far vertically, there is a possibility the tooth may need to be removed and replaced with an artificial one. (See bridgework, denture, and implant) The nerve may sometimes be affected so badly that it dies. Root canal treatment will be required if the tooth is to be saved.

5)    Can I protect my mouth if I smoke?

  •  No. However, there are two things that a smoker should do to help protect his or her oral health.
  • >>>Arrange to have a regular half yearly check-up with a dentist.
  • >>>Give up smoking. If smoking is stopped in time it is often possible to maintain a healthy mouth and keep the teeth for a lifetime. In 3-5 years after stopping smoking the chance of getting oral cancer is halved and gets less and less with time.

6)    Does smoking stain the teeth?

  • Yes. Tobacco staining on the teeth is often superficial in the first few years of smoking and your dentist can usually readily remove it. Unfortunately, as the years pass, the staining tends to spread into microscopic cracks in the enamel (the outer layer of teeth) and this is far more difficult to remove. Teeth can become permanently stained.

7)    How long should I brush?

  • Proper brushing should take two to three minutes.

8)    What is the difference between a denture and a crown or bridge?

  • Removable dentures are those dentures (plates) the wearer can remove and replace at will. These types of dentures can replace one tooth, all your natural teeth, or any number of missing teeth in between. A crown or a bridge is fixed or cemented in place and cannot be removed.

9)    Are thumbsucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child's teeth?

  • Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers past the age of three, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist.

10)    What may cause bad breath?

  • Morning time. Saliva flow almost stops during sleep and its reduced cleansing action allows bacteria to grow, causing bad breath. Certain foods such as garlic, onions, etc.
  • Foods containing odor-causing compounds enter the blood stream; they are transferred to the lungs, where they are exhaled.
  • Poor oral hygiene habits. Food particles remaining in the mouth promote bacterial growth.
  • Periodontal (gum) disease. Colonies of bacteria and food debris residing under inflamed gums.
  • Dental cavities and improperly fitted dental appliances. May also contribute to bad breath.
  • Dry mouth (Xerostomia). May be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous mouth breathing.
  • Tobacco products, dry the mouth, causing bad breath.
  • Dieting. Certain chemicals called ketones are released in the breath as the body burns fat.
  • Dehydration, hunger, and missed meals. Drinking water and chewing food increases saliva flow and washes bacteria away.
  • Certain medical conditions and illnesses, such as Diabetes, liver and kidney problems,
  • chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia are several conditions that may
  • contribute to bad breath.
  • Keeping a record of what you eat may help identify the cause of bad breath.

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