The basics of dental care are easy – brush your teeth and floss regularly (and don’t forget your 6 month check ups!) – but there are surely many other questions that you have about your dental health care, teeth and gums. In this post, we’ll answer some of the most important dental questions that we often get asked by our patients.
I want to whiten my teeth. Should I have it professionally done by a dentist, or can I just use over the counter products to get the results that I want?
Not all people are good candidates for teeth whitening systems that are offered over-the-counter or obtained by a dentist, so it’s important to discuss teeth whitening with your dentist before starting most teeth whitening systems. People that have yellow tones to their teeth often benefit the most from teeth whitening systems, seeing good results. Those with brownish tones to their teeth might need other cosmetic procedures, like veneers. A good candidate for teeth whitening will have limited sensitivity, healthy gums, few crowns, few fillings and no dental recession. While over-the-counter methods can whiten teeth a few shades, the best systems are available from dental professionals.
It seems that even though I have my child brush his teeth regularly, he still manages to get cavities! What can I do about this?
Children are naturally more susceptible to cavities because their teeth have not yet fully mineralized, so are softer than adults. Monitor your child’s tooth brushing early on, encouraging the correct brushing techniques to fully clean the teeth and gums. When your child is old enough, introduce flossing and discuss the importance of removing plaque from teeth. You can also try to limit foods that contain high amount of sugar such as candy and soft drinks consumed by your child, and discuss fluoride treatments with your dentist.
I’m terrified of going to the dentist! What can I do to help prepare and relax before my next appointment?
Many people are scared to go to the dentist. The drills, the lights, the machines – it can be a pretty intimidating place! Most fears of the dentist are psychological, with patients getting worked up and imagining the worst before a dental appointment. Instead, think about the positive aspects of going to the dentist – how clean your teeth will feel when you leave, pain management, and precautionary or cosmetic care to keep your smile the way you want it to look. Dental techniques have also improved greatly over the years, so if you haven’t been to the dentist in awhile, you may be pleasantly surprised by new advances in the field. If you are still terrified on the day of the appointment, let your dental hygienist or dentist know about your fears so that they can take extra care to make you comfortable and administer any necessary mild sedatives or local anesthesia.
What’s the best kind of toothpaste to use?
There really is no best kind of toothpaste, especially because most commercial toothpastes are made with the same ingredients and contain a mild abrasive to aid in plaque removal. The manner and frequency of brushing is far more important. Also, if you have sensitive teeth, there are some toothpastes on the market that are better than others for people with sensitive teeth.
I’m considering dentures, what do I need to know about dentures and dental implants before making my decision?
Dentures, or false teeth, are common for people who are missing some or all of their natural teeth. Partial and complete sets of dentures can look just as natural as real teeth, and fit securely so that those wearing dentures can resume normal eating and speaking. If you are unsure what type of dentures that you may need, or the exact techniques and procedures used, you can consult your dentist to discuss options. If dentures are not necessary or wanted, dental implants are an alternative for an even more authentic resemblance to real teeth, though more costly than dentures.
I don’t have dental insurance, so going to the dentist isn’t a top priority for me. Are check ups really necessary, or should I only see a dentist when I’m in pain?
Going to the dentist regularly should always be a priority, especially if you do not have dental insurance! Preventative care and regular check ups could actually save you money down the road, because you’ll be taking good care of your teeth and getting any problems fixed early before they become more serious. DentaLux also offers a great In-House Dental Insurance plan for the business community.
What is the difference between fillings? Are silver fillings becoming a thing of the past?
When it comes to fillings, dentists and patients have the option to use either Amalgam (or silver) fillings, or Composite (tooth colored) fillings. Many dentists are now straying away from Amalgam fillings because Composite fillings fit much tighter than Amalgam fillings and eliminate the risk for mercury leakage. However, Amalgam fillings remain less expensive and in many cases are very durable. You can discuss options with your dentist if the need for a filling arises.
If you have any more questions about dental care, insurance or DentaLux, please do not hesitate to contact us!