Frequently Asked Dental and Procedural Questions and Answers
Q: Why do you need to know any medical information for my dental visit?
A: We need to know if you have any health conditions that could impact your dental care. Many medical conditions leave their earliest signs and symptoms in your mouth. The more we know about you the better we can become an ally on your personal health care team.
Q: How do I know if my child’s permanent teeth are coming in properly?
A: The first four molars appear around 6 years old. There are also other teeth that will be coming out around this time. You can let teeth come out on their own, but we can also help. Regular dental checkups are important in the early years.
Q: Is teeth whitening safe?
A: Yes. Supervised whitening is a common procedure. Some may experience mild temporary tooth sensitivity.
Q: How white will my teeth get? How long does it take to whiten them?
A: Depends on the degree of discoloration. Your teeth can be whitened 4 to 8 shades! The complete procedure takes about 2 hours with you under the light for 1 hour.
Q: Is it safe to visit the dentist while I am pregnant?
A: Yes! Often we suggest additional professional cleanings during pregnancy since gingivitis is common. Most pregnancy-related oral problems are controlled with good oral hygiene. New research suggests a link between female hormones during childbearing years and Temporomandibular (jaw) Joint Disorder (TMJ). Dental treatment needing anesthetic will require a release from your ob/gyn.
Q: Is it important to fix baby teeth?
A: Yes. Infected baby teeth or roots left untreated can spread poison into the bloodstream. If a baby tooth is lost prematurely, the neighboring teeth will slip and drift, blocking space of the developing adult teeth. This leads to crooked teeth, improperly chewing of food, due to loss of teeth, will upset normal digestion. Believe it or not, normal speech depends upon properly placed teeth. Early loss of baby teeth often leads to bad speech habits, which continue into adulthood.
Q: What kind of tooth brush do you recommend and how often should I get a new one?
A: For a manual brush: soft, rounded tip and nylon bristle. It should be replaced when the bristles become frayed, or at least every 3 months. Keep your toothbrush to yourself. For an electric toothbrush: We recommend the Oral B Triumph. It’s for many conditions, including braces, bridges, crowns and other dental appliances. It’s great for preventing and even reversing gum disease. Get a model that has a 2 – 3 minute timer.
Q: How do I know if I have gum disease and how does it affect me?
A: You may not know without coming in to see us. In early stages, you’ll develop a bad taste in your mouth, bad breath, and gums that bleed when brushing and flossing. If ignored, it could progress and you could lose your teeth. Gum disease has also been linked with heart and stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, Crohn’s disease, premature deliveries, and pre-eclampsia.
Q: What are the signs of TMJ Disorder? (Temporomandibular (jaw) Joint Disorder)
A: With TMJ Disorder you may experience any of these symptoms: noises with movement in the joints- clicking, popping or crunching pain when opening fully limited range of opening clenching or grinding teeth pain and a sense of facial muscle fatigue ear pain not related to infections occasional “locking” when the jaw seems to “stick open” temporarily ringing in the ears frequent headaches.