We at Dental Wellness follow the ALARA radiation dose principle when it comes to taking X-rays. ALARA stands for AS LOW AS REASONABLY ACHIEVEABLE. Your dentist should take as few as possible. Sometimes dentists may recommend X-rays to diagnose a special problem. Advancements in technology means today's digital X-rays release much less radiation and are much safer than in the past. The radiation dose per x-ray visit is only a fraction of what we get exposed to just standing in the Sun!
Expect to get them during a first exam after not seeing a dentist for a while. This helps check tooth and gum health. If you have dental cavities, gum disease or other dental issues or history of dental treatments, the dentist may want pictures every 6 months to 1year. For regular check-ups, it's about every 1-2 years, depending on your dentist's plan or routine assessment. Kids have more X-rays done than adults because their teeth are changing and because they get cavities more easily.
Many diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissues cannot be seen when the dentist examines the mouth. An X-ray examination may reveal:
Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save time, money and often unnecessary discomfort. X-rays can detect damage to oral structures not visible during a regular exam. If you have a hidden tumor, X-rays may even help save your life. Dentist will evaluate your need for X-rays based on the conditions present in development. There are many benefits to having X-rays taken. Any additional questions or concerns should be discussed with your dentist.
Always spend two to three minutes brushing your teeth. It takes that long to get rid of the bacteria that destroy tooth enamel. Do not brush too hard. It takes very little pressure to remove bacteria and plaque. Floss at least once a day. Flossing is the only way to get bacteria from between your teeth. Watch the sugar you eat. There is sugar in candy, fruits, crackers and chips. These are the foods that the bacteria in your mouth like best. Be mindful of foods like raisins and peanut butter that stick to your teeth. They can provide a constant supply for the bacteria eating into your teeth. Try to minimize the times during the day when sweet items are eaten and brush your teeth afterwards.
If you cannot brush after a meal, rinse your mouth with water - which can help to remove food from your teeth. Chewing sugarless gum after a meal can also help. Chewing deescalates the flow of your saliva which acts as a natural plaque-fighting substance. And do not forget your regular dental visits. Good dental habits will go a long way toward a no-cavity visit.
Like other investments, if you whiten your teeth, the length of time you can expect it to last will vary. If you smoke, drink red wine or coffee, or consume other acid-containing foods, your bright smile may begin to yellow more quickly than you expect. In general, a teeth whitening procedure can last up to a few months to years depending on how often you use a home whitening product and how good you maintain oral hygiene and refrain from staining products/foods. And even though the results can fade, occasional touch-ups can be done to regain luster.
Commercial whitening toothpastes vary greatly in their ability to whiten teeth. They work by removing surface stains from the teeth with the use of mild abrasives. However, unlike professional whitening, some whitening toothpastes do not alter the intrinsic color of the teeth. Toothpastes that are effective in removing stains can also destroy tooth enamel in the process. These toothpastes use harsh abrasives. With repeated use, harsh abrasives begin to damage tooth enamel and can contribute to increased tooth sensitivity. If you would like to try a whitening toothpaste, consult with your dentist first.
The exact cause of canker sores is unknown. Some factors may include genetics, allergies, stress, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Trauma to the inside of the mouth can result in the development of canker sores. Ill-fitting dentures or braces, toothbrush trauma from brushing too hard, or biting your cheek, may produce canker sores. Certain foods may also be a factor. Citrus or acidic fruits and vegetables can trigger a canker sore or make the problem worse. Foods like chips, pretzels and hard candies have sharp edges that can nick and injure the soft tissue of the mouth.
To treat a canker sore, rinse your mouth with antimicrobial mouthwash or warm water and salt. Over the counter treatments are also available. Canker sores can also be treated by laser to reduce or eliminate the discomfort. Call us to schedule if you need to get rid of this discomfort. If the canker sore is present longer than two weeks, see your dentist.
About half of women who are pregnant experience a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. This condition can be uncomfortable and cause swelling, bleeding, redness or tenderness in the gum tissue. A more advanced oral health condition called periodontal disease (a serious gum infection that destroys attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold teeth in the mouth) may affect the health of your baby. Studies have shown a relationship between periodontal disease and preterm, low birth-weight babies. In fact, pregnant women with periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby that's born too early and too small. The likely culprit is a labor-inducing chemical found in oral bacteria called prostaglandin. Very high levels of prostaglandin are found in women with severe cases of periodontal disease.
Severe pain on a tooth which lasts for several seconds to minutes after a stimulus such as cold drink or chewing can be indicative of irreversible changes to the nerve/blood supply(pulp) of the tooth. This may happen if there is a long-standing cavity on the tooth or can result from a fractured tooth among other reasons. See your dentist immediately if you have any similar symptoms.
A tooth that is severely decayed or infected can be saved, rather than be removed, through a procedure commonly known as a root canal treatment.
The typical tooth has around one to three roots. Each of these roots has one or two canals that essentially go from the top of your tooth to the bottom. Within these canals is a soft, living tissue called pulp, which consists of nerves and blood vessels. When a root canal is done, the pulp is removed, your tooth's canals are disinfected, and a special dental filler (plant extract) is used to seal them off. Your tooth will receive a temporary or permanent filling after the root canal procedure. The final step in the process will be to place a permanent covering, such as a crown, over the treated tooth.
Root canals today are generally painless procedures thanks to the effectiveness of local anesthetic and advances in dental technology.
There are multiple options to fix white spots on teeth like ICON treatment, polishing, resin or porcelain veneers and crowns. Your dentist can advise which treatment will be most effective in your particular case after a thorough clinical assessment.
Replacement of missing teeth has come a long way over the years. Your options can be removable prosthesis, fixed bridge or implants. The choice can depend on multiple factors like health of existing teeth that will support the prosthesis or bridge and the health of bone and gums if implants are used. Treatment options may be limited by the number of teeth and their location in the mouth where they will be replaced. Some cases depend on physical and oral health and may not be suitable for implant replacement. Talk to your dentist in detail regarding all options.
Unfortunately, you can't fix a chipped tooth yourself. If you accidentally chip your tooth, don't panic. Save the broken piece/pieces in milk and see your dentist soon. While you wait to see the dentist, apply an ice pack to your lip/cheek where your tooth hurts, take some pain medication, and use gauze to stop any possible bleeding. It will depend on the extent of the chip/fracture of the tooth and the condition of the fragment if available whether the fragment can be bonded or the tooth can be bonded and restored using the most advanced dental materials. Other options include a porcelain veneer or a crown. A root canal treatment is only needed if the fracture is extensive and involves the nerve(pulp) of the tooth. Constant pain on the tooth right after trauma may not always mean that the tooth will need a root canal. See your dentist immediately to find out!
While it's important to make sure your teeth are strong, you can't always prevent a chipped tooth, so it's important to know what to do if it happens. If you do get a chipped tooth, call us for an appointment immediately, time is critical in some situations.