Frequently Asked Questions
Q: At what age should I bring my child for their first dental visit?
A: We recommend that your child visits the dentist for the first time around 2.5 to 3 years of age.
The best preparation for your child's first dental visit to our office is maintaining a positive attitude. Children pick up on their parents' apprehensions and if the child hears negative comments about going to the dentist, you can be sure that they will expect an unpleasant experience and act accordingly. Show your child the pictures of the office on the website. Let them know that it is important to keep their teeth and gums healthy and that the dentist is there to help them do that. Remember that the dentist is specially trained to handle fears and anxiety and the staff is very dedicated to putting your child at ease during their whole visit.
Q: What should I do if I have dental pain?
A: All your dental pain should be addressed by a dentist. Call your dental office and book an emergency appointment. Describe your pain to the receptionist so she/he can book adequate time for your emergency treatment.
Include the following in your description: The tooth or area of the pain (i.e. upper right side or the very back tooth); the type of pain (i.e. throbbing, achy or hurts when you eat); how long you have been feeling this pain and did you take any medication to help with the pain.
Q: What are the causes of tooth sensitivity?
A: Tooth sensitivity is often caused by the exposure of the surface beneath, called the dentin. This is a soft layer that makes up the inner part and roots of the tooth. The dentin has thousands of tiny tubes that lead to the tooth's nerve center called the pulp. These channels allow the trigger (i.e. hot, cold or sweet food) to reach the nerve in your tooth, which results in the sensitivity and pain you feel.A few other possible causes of sensitive teeth could be brushing too hard, using a hard-bristled toothbrush, grinding your teeth or tooth decay near the gum line.
Q: How often should I change my toothbrush?
A: Your toothbrush should be changed every three months.
Q: How often should I brush my teeth?
A: Ideally you should brush your teeth after every meal. Most dentists/dental hygienists will recommend to brush at least twice a day. This will help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. You should brush your teeth for 2 minutes by holding your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle. Slowly and gently brush in short strokes from where your gums meet your teeth to the top of the tooth. You should make sure to brush every tooth along with every surface of each tooth.
Q: How often should I floss my teeth?
A: Just as with brushing, ideally you should floss your teeth after every meal. Most dentists/dental hygienists will recommend to floss at least once a day to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Q: What are the signs of gum disease?
A: Gum disease is when bacteria causes inflammation of the gums. Some signs of gum disease are red, swollen and tender gums, pain or sores in your mouth, bleeding while brushing, flossing or eating hard food or puss between your gums and teeth.
Q: Why do my gums bleed when I brush or floss my teeth?
A: When you brush and floss, you are removing bacteria and plaque on your teeth, between your teeth and under your gums. When your gums bleed, it is an indication that there has been bacteria/plaque left in these areas. These bacteria cause inflammation of the gums.
Q: What is dental plaque?
A: Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria, along with mucus and other particles constantly form a sticky, colorless plaque on teeth. Brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque.
Q: What is tartar?
A: Tartar is plaque that is not removed and that can harden over time. Tartar cannot be removed by brushing. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove the tartar.
Q: How often should I see the dentist/dental hygienist?
A: How often depends on your oral health needs. The goal is to catch small problems early. For many people, this means a dental exam every six months. Your dentist/dental hygienist may suggest that you visit more or less often depending on how well you care for your teeth and gums, problems you have that need to be checked or treated, how fast your tartar builds up on your teeth and so on.
Q: Why is visiting the dental office so important?
A: It is important to visit the dentist/dental hygienist for two main reasons. Preventive Care and Early Detection. Some serious issues that can arise could be oral cancer, gum disease, decay or infection in the mouth. During your checkup appointment, your dentist/dental hygienist will evaluate the health of your gums, perform a head and neck extra-oral examination, including you Temporal Mandibular Joint and an intra-oral examination including occlusal classification, percentage of overbite and overjet of your occlusion, any indications of lumps or bumps, diabetes or vitamin deficiencies. There are 2 parts to a regular dental visit. One is your dental exam/check-up, the other is the cleaning.
Q: Do I still need to floss if I am using mouthwash?
A: Even though you are using mouthwash, it is not a substitute for flossing. A non-alcoholic based mouthwash rinse is a liquid solution that you swish around your entire mouth - teeth, gums and tongue. It helps promote oral hygiene, reduce oral discomfort, provide moisture to oral tissues or help with bad breath. It is a cosmetic and therapeutic rinse that can be purchased over the counter.
Q: How do teeth become loose?
A: Your teeth can become loose when the bone and ligament that holds them in place is being destroyed. Loose teeth are the result of chronic gum disease, gum recession and bone loss. As plaque and bacteria invade the area around the teeth, it destroys the attachment between the teeth and the surrounding support structures. Once gum disease becomes active and remains untreated, teeth can become mobile. If mobility is severe enough it ultimately results in loss of teeth. Loose teeth typically have other signs and symptoms associated with the condition. These can include: bleeding and sore gums; swollen, purple or red gums; bleeding during brushing or flossing; puss around the tooth; food packing between the teeth or under the gums or gum recession.
Q: Is my child at risk for baby bottle tooth decay (early childhood caries)?
A: Baby bottle tooth decay is also known as "Baby Bottle Syndrome" or "Early Childhood Caries". These names refer to a problem that can occur if your child is drinking sweetened liquids such as fruit juices or even liquids with natural sugars such as milk or formula. When your child drinks these liquids, they cling to their teeth for a period of time. Bacteria in your mouth is common and thrives when provided with these sugars, the bacteria produces an acid that attacks the teeth. Your child could be at risk for this if they use a pacifier that is frequently dipped in sugar or syrup, frequent bottle feeding at night or even extended and repetitive use of a no-spill training cup.
Q: What is a cavity?
A: A cavity is also known as a dental carie or tooth decay. It starts out as bacteria in the mouth that causes demineralization of the enamel and dentin. Your teeth are in an environment of constant acid attack that strips the teeth of important minerals and breaks the teeth down. While this attack is constantly occurring, minerals are also being replenished by your saliva, toothpaste and water that has had minerals added to it such as fluoride, calcium and phosphate. These help to remineralize the enamel.
The first stage of a cavity is when it has started on the outermost layer of enamel, this is called an incipient cavity. These types of cavities usually only require a conservative treatment. If the cavity reaches the dentin, the tooth can become infected and demineralization and deconstruction of the hard tissues of the tooth (the enamel, dentin and cementum) will begin. These cavities will then require a more intensive course of treatment.
Q: What is a filling (restoration)?
A: A filling is also known as a restoration. It is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay. It restores the tooth back to it's normal function and shape.
The first step to a filling is when the dentist removes the decayed tooth material, they will then clean the affected area and lastly the fill in the tooth with a filling material.
There are two types of fillings you can have, a composite filling which is tooth-coloured or an amalgam filling which is made of a silver material.