Frequently Asked Questions
My child’s baby teeth have cavities. Why should they be filled if they’re just going to fall out in a few years?
If baby teeth become diseased or decayed it can lead to pain and infection. It can also be difficult for children to eat a well-balanced meal with a mouth full of cavities. Untreated cavities also increase the amount of decay causing bacteria in the mouth. As permanent teeth erupt, they are at increased risk for developing cavities because of the higher bacteria count.
Baby teeth also hold space in the mouth for the erupting permanent teeth. If the baby teeth become decayed or are taken out too early, the permanent teeth often become crowded and will likely need braces to straighten in the future.
Are electric toothbrushes better than manual brushes?
If a manual toothbrush is used for the appropriate amount of time, and done with proper technique, it can perform just as well as a powered toothbrush.
What is plaque and why is it bad?
Plaque is a clear sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. As plaque collects it forms a hard layer of tartar (or calculus) particularly in hard to reach areas between teeth and near the gumline. Bacteria found in plaque create toxic chemicals that irritate the gums. Eventually these bacteria cause the underlying bone around the teeth to be destroyed, a condition known as gum disease. Removal of plaque with brushing and flossing on a twice daily basis and removal of tartar by your dentist and dental hygienist is the first step in defeating gum disease. By the time gum disease begins to hurt, it may be too late. Seeing a dentist regularly can help prevent this and many other problems.
What causes bad breath?
While bad breath (or “halitosis”) can be linked to numerous systemic diseases, the majority of bad breath originates in the mouth. A dry mouth or a low salivary flow can also influence bad odor. There are two main goals in the management of bad breath. First, controlling the bacteria that produce the sulfur compounds and second, to neutralize the sulfur compounds that are produced.
It's been a long time since I've visited the dentist. What do I need to do?
You’re not alone! Whether it’s been 6 months or 6 years, it’s never too late to get back into the routine. At our office, we can arrange for you to have a thorough and educational exam appointment. We have been taking care of people just like you for over 30 years – take advantage of our experience! We’re here to help!