FAQ

What are some tips for daily oral care?

Brushing removes plaque from the tooth surfaces. The best way to remove decay-causing plaque is by brushing and cleaning between your teeth every day. You should brush at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth, allowing you to reach all areas easily.

Always use toothpaste that contains fluoride, which helps protect your teeth from decay. When choosing any dental product, look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, an important symbol of a dental product’s safety and effectiveness.

Flossing is also important and essential for a healthy set of teeth and gums and in preventing periodontal (gum) disease. Flossing removes plaque from areas that brushes can’t reach.

By taking care of your teeth, eating a balanced diet and visiting your dentist regularly, you can have healthy teeth and an attractive smile your entire life.

What are sealants and how do they help prevent decay?

A sealant is a plastic material that is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth – premolars and molars. This resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids.

While thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by sealing out plaque and food.

What causes sensitive teeth?

Sensitive teeth are often a result of cavities or other fractures in your teeth. If your dentist has ruled those problems out, then worn tooth enamel, a cracked tooth or an exposed tooth root may also be the cause.

Enamel is the strongest substance in the body. A layer of enamel protects the crowns of healthy teeth, and a layer called cementum protects the tooth root under the gum line. Underneath these layers are dentin, which is less dense and contains small hollow tubes and canals. When the dentin loses its protective enamel, these tubes and canals (called “tubules”) allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to stimulate the nerves and cells inside the tooth. This causes hypersensitivity and occasional discomfort. Fortunately, the irritation does not cause permanent damage to the pulp. Dentin may be exposed when gums recede. The result can be hypersensitivity near the gum line.

The most important step in preventing sensitive tooth pain is proper oral hygiene. For more information, ask your dentist or see the ADA’s guide to cleaning your teeth and gums.

What options are there for dental implants?

Dental implants can provide artificial teeth that look natural and feel secure. They can also be used to attach full or partial dentures.

Implants, however, are not an option for everyone. Because implants require surgery, patients must be in good health, have healthy gums, have adequate bone to support the implant and be committed to meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits. If you are considering implants, a thorough evaluation by the team at Gentle Care Dentistry will help determine if you would be a good candidate.

What is involved in placing implants?

Implants are a surgical procedure, so they require careful attention from a professional. Surgery can take up to several hours, and up to six months may be required for the bone to grow around the anchor and firmly hold it in place. Some implants may even require a second surgery in which a post is attached to connect your replacement teeth to an anchor inserted during the first surgery. However, other implants may allow the post and anchor to be implanted in one procedure.

Your gums will need several weeks to heal after the first implant surgery. Afterwards, artificial teeth can be made and fitted to the post. This can take up to two months and several fittings to complete. Gentle Care Dentistry will give you instructions on diet and oral hygiene following your surgery as well as other steps necessary for the recuperative process.