Lakefront Family Dentistry receives lots of great questions from our patients! We’ve listed some of the most popular questions and answers (FAQ) below for your convenience.
Answers to our Patients' Most Frequently Asked Dental Questions
This is normal. Primary teeth are usually very light in color. The adult teeth that are erupting look usually darker or yellow when compared side-by-side to the baby teeth. Do not worry- when all of the adult teeth erupt, their color will look normal when not compared to the other teeth.
A wet washcloth or finger brush should be used to clean your babies gums even before the first tooth comes in. Once the first teeth appear, a small children's toothbrush should be used.
Yes. The primary teeth are very important for maintaining the space necessary for the adult teeth. If a baby tooth is lost too early, the adult tooth that will come in later, may not have enough room to come in. Also, an abscess associated with a decayed baby tooth could damage the developing adult tooth under it, resulting in weakened enamel, staining or spots.
On average, a child begins to lose their first teeth at approximately 5 years of age. Usually the front teeth are lost first. It is not uncommon for the adult tooth to start to erupt before the baby tooth is lost. They will continue to lose teeth until the age of 12-13.
Each case is different. Sometimes early orthodontic treatment (called stage1 Treatment), is utilized when the child is 7-8 years old in order to make the final (stage 2) treatment easier, and potentially shorter in duration.
Invisalign is a revolutionary orthodontic treatment without the use of conventional metal braces. A series of computer generated, clear plastic aligners are used to move teeth. They are removable and very comfortable to wear. They do not interfere with speech or your everyday activities. This type of treatment does have some limitations and your dentist can evaluate you to see if you are a good candidate for this type of treatment.
You should brush your teeth at least 2-3 minutes twice a day. Get into a routine and always start and end in the same place. That way you will make sure not to miss any parts of your mouth. Unfortunately, most Americans only brush for 45-60 seconds twice a day, and that is just not enough. Many new mechanical toothbrushes have built in timers to help you brush the proper length of time.
Rinse your mouth with water after a meal or snack to neutralize acid and reduce bacteria by 30%. Also chewing sugarless gum or gum containing Xylotol has been shown to decrease the incidence of decay.
Cold Sores, Canker Sores and Ulcers
Ulcers are very difficult to treat. There is no proven technique that will eliminate ulcers. They can occur as a result of trauma or due to a viral source. Depending on their cause there are specific medications that can shorten their duration. Left alone, ulcers will generally diminish and disappear in two weeks.
Dental X-Rays and Safety
The radiation exposure from dental x-rays is much less than the exposure you would get from the X-rays taken by you physician. In fact, you will absorb more radiation by spending a day out in the summer sun.
Dental radiographs or X-rays expose the patient to very small amounts of radiation. New digital X-rays can cut that amount down by close to 90% over traditional film X-rays.
Your doctor uses these images to detect pathology such as decay, tumors, cysts or other abnormalities not evident to the naked eye. They are an integral part of a complete dental examination.
Discolored Teeth and Gumline
Yes. Your crown is more than likely a porcelain fused to metal crown. The black line you see is the area where the metal and the porcelain meet. Replacing this crown with a full porcelain crown will alleviate that line.
Fillings (Metal / Amalgum)
If your silver fillings are in good condition, there is no need to replace them. But, if you would like to not see those dark fillings, they can be replaced with tooth colored composite fillings.
Silver fillings are safe. These restorations are composed of mercury, silver, tin and copper. The amount of mercury released by these fillings is much less than what you are exposed to through air, food and water. There has been no evidence that these types of fillings pose a health risk.
Fluoride acts to make teeth more resistant to decay. In children, this is important for the development of their adult teeth. In adults, Fluoride acts to strengthen and in some cases reverse small areas of decay. If you do not live in area which has fluoridated water, ask your dentist about fluoride rinses or supplements.
Your gums bleed as a result of inflammation caused by the presence of bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria when not properly cleaned off your teeth will result in an irritation of the gum tissue. This irritation called gingivitis, will result in red, puffy and bleeding gums. Gone untreated, it can progress into periodontal disease.
The use of a mouthwash is fine to give yourself a fresh feeling. Try to use an alcohol free mouthwash if possible. Mouthwashes which contain alcohol can dry out the lining of your mouth and decrease saliva flow. Both of these symptoms can contribute to increased bacterial growth and lessen the mouths natural defenses.
Periodontal and Gum Disease
Periodontal disease is a condition where due to the accumulation of bacteria, tartar and stain, a low grade infection has occurred. This infection results in the loss of bone around the teeth. This loss of bone can result in the instability and eventual loss of those teeth. Your dentist can treat this disease and halt its progression.
Cold sensitivity can be due to a number of reasons. Some people are just generally more sensitive to temperature changes. Other causes may be due to recession of the gum tissue, abrasions of the teeth, large metal restorations or decay. Treatments for this condition can include fillings, fluoride applications or the use of desensitizing toothpastes.
Soda – Diet or Regular
Diet sodas are better only in the fact that they do not have sugar in them. Even diet soda can be bad for your teeth due to the acidity caused by the carbonation. It is OK to drink sodas in moderation. The damage that they can cause is directly related to the time your teeth are exposed to the liquid. Therefore, do not drink sodas all day long. Try to rinse or brush afterward, and limit the number of sodas you consume each day.
Teeth Whitening / Whiteners
Not entirely. Whitening toothpastes will reverse the effects of some surface stains, but not change the shade of the teeth themselves. The change is usually minimal.
There is some evidence that over-the-counter bleaching products do whiten teeth, however these products are not used under the supervision of your dentist and There may be potential problems which may need attention prior to whitening in this way. Also, the trays usually sold with these products do fit as well as those that are custom made by your dentist. As a result, damage to your gums and teeth is possible.
Call (951) 244-9495 to Schedule Your Appointment Today, or Make an Appointment Online and we’ll call you right back! We look forward to giving you the best recommendations for your smile and health.