Here is a list of some of the most commonly asked dental health questions:
At what age should my child start braces?
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.
Why do my child’s adult teeth look darker than their baby teeth?
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.
When should I start to brush my baby's teeth?
A wet washcloth or finger brush should be used to clean your baby's gums even before the first tooth comes in. Once the first teeth appear, a small children's toothbrush should be used.
Do I have to fix a decayed baby tooth since it will be replaced?
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.
When will my child lose their teeth?
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.
Is it better to drink diet soda rather than regular soda?
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.
What can I do if my dentures are loose?
Loose dentures, are ill fitting dentures. Many times a reline can make them fit again. Sometimes the bony support under the dentures is not sufficient anymore and implants can be used to stabilize the denture.
What is periodontal 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.
Can I do anything about the black line on my crown?
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.
Are X-rays safe? Are they necessary?
The radiation exposure from dental x-rays is much less than the exposure you would get from the X-rays taken by your 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.
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.
Should I change my silver fillings? Are they safe?
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.
A veneer is a thin ceramic facing that is bonded to the front of your tooth. Veneers can be used to close spaces, straighten crooked teeth and change the color of yellow or stained teeth.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a titanium fixture placed in the bone of your jaw to replace a missing tooth. The implant replaces the root structure and then a crown can be placed on top of it to replace the tooth.
Yes! Flossing removes the bacterial plaque which accumulates between your teeth. Brushing alone cannot remove this. Over time this un-cleaned bacteria can cause decay between your teeth.
Should I rinse with a mouthwash?
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.
Will a whitening toothpaste really whiten my teeth?
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.
What toothpaste should I use?
It does not matter what brand of toothpaste you use as long as it contains Fluoride. Just choose a toothpaste that has a pleasant flavor for you.
How long should I brush my teeth?
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.
When I cannot brush my teeth, is there anything that I can do to slow down acid production?
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.
What can be done for ulcers or canker sores in the mouth?
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.
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria (plaque) in your mouth which react with sugary and starchy deposits from food you eat. This reaction produces acid which damages the enamel over time and weakens the tooth.
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.
Do over-the-counter bleaching products work?
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.
Why are my teeth sensitive to cold?
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.
Bad breath or halitosis, can be caused by many things. The most common cause is the presence of bacteria in your mouth and on your tongue. These bacteria produce odorous compounds. In some cases, the cause of bad breath can be from gastrointestinal origin.
What type of insurance do you take?
We accept all PPOs. Delta Premier, Decare, Connection Dental, Ameritas, Cigna, First Dental Health, GEHA, Guardian, Liberty, Standard, United Healthcare, Metlife, Humana, Principal, CCPOA. You should always check with your insurance company to double check that we are in their network.
Is it okay if I can't make my appointment?
Sure! Just be sure to give us at least 48 hours cancellation notice to ensure that you will not be billed $45 for a missed appointment. Appointments fill up fast so the sooner the notice the better.
Why did I have to have an exam before you would whiten my teeth?
The whitening process that we use in the dental office is far more invasive than those you can buy in the pharmacy. If you have gum disease and cavities the bleach will be extremely painful and possibly unbearable. Only once your mouth is completely free and devoid of these things can you proceed with the bleaching process.
Who is a candidate for oral sedation dentistry?
If you have anxiety or fear about going to the dentist you are a candidate for sedation dentistry. If you have a fear of pain, have had a traumatic dental experience in the past, or the sounds and smells of a dental office make you nauseous, sedation dentistry can help you get over your anxiety.
Some people have physical reasons, like a bad gag reflex or very sensitive teeth, which make them a candidate for sedation dentistry as well. If you are not sure if you are a candidate ask your dentist.
Will I be unconscious for oral sedation?
No, but you will be in a deep state of relaxation during your treatment. You will still be able to breathe on your own and communicate, but you will not feel any pain or anxiety. You may not even remember the procedure afterwards.
How long will I be sedated?
Sedation can last from about 2-6 hours depending on the strength of sedative you are given and how long your procedure takes.
Am I monitored during oral sedation?
Yes, at all times during your sedation someone will be with you. We also monitor your vitals to make sure they remain at a normal level. Safety is of the utmost importance to us.
Are there any long term effects of sedation?
No. You will feel a little groggy and "out of it" after some forms of sedation, but after a few hours you will feel like yourself again. You will need to have someone drive you home from your appointment in these cases.
What procedures can be performed under sedation dentistry?
Just about any procedure can be performed with sedation. The sedation is not for the procedure itself, but for the anxiety that accompanies the procedure. Ask your dentist if sedation is available for a particular procedure.
If opt for oral sedation, how many appointments will I need to complete my dental work?
In most cases it only takes two appointments. The first appointment will be a consultation to check your health history and make sure you are a candidate for sedation. The next appointment will be to perform the necessary procedures. This can usually be done in one appointment, but may require a follow up visit.
Will my insurance cover sedation dentistry?
In most cases it will not be covered by your insurance provider. We will review your insurance coverage and let you know if it is covered or not. If it is not covered, we will let you know the cost and, if necessary, we can put together a financing plan for you.
Want to see your question answered? Email Dr. Truong at DrHoangTruong@gmail.com