Frequently Asked Oral Health Questions
April 22, 2020
We all want to have a healthy smile and know we’re taking proper care of it. However, this can be a confusing topic. Due to this, many questions are frequently asked related to oral health. We’ve provided answers to seven of these frequently asked questions below.
What is the best way to take care of my teeth?
To have a healthy smile, the most important thing to do is to brush your teeth for two minutes, twice daily. A pitfall to this may be brushing too hard, as doing so can irritate your gums and strip your enamel. Instead, brush gently away from the gumline, using short strokes on the outside, inside and chewing surface of each tooth.
You also need to be aware of the products you are using to care for your teeth. It is recommended to opt for soft bristle toothbrushes over medium to hard bristles, as these potentially could cause more harm to your teeth and gums. Make sure to change out your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months to keep it working properly. When picking out a toothpaste, the most important ingredient a toothpaste should have is fluoride. Fluoride helps protect teeth and strengthens enamel. If you have a specific dental issue, read more here about selecting the right toothpaste.
Do I really need to floss?
Flossing helps remove food, plaque and other debris around your gumline that regular brushing can miss. To keep your gums and mouth healthy, flossing once daily needs to be a part of your oral hygiene routine.
Is mouthwash good for you?
Mouthwash is not a necessary part of your dental hygiene routine, although it doesn’t do any harm. A majority of mouthwashes contain fluoride, which helps protect your teeth. Another benefit of mouthwash is that it can help combat bad breath.
Why do I have sensitive teeth?
Tooth sensitivity can cause pain or discomfort when consuming something hot, cold or acidic. This is a result of enamel being thinned, which lessens the protection of your teeth. Some causes of enamel erosion include:
- Receding gums
- Tooth grinding during sleep
- Chipped or fractured teeth
- Tooth whitening
Thankfully, sensitive teeth can be treated. The type of treatment will depend on what causes the sensitivity.
When should I schedule my child’s first visit?
Your child can get cavities as soon as his or her first tooth appears. So, an appointment should be scheduled as soon as that happens, or at the latest, his or her first birthday. Starting young can help ensure your child has healthy dental habits throughout his or her life.
Why Should I Have Dental X-Rays Taken?
Dental x-rays are one-way dentists examine your oral health. These x-rays are images of the interior of your teeth and gums. They can detect any potential dental problems, especially those that cannot be seen during a regular oral exam. Depending on the state of your dental health, you should get a dental x-ray every 6 months or three years. Children and those with dental issues should get an x-ray more often.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a serious gum infection that left untreated could lead to tooth loss. While plaque is the leading cause of periodontal disease, other contributing factors such as genetics, poor oral hygiene, smoking and diabetes can increase your chances of gum disease. Brushing twice daily, flossing daily and getting regular cleanings can greatly reduce your chances of getting gum disease. If you do have gum disease, it’s important to catch it early. The symptoms include:
- Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
- Receding gums
- Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
- Loose or shifting teeth
If you need more clarification about these oral health questions or if you have additional concerns, give us a call!