Q: Which type of toothbrush should I use?
A: Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, make sure the bristles are soft (usually indicated in the toothbrush packaging), the type or brand of toothbrush is not critical. Medium or hard bristles, tend to irritate your gums and cause gum recession. Also, choose a toothbrush with a small head so you can maneuver it into the smallest areas in your mouth.
Q: What is the proper way to brush my teeth?
A: The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice per day for 2 minutes each time, ideally after breakfast and before going to bed. Make sure not to scrub your teeth, instead use a gentle circular motion with your toothbrush angled at around 45 degrees towards your gums. Don’t forget the surfaces of your teeth facing the tongue and roof of the mouth! Make sure to ask us, your caring and affordable dentist and team in Lake Worth if you have any questions.
Q: What should I do if my gums are bleeding?
A: Bleeding gums are a sign of inflammation, called gingivitis. If left unattended, this could lead to periodontitis, a chronic disease of the mouth that leads to bone loss and tooth loss. If your gums are bleeding, make sure to keep brushing and flossing as this will help get rid of some of the bacteria causing the inflammation. In addition, you can rinse with warm water with salt. However, it is very important you take a trip to your local dentist since a professional teeth cleaning will be the only way to fully address the issue and catch any problems before they advance. If you would like the help of a caring dentist in Lake Worth and surrounding areas with your bleeding gums or any other dental concern, please contact us at 561-965-3933 or make an appointment by clicking here.
Q: Is one toothpaste better than others?
A: Not usually. However, do make sure that whatever toothpaste you use contains fluoride as this strengthens teeth and can help decrease the incidence of cavities.
Q: I have heard there is a toothpaste that is by prescription only. Can you tell me more?
A: Yes, there are some toothpastes that contain prescription levels of fluoride and so are only available if your dentist gives you a script. These toothpastes are usually reserved for adult patients that have a high incidence of cavities in their mouths. The toothpaste does not eliminate existing cavities, but can help minimize the number of new ones. Ask your gentle Lake Worth dentist if this is right for you.
Q: How often should I floss?
A: You should floss once per day. The time of the day is not as important as making sure you floss once every 24 hours.
Q: What is the proper way to floss?
A: Flossing should not be done in a sawing motion as most people think. It is a gentle process that involves making a “C” shape or “hugging” the tooth with the floss.
Wrap the floss around your middle fingers and hold about a 1 inch of floss between your thumb and index finger. Take the floss and insert it between 2 teeth and gently slide it until it goes under the gums (do not force it, just let it slide until it stops), Now make a “C” shape with the floss (or “Hug” the tooth) and pull up against the tooth.
Now insert the floss in between the same two teeth, but this time hug and slide against the other tooth.
Q: What’s the difference between a “crown” and a “cap”?
A: Those words are referring to the same tooth restoration. The dental term is “crown”, but some patients prefer to call the “caps”. In reality, “cap” is a more descriptive term for this type of dental technique. A “crown” or “cap” is used to cover a severely broken or decayed tooth and protect it from further breakdown. At Prestige Dental Care, your caring dentist will be able to show you models upon request.
Q: Can I get a cavity even after I had a crown/cap placed?
A: Yes. A crown does not prevent cavities from forming as its main purpose is to hold together a weakened tooth to minimize further breakdown. Make sure to maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing, flossing and going to your dentist regularly to keep your crown(s) clean.
Q: If I need a crown, do I also need a root canal?
A: Not necessarily. A crown and a root canal are separate dental procedures that don’t always go together. For example, you may need a crown because your tooth broke or a large cavity is present. Nonetheless, if the break or cavity has not reached the nerve of the tooth, a root canal may not be indicated. However, if the cavity is so large that the nerve is affected, you will need a root canal and likely a crown to protect it.
Q: What is a root canal?
A: A root canal is when the nerve of the tooth has to be removed. The nerve is removed from the tooth, including the root, and then the remaining hole is filled with a special material to seal off the access to bacteria.
Q: Is it possible that I need another root canal in the same tooth?
A: Unfortunately, yes. While root canals are successful most of the time, it is possible for a tooth to be re-infected.
Q: What is a bridge?
A: A bridge replaces missing teeth. It is made by putting crowns on 2 or more teeth and then attaching a dummy/fake crown in between them. Basically, it is a fake tooth held by 2 pillars at either end. Contrary to what some may think, this isn’t just for looks. Replacing the missing tooth helps distribute chewing forces over a bigger area and so can help decrease the load each tooth in the mouth receives, thus protecting the other teeth from being over-stressed.
Q: What’s the difference between a “bridge” and a “removable partial denture”?
A: These are both options to replace missing teeth. A bridge cannot be removed from your mouth, while a removable partial denture does have to be removed every night. A bridge acts more like a natural tooth as there will not be any rocking, which is a possibility with removable partial dentures. Most people are more satisfied with a bridge than a partial denture. Your trustworthy dentist in Lake Worth, will be able to discuss which option best fits your needs.
Q: What is a better option to replace my tooth, a bridge or an implant?
A: There are many factors that go into this decision. One factor is the fact that the implant will act like a natural tooth in the sense that it is stand-alone and you can brush it and floss as usual. For a bridge, flossing has to be done with dental threaders, which are widely available and are inexpensive. A second and important factor is that a bridge should be considered when the adjacent teeth need crowns or have large fillings already. Otherwise, if the adjacent teeth are untouched, an implant is a better option. Do not hesitate to ask your caring dentist in Lake Worth if you have any further questions about this topic.
Q: I have heard an implant requires less care than a tooth, is that correct?
A: No, that is not true. While it is true that an implant cannot get a cavity, it is very important to keep the gums and bone that hold it in your mouth as clean as possible. The bacteria that hide in your gums, can eat away at the bone and cause the implant to fall out of your mouth. After this happens, it is very hard to put another implant in the same spot and so you should treat your implants with great care and go to the dentist for regularly scheduled cleanings.
Q: If I have all my teeth removed and implants placed, do I have to go back to the dentist for check ups and cleanings?
A: Definitely. Implants require great care and even if there are no natural teeth in your mouth, a professional implant cleaning will help remove bacteria and debris from the implant surfaces. Home care alone is not sufficient for implants long-term. If the bacteria has started to eat away at the bone, your dentist can identify this and explain any relevant course of action to keep your mouth healthy.
Q: What is the difference between a silver filling and a white filling?
A: Fillings can be made of an alloy containing silver, called amalgam, or a tooth colored composite resin. Both are very safe and time tested choices. However, nowadays, most dental offices are using tooth colored resins, in part due to patient demand for higher aesthetic outcomes. One key difference is that silver fillings stay in the tooth mainly via mechanical retention, while white fillings “bond” to the tooth.
Q: My tooth got knocked out. What should I do?
A: If your or your child’s permanent tooth got knocked out, know that it can be replanted in the mouth. The first thing you should do is pick it up by the crown, or white part, and if the tooth is visibly soiled gently agitate it in a glass of room temperature or cool milk. You can replant the teeth gently into the socket or go to your dentist and have them do it for more predictable results. Transport the tooth submerged in milk or in saliva. If saliva must be used and the tooth belongs to a small child, you may want the child to spit into a container and place the tooth there, otherwise, it can be transported in the mouth. Please be careful when placing a knocked out tooth in a child’s mouth as he/she may swallow it. In these situations time is of the essence, and being able to replant the tooth within 1 hour gives the best long term results. If you need our assistance with a knocked out tooth please call us at (561) 965-3933 or click here to schedule an appointment with us.
Q: I have a toothache that is not letting me sleep, what should I do?
A: Call us at (561) 965-3933 immediately or click here to schedule an appointment. You may have an infection and if not treated appropriately could spread to other parts of your body. Your affordable dentist in Lake Worth at Prestige Dental Care, will be able to address your concerns so do not hesitate to contact us.
Q: How often do I need to schedule a dental checkup?
A: You should go see your dentist for a cleaning and checkup every 6 months. However, if you have periodontal/gum disease or other conditions, more frequent visits may be needed to maintain optimal oral health.
Q: Are x-rays really needed?
A: Yes, they are an essential diagnostic tool that help us dentists identify cavities and other conditions when the solution is simple. Otherwise, some situations may not be visible to the naked eye until it is too late and the solution is very complex or not available. Please know that our x-ray units emit very little radiation and we only take the number of x-rays that are necessary to be able to provide you with the best care possible.
Q: When should I first take my child to the dentist?
A: We recommend you bring them in at around 2-3 years old or when most of the baby teeth have erupted. Even if you take good care of your child’s teeth, it is important that their first visit to the dentist be one where there is a minimal stress. Quick and fun check ups will allow your child to feel at ease at the dentist and set a precedent for whenever they need to get actual treatment completed. Call us at (561) 965-3933 or click here to schedule an appointment with us.