HOW CAN I MAKE MY SMILE WHITER AND BRIGHTER?
There are two main ways to whiten your teeth. The first is a take home professional whitening kit that consists of custom made bleaching trays and whitening gel. The second is by in office treatment with technology such as the ZOOM! teeth whitening system which can make your teeth an average of 8 shades whiter in just a little over an hour. Whichever method is chosen, you’ll end up with a brighter and more beautiful smile.
IS IT BAD TO WHITEN MY TEETH AND WILL IT MAKE THEM SENSITIVE?
Bleaching your teeth will not harm them in any way. In some patients, bleaching can cause some sensitivity, but it usually does not last longer than 24 hours, and there are several methods that can decrease any sensitivity that may be felt.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO BRUSH MY TEETH?
When you brush your teeth, the first thing to remember is to use a soft bristled toothbrush which is healthier and less abrasive to your teeth. You should hold the brush at a 45 degree angle, brush in a circular motion away from the gumline, and avoid scrubbing your teeth back and forth. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and at night before bedtime.
WHAT TYPE OF TOOTHBRUSH SHOULD I USE?
You should always use a soft bristled toothbrush. If you have a tendency to “scrub” your teeth back and forth, you should consider an electric toothbrush which will prevent possible damage from abrasion.
IS USING MOUTHWASH JUST AS EFFECTIVE AS FLOSSING?
Absolutely not! Plaque and other food that can become trapped between your teeth is not able to be removed just by swishing mouthwash around. Mouthwash is effective at lowering bacterial growth in your mouth, but in order to remove debris from your teeth, you need to floss (as well as brush!) daily.
HOW IMPORTANT IS FLOSSING, AND HOW OFTEN SHOULD I FLOSS?
Flossing is extremely important and is just as important as brushing. When you eat, food becomes stuck between your teeth which cannot be removed by brushing because the bristles are too large to get in those tight spaces. You should floss your teeth at least once a day.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I HAVE MY TEETH CLEANED?
Most patients should have their teeth cleaned every 6 months. For patients who have had previous periodontal (gum) problems, teeth should be cleaned more frequently such as every 3 to 4 months.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DENTAL X-RAYS?
With the use of dental x-rays, dentists are able to find cavities that can hide between teeth or underneath crowns. Some of these cavities otherwise would not be able to be detected with an exam. X-rays can also show dentists your bone level and tartar buildup that may be hiding underneath your gums. They are also able to detect other bone abnormalities.
EVEN IF MY TOOTH DOESN’T HURT, COULD IT STILL HAVE A CAVITY?
Yes, it could. Most cavities will not hurt at the early stages. Eventually, as the cavity becomes larger, deeper, and closer to the nerve, your tooth will start to become sensitive to cold and sweets and may eventually begin to hurt.