Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Health
What is plaque?
Plaque is a soft, invisible bacterial film that builds up on teeth. It can be removed by brushing and flossing on a daily basis. If left on the teeth for more than 24 hours it will need to be professionally removed.
What is tartar?
Tartar is what forms from the lack of brushing and flossing. Tartar (the dental term is calculus) is plaque that has hardened/adhered to the tooth both above and below the gums. A professional cleaning is the only way to remove tartar (calculus).
What is a root canal?
A root canal is when the nerve inside your tooth is removed.
Why would someone need a root canal?
A root canal may be required due to a deep cavity, fractured tooth, leaking filling or trauma. The nerve in the tooth could be inflamed or have an abscess. In order to save the tooth it is therefore sometimes necessary to proceed with a root canal.
Why is it important to keep all my teeth?
Teeth fit together like puzzle pieces. Each tooth guides and functions with the next. If a tooth is lost, teeth remaining on either side tip inward or drift and create unwanted spaces. The teeth above the space drift down or up as it has nothing to stop it from doing so. Whatever does happen, ultimately your bite has changed and is no longer in its natural state. Strain may occur causing permanent damage to your jaw joint. (Other problems may also occur …)
How old should my child be when they have their first visit with the dentist?
Ideally we see your child for the first time by the age of three. By this age most or all primary (baby) teeth are present. We are hoping their first visit to us is fun and easy. However, before this visit if there are any concerns or questions do not hesitate to call and ask.
Why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?
Your gums may be inflamed and swollen, therefore even the softest toothbrushes can irritate the tissues and make them bleed. When pressure of the toothbrush is applied the blood easily escapes from the weakened gum tissue. Most times our gums get inflamed and swollen because of a plaque or tartar build-up. It is not ok to allow your gums to continue bleeding. You may require immediate attention by your dentist and follow up with daily brushing and flossing. This will not go away on its own. If left untreated bone loss is inevitable.
What is TMJ?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. It is where the lower jaw is joined to the skull. If you have a problem with headaches, neck pain, jaw pain or similar pains it could be a TMJ problem. Sometimes referred to as TMD-temporomandibular disorder.
Will whitening hurt my teeth?
No, there may be a little bit more sensitivity to cold but it should only last for a short time.
Is whitening covered by insurance?
Insurance may apply depending on your personal dental plan.