Dental Basics

DO´s and DON´Ts

Dental Basic

Do see your dentist at least every six months for a general checkup and cleaning.

DON’T bite pens, chew ice or other hard items such as popcorn kernels, or use your teeth as tools. These habits can chip a tooth’s enamel or crack the tooth itself. They may also damage fillings, crowns, or other restorations.

Do wear a mouthguard when you play sports. Professional athletes wear mouthguards to protect their teeth from injury and so should you.

DON’T smoke or chew tobacco. Besides staining the teeth, tobacco contributes to gum disease and can cause oral cancer.

Do watch how much coffee and tea you drink.
Excessive amounts can stain your teeth.

DON´T grind or clench your teeth. Many adults take out stress on their jaws and teeth without realizing it.

This habit is called bruxism and can seriously damage and wear down your teeth. Consult your dentist if you notice any of these warning signs: pain when chewing, a tired jaw when you wake up, and unexplained headaches. Your dentist may suggest that you wear a custom—made mouthguard at night or may prescribe other treatments.

Do get enough flouride. Adults as well as children benefit from flouride to help prevent decay.
Ask your dentist how to get the proper amount.
Common sources of fluoride are: fluoridated water; toothpastes and rinses, professional topical treatments; or prescription drops, gels, or tablets.

Do watch for early warn signs of oral cancer and ask your dentist howto do self-exams at home. Most oral cancers can be cured if caught early. Be on the lookout for abnormal growths, white or velvety red patches in the mouth, persistent sores or swelling, repeated bleeding, or a numb or painful area. You can also reduce your risk by avoiding tobacco and prolonged exposure to the sun, eating a balanced diet, using alcohol in moderation, and practicing good oral hygiene.

Common questions

What is tartar?

Tartar (or calculus) is a yellow or brown crusty, mineralized plaque. It can contribute to gum disease and can be removed only by a dental professional.

I’ve never had a cavity, so why do I need regular checkups?
Dentists check for more than decay during exams. They look for early signs of gum disease, oral cancer, and other problems.

Are X-rays necessary?

X-rays reveal problems that dentists can’t see with the naked eye, such as decay between teeth or damage to the bone caused by gum disease.

Early detection of these and other problems can prevent extensive damage and avoid expensive treatments. Your dentist will decide how often you need X-rays. During X-ray, you will wear a leaded apron to help reduce the negligible radiation to which you will be exposed. If you’re pregnant or think you may be, tell your dentist or hygienist. In many cases, X—rays can be delayed until after the baby is born.

What should I do if I chip a tooth or one is knocked out?

If a tooth is chipped, clean the injured toothwith warm water. See your dentist as soon as possible and take any broken pieces; he or she may be able to bond them back onto the tooth. If a tooth is knocked out, pick it up by the crown (or top), not the more delicate root and rinse it off. Then place the tooth in milk, or wrap it in a damp cloth. It you get to the dentist within a half-hour, there’s a 90 percent chance that the tooth can be replanted.

Will my mouth change as I get older?

Your oral tissues do change as you age. Some common problems are:

Dry mouth. Medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, and diuretics can cause dry mouth, which increases your risk for cavities because they reduce the saliva that washes away bacteria. Your dentist may suggest treatments such as artificial saliva or sugar-free candy to stimulate saliva.
Root caries. Your gums often recede as you age, exposing the root and making root caries (or root decay) more likely. Root caries also can make teeth more sensitive. Your dentist might prescribe fluoride therapy and ask you to avoid sugary foods and drinks.
Darkening teeth. This is a natural process as you age. Ask your dentist about bleaching, which may lighten your teeth.

My child just got braces. Is it too late for me?

Although teeth may take longer to move than your chi|d’s, orthodontic treatment can be just as effective. In fact, more than one of four patients receiving orthodontic treatment are adults. Today, braces are smaller, more comfortable, and less noticeable.

What is an implant?

It is an artificial substitution of one or more teeth. Implants help avoid bone loss, provide comfort and a natural look, and eliminate the need for dentures.

At what age can one have an implant?

Implants can be placed at the age of 18 years, depending on the patient’s bone condition. »

Is there a remedy for significant bone loss?

Yes, bone can be substituted.

What material is used for implants?
Titanium. Im