Frequently Asked Questions
It usually takes 4 to 6 months for tartar to build up on your teeth and gums. The main reason behind this is because some sections of your mouth are hard to reach. For instance, flossing and cleaning your molars is a difficult task. Visiting a dentist after every 6 months lowers your risk of tooth decay. These checkups are also useful to detect early signs of oral cancer. Therefore, people who smoke and drink quite often should opt for dental checkups in every 6 months. However, dentists may recommend that some patients come in for cleanings every 3 months based on their risk factors.
Because your salivary glands under the tongue are located close to your bottom front teeth, that pool of saliva under your tongue is constantly bathing plaque around the gum lines of your lower front teeth. the minerals in your saliva deposit on the plaque biofilm, leading to tartar development.
The scaling and polishing done by a dentist, or a dental hygienist does not have any detrimental effect to your teeth’s enamel. Having a scale and clean done can feel like teeth are being damaged or over-scraped. The scraping sound and sensation of the cleaning tool can also be uncomfortable, but it is a myth that dental cleaning will damage teeth.
Ultrasonic teeth scalers are completely safe and do not damage the enamel. The scaling tip vibrates and follows a pattern depending on power rating. The water is energised as it passes over the tip to provide cavitation which means the formation of bubbles filled with water vapour rather than air. This process will release a burst of heat and pressure. This energy loosens the tartar build-up, and the water works as coolant.
The main cause of bleeding gums is the buildup of plaque at the gum line. This will lead to a condition called gingivitis, or inflamed gums. Plaque that is not removed will harden into tartar. This will lead to increased bleeding and a more advanced form of gum and jawbone disease known as periodontitis.
Other causes of bleeding gums can be:
- Any bleeding disorders.
- Brushing too hard.
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy.
- Ill-fitting dental restorations or appliances.
- Infection, which can be either in a tooth or the gum.
- Leukemia, a type of blood cancer.
- Scurvy, a vitamin C deficiency.
Fluoride is safe in low doses. Excessive exposure to Fluoride in early childhood can lead to tooth discolouration and bone problems. Fluoride is available in water, supplements, and foods; kids benefit from it while the teeth haven’t emerged from the gum line. After the teeth appear, topical application of recommended dose is used to strengthen the enamel and reduce the risk of cavities.
It is totally safe to have dental treatment throughout pregnancy. The rising hormone levels during pregnancy causes the gums to swell, bleed and trap food which can lead to gum disease or tooth decays. Untreated decay and gum disease can lead to infections, which can be a risk to you and your baby. However, the second trimester is the best trimester in which to get dental treatment. In the first trimester it may be hard to tolerate dental treatment if the patient suffers from morning sickness, and in the third trimester the patient might have a hard time laying back for extended period. For the most part, there is no medical need to defer most common dental treatments until after pregnancy.
It is totally safe to have local anaesthetic for dental treatment while pregnant.
The first dental visit is recommended by 12 months of age, or within 6 months of the first tooth coming in.
Whitening toothpastes are designed to remove surface stains with certain chemical agents and abrasives. While yes, it is possible that these get rid of discolouration, it’s also possible that if you use them too often, it could thin your enamel too, which may lead to teeth sensitivity and even more discolouration.
Incorrect or excessive use of Hydrogen peroxide used in tooth whitening products can cause damage to your teeth. Your dentist will assess your teeth and prescribe the right product and frequency that will be effective and most importantly safe for your teeth.
Dental X-rays are important because they give your dentist the whole picture. They help your dentist see the condition of your whole teeth, between your teeth and the jawbone composition. There are many different types of dental X-rays, including intraoral (taken inside your mouth) and extraoral (taken outside your mouth). Dental X-rays are essential for early detection of oral and dental diseases.
Dental X-rays use a very low level of radiation and are safe to have especially with the use of digital radiography. On average, your body is exposed to 3.1 millisieverts (mSv) of natural radiation alone per year. At. 005 mSv, the radiation you receive from a dental X-ray is less than 1.6% of your daily background radiation exposure. You are exposed to the same level of radiation just from sunlight each day.
One aeroplane flight across the country gives you more radiation exposure than X-rays and eating ten bananas exposes you to as much radiation as one X-ray! Basically, while dental X-rays expose you to some radiation, the benefits of having them performed outweigh the risks.
Adults with restored teeth such as fillings, implants, crowns and bridges, dental x-rays are recommended to have X-rays every 12 – 18 months to check for underlying problems. Healthy adults can have intra-oral X-rays every 2-3 years and extra-oral X-rays every 3-5 years.
Minor dental pain can sometimes stem from a piece of food just being stuck between the teeth and putting pressure on the gums. However, a vanishing toothache can also be a sign that a much more serious dental problem is brewing, one that will result in much more pain later.
If the pain suddenly stops, it probably means that the nerve inside the tooth has died. If you are on antibiotics, the infection may have temporarily subsided, but it will come back worse than before. Your tooth will continue to decay, and you will continue to lose the surrounding jawbone.
Some people might experience temporary, minor discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This is normal and is typically described as a feeling of pressure. It’s a sign that the Invisalign aligners are sequentially moving your teeth to their final positions. This discomfort usually goes away a couple of days after you insert the new aligner in the series.
You should remove your aligners to consume anything except for water. Leaving aligners on while drinking may stain them, and you may risk developing tooth decay while consuming fluids with sugar in them.
No, you can usually eat what you want while in treatment because the Invisalign aligners are removed when eating or drinking. Thus, there’s no need to refrain from your favourite foods and drinks unless instructed by your doctor. However, it’s recommended that you floss and brush your teeth after each meal and prior to re-inserting your aligners to maintain proper oral hygiene. You should not eat food or chew gums with your aligners in.
Each case is different, and it is determined upon your individual needs. Your age, the condition of the implant site including the state of the bone and aesthetic requirements may affect the cost of treatment. Dental implants are an investment in your quality of life, appearance, and health. Implants do not decay or corrode; they do not get toothaches and therefore in the long run cost less than the alternative restorative dentistry if they are well-fitted and cared for.