Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to Smile n Shine Dental! Discover answers to all your dental-related problems here – Your source for a brighter smile and healthier teeth.
What type of toothbrush and toothpaste should I use?
Both powered and manual toothbrushes clean teeth well. Manual brushes with mixed bristle heights or angled bristles clean better than those with all flat, even bristles. Powered toothbrushes may be easier if you have trouble using your hands.
Set a reminder to replace your toothbrush every 3 months. Toss it sooner if the bristles look bent or splayed out. Bent bristles don’t clean as well. (They’re also a sign you may be brushing too hard.)
Most toothpastes will clear away bacteria growth and acids from food and drinks..
If cold or hot food or drinks make you cringe, pick toothpaste for sensitive teeth and let your dentist know.
Do I really need to floss or interdental brush?
There’s no getting around the need to get around your teeth daily with dental floss. It clears food and plaque from between teeth and under the gumline. If you don’t, plaque hardens into tartar, which forms wedges and widens the space between teeth and gums, causing pockets. Over time, gums pull away and teeth loosen.
Either waxed or unwaxed floss will do the job. Using floss picks or interdental brushes is another easy option.
Does a rinse or mouthwash help?
Mouthwashes for cavity protection, sensitivity, and fresh breath may help when you use them with regular brushing and flossing — but not instead of daily cleanings. Your dentist can recommend the best type for you.
Some people need twice-daily rinses for gum health or alcohol-free washes for dry mouth.
Kids under 6 shouldn’t use mouthwash to avoid the chance of them swallowing it.
Are dental X-rays safe and needed?
Medical and dental experts study the use of X-rays and set limits for their safety. Advancements in technology means today’s digital X-rays release much less radiation and are safer than in the past.
Kids have more X-rays done than adults because their teeth are changing and because they get cavities more easily.
How can I fix my teeth and smile?
Caps and crowns cover problem teeth by surrounding them with a material that looks like a real tooth. They use the root and inside of the tooth as a base to build on, and then attach them with special cement.
Veneers and bonding improve your smile by sticking a layer of smoother and whiter materials like porcelain or resin to the natural tooth.
Talk with your dentist about which fix is right for you.
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics) is a specialized form of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities.
Who is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received three years of additional training and experience for alignment of teeth and jaw corrections.
What’s the best age to visit the orthodontist?
If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great time to see the orthodontist. Children first visit to an orthodontist should be around the age of seven; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens.
How can I take care of my teeth if I’m wearing braces or a retainer?
- Always remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
- Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride and fluoride rinse.
- If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep your retainer safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
- Keep your retainer clean by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Do not put your retainer in boiling water or in the dishwasher.
- During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar, which increases the number of bacteria that grows in your mouth, and can cause more plaque and potential cavities.
- Avoid sticky and chewy foods (chips, chewing gum,), hard foods (nuts, snacks), or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces.
What are braces?
Braces are used by an orthodontist to help you improve the look and feel of your smile. There are several different types of braces to choose from, including:
- Metal braces
- Ceramic braces
- Self-ligating braces
- Invisible braces or aligners
If I get braces, how long do I have to wear them?
The amount of time spent in braces will vary, depending on the individual patient, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere from 6 to 15months, but most standard treatments last about 12 months.
Do braces hurt?
Braces do not often hurt, though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a couple days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces.
What is a root canal and why do I need root canal treatment?
Endodontic (root canal) treatment treats the inside of the tooth. Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, faulty crowns, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, trauma to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
During root canal treatment, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected, then filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Afterward, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling for protection. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.
Is root canal treatment painful?
Today, getting root canal treatment is often no more uncomfortable than having a filling, and in fact, it doesn’t cause pain but actually relieves it. Advances have made the treatment a virtually pain-free experience, many times accomplished in a single visit. Endodontist understand a great deal about pain management. With modern techniques and anesthetics, the vast majority of patients report that they are comfortable during the procedure.