Impacted Canines

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about dentistry and oral health issues.  If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.

Click on a question below to see the answer.

Having bad breath is a fear that many of us have. Sometimes you might have bad breath and not even know.

If you have bad breath, knowing the cause can help you eliminate and avoid it. The biggest thing in eliminating bad breath is to maintain good oral hygiene. Brushing/scraping your tongue is especially important because it’s easy for bacteria to get stuck and spread, especially on the back of the tongue.

Causes of bad breath:

  • Dry Mouth – This is the main factor behind morning breath. Mouth breathers may struggle with dry mouth more. Lack of saliva in the mouth promotes bacterial growth. The bacteria leave a not-so-pleasant smell.
  • Plaque – Plaque is also bacteria that builds up around the teeth.
  • Periodontitis – This gum disease makes it easy for food and bacteria to get stuck under inflamed gums.
  • Tonsil Stones – These are calcified lumps that form from food and bacteria that are lodged in the tonsils. They can contribute to bad breath.
  • Food – Eating flavorful or smelly food can contribute to bad breath.
  • Tobacco – Tobacco products can damage teeth and cause bad breath by drying out the mouth.
  • Cavities – Tooth decay can lead to bad breath.
  • Underlying Medical Condition – Certain diseases and illnesses can contribute to bad breath.

How to prevent bad breath:

  • Good Oral Hygiene – Making sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes and floss at least once a day is crucial. Make sure you also brush or scrape your tongue and rinse your mouth. Brushing after every meal can really minimize bad breath.
  • Adjust Diet – Eliminating certain foods from your diet will reduce bad breath.
  • See Your Dentist Regularly – Seeing your dentist every six months for a cleaning and checkup is important. Help catch cavities early and get your teeth clean from any buildup that has occured overtime.
  • Use Anti-Bacterial Products – Using mouthwash and toothpaste that kill bacteria will help eliminate plaque and other bacterial growth.

Consult with your dentist if bad breath persists.

Brushing and flossing your teeth are the fundamental parts of good oral hygiene. Doing these things correctly minimizes plaque buildup on the teeth and other bacteria in the mouth. Excessive plaque and bacteria buildup will lead to worse dental problems in the future (e.g. cavities).

How to brush:

The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes with a soft bristled brush. Be sure to use an appropriate sized brush for your mouth. You should be able to reach every area of the mouth easily.

Replace your toothbrush every 3 months or once the bristles are fraying. Once a toothbrush is worn out, it is much less effective at cleaning. You should also use ADA approved fluoride toothpaste.

  • Brush your teeth with your brush at a 45° angle.
  • Move your toothbrush back and forth in small strokes gently against all surfaces of your teeth.
  • Tilt the brush vertically to brush the inner surfaces of your front teeth. Move the tooth brush in an up and down motion.
  • Make sure to clean your tongue as well. If you do not have a tongue scraper, you can also use your toothbrush to scrub your tongue.

How to floss:

Flossing is important to remove food and bacteria from in-between the teeth and gums. Neglecting to floss correctly is one of the leading causes of cavities as it allows bacteria to erode the tooth over time.

  • Start with about 18 inches of floss. Wrap the ends of the floss around both of your middle fingers and leave 1-2 inches of floss unwrapped.
  • Grip to floss on either side with your index fingers and thumbs. Pull it tightly.
  • Gently slide the floss back and forth between every tooth. Make sure to get beneath the gum to get out any lodged food and bacteria.
  • Do not force the floss in and out from in-between teeth to avoid damaging your gums. Move the floss back and forth to enter and exit in-between teeth.
  • As you move between teeth, adjust the floss to a clean section for every tooth.

How to Rinse:

Rinsing your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash can help kill bacteria and clean the parts of your mouth that your toothbrush can’t.

  • Pour around 20 milliliters of antiseptic mouth wash into the cap of the bottle.
  • Empty the cap into your mouth and swish for around for 30 seconds. Gargle the mouthwash to reach the back of your tongue and throat.
  • After 30 seconds, spit the mouthwash into the sink.

Amalgam is a mix of copper, silver, tin, and zinc. Mercury is used to bind these ingredients together. This method of teeth filling has been used for more than a century, but there are some health concerns people have regarding the use of mercury in the mixture.

The FDA states that the mercury in dental amalgam emits low levels of mercury vapor that can be inhaled and absorbed by the lungs. High levels of the vapor are known to have bad effects on the brain and kidneys. However, the FDA considers dental amalgam fillings safe for anyone over the age of six due to the levels of mercury being so low. Studies have found no link in health problems and these fillings.

It is recommended that you go to the dentist every 6 months. Talk with your dentist and dental hygienist to figure out the best schedule for you.

Having regular dental checkups and cleanings is important in making sure your mouth stays healthy! The dentist and hygienist will clean your teeth and check for any problems (such as cavities). They might also be able to catch more serious things such as:

  • Oral Cancer
  • Gum Disease
  • Tooth Decay
  • Bone Loss

We are here to help make sure you are healthy, and to keep you healthy. Regular appointments are a must to maintain the good oral health we strive to help you achieve.

Gum disease is extremely common, and most people don’t even realize they have it! This is a reason why it’s important to have regular dental cleanings and check-ups. Gum disease (in its early stages) can show little to no symptoms.

Gum disease is caused by excessive bacteria, usually as a result of poor oral hygiene. Advanced gum disease can lead to losing teeth and even bone loss.

Stages of gum disease:

    1. Gingivitis: A tell-tale symptom of gingivitis is redness and swelling of the gums. Catch gum disease here to avoid more complicated treatment and surgery in the future.
    1. Chronic Periodontitis: Symptoms here include receding gums and space forming between the gums and teeth. This is more common in people over 35.
    1. Aggressive Periodontitis: With aggressive periodontitis, you may notice excess plaque buildup, red and swollen gums, bleeding gums, pus, and bad breath.
    1. Necrotizing Periodontitis: The most severe type of gum disease. Symptoms of necrotizing periodontitis include tissue damage, damage to ligaments and bone loss. This stage of gum disease is more common in people who smoke, are malnourished, or have a compromised immune system.

Make sure you maintain good oral hygiene, eat a balanced diet, and visit your dentist regularly to minimize the risk of getting gum disease.

We all know how important it is to brush our teeth. However, something that a lot of people neglect to do is floss! Your toothbrush is unable to clean the tight spaces between your teeth and under your gum line. Not flossing allows living bacteria to spread and cause gum disease and tooth decay.

How to floss:

  • Start with about 18 inches of floss. Wrap the ends around both of your middle fingers and leave 1-2 inches of floss unwrapped.
  • Grip to floss on either side with your index fingers and thumbs. Pull it tightly.
  • Gently slide the floss back and forth between every tooth. Make sure to get beneath the gum to get out any lodged food and bacteria.
  • Do not force the floss in and out from in-between teeth to avoid damaging your gums. Move the floss back and forth to enter and exit in-between teeth.
  • As you move between teeth, adjust the floss to a clean section for every tooth.

Floss daily to minimize plaque buildup and keep a healthy smile!

Dental implants are metal posts or frames that act as tooth roots. They are surgically inserted into or onto the jawbone. Once inserted, the artificial teeth are mounted directly onto them using a connector called an abutment.

Your jawbone heals and fuses with the implants. This allows for extra stability and support that is especially helpful when eating and talking. Although the teeth are artificial, they still require brushing and flossing like regular teeth.

Healthy gums are essential for dental implant surgery. On top of that, it is also important to have good bone support for the implants. Keeping up on oral hygiene is extremely important to keep your implants healthy.

There are two types of dental implants:

    • Endosteal Implants: These implants are inserted directly into the jaw bone and require another surgery before being able to insert the post that the tooth will attach to.
    • Subperiosteal Implants: These implants are frames that are inserted onto the jaw bone that will bind with the bone as your gums heal. Posts are then attached to this frame. The teeth are put onto this post.

Dental implant surgery is safe and has been used successfully for decades. Implants with crowns provide a natural look and feel that can help boost confidence and comfort.

Around half of Americans admit to being at least somewhat self-conscious of their teeth. If you are feeling self-conscious about your smile, there are cosmetic treatments you may be able to implement to boost your confidence and improve your smile!

Depending on what you’re looking for, there are tons of cosmetic procedures that can do anything from fix a chipped tooth or whitening, to drastically changing your entire smile! Talk to your dentist to find out which procedure would work best for the smile you want to achieve.

Different Cosmetic Procedures

Teeth Whitening: Teeth can become stained from dark liquids (such as coffee and soda), food, and smoking. Bleaching can lighten these stains and help restore your pearly whites! Bleaching effectiveness may vary based on the degree of staining.

Tooth Colored Fillings: Composite fillings are growing more in popularity and are often used over silver (amalgam) fillings these days. Composite fillings are also effective at fixing chipped or broken teeth, filling in gaps and protecting exposed roots often as a result of gum recession.

Porcelain Veneers: Porcelain Veneers go over the face of your tooth and are effective at covering chips, discolored teeth, and even misaligned teeth. They are custom made to match your desired level of whiteness or to match surrounding teeth. Veneers do not require much manipulation of the actual tooth to apply.

Porcelain Crowns: Crowns are caps that go over the entire tooth to bring it back to its original shape and size. Crowns can be used with dental implants and provide a more “real” feel that other solutions like dentures.

Dental Implants: These are little metal pipes that are surgically inserted into the jawbone and act like tooth roots. These can be used to replace anywhere from one missing tooth to all of them. Once healed from surgery, crowns or dentures can be specially made to fit the implants. These are more sturdy that removable solutions.

Orthodontics: Braces have been around for a long time, but a lot of people don’t like the thought of walking around with metal in their mouth, especially adults. Nowadays, it is possible to get your teeth straightened and have them look almost no different during the process. Hard to see wires and brackets are available in place of traditional braces, and some people may be able to get invisible, removable trays that are custom fit to your teeth and don’t require braces to straighten at all.

These days, you can rest assured that certain cosmetic treatments can be used to make your smile perfect for you!

Porcelain Veneers are individually made to fit perfectly over the face of your tooth. They are a popular choice in people seeking to improve their smile due to their durability and stain resistance.

Veneers are effective at covering

  • Chips
  • Discolored teeth
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Light crowding

Because veneers are made to fit perfectly over the faces of your teeth, a mold is required to make them. Once your veneers are completed are ready to go on, your dentist will lightly shave and shape the surface of the actual tooth to make up for the thin veneer. The veneer is then cemented onto the tooth to set it in place. This procedure usually involves little to no discomfort at all.

Teeth naturally discolor as we age and our enamel wears away. Drinking dark or colorful liquids, smoking, eating certain foods and even some medication can also contribute heavily to tooth discoloration.

There are many different methods to whitening teeth. One you can do at home with a gel or strip that you keep on your teeth for a certain amount of time per session. This usually has to be done daily for an extended period of time to see any major differences in color.

Another method can be done by your dentist. This is when your dentist will apply a bleaching solution to the surface of your teeth while keeping your gums covered. This method will allow you to see results after the first visit. However, multiple visits may be required to achieve your desired level of whiteness.

Tooth sensitivity is not uncommon directly after any whitening treatment due to penetration of the teeth. This discomfort will usually go away within a few days.

With more and more people becoming concerned with the whiteness of their teeth, make sure to talk with your dentist to see what your best option is. Sometimes when stains are too hard to lift, veneers can be a good alternative.