- How often should I see a dentist?
Adults should see a dentist for a checkup and cleaning every six months. Children should start seeing a dentist as soon as they get their first tooth, or around age one.
2. What are the best ways to brush and floss my teeth?
The best way to brush your teeth is to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. Be sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the front, back, and chewing surfaces. Floss once a day to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth.
3. What is a cavity?
A cavity is a hole in a tooth that is caused by tooth decay. Tooth decay is a disease that is caused by bacteria that live in your mouth. When you eat sugary foods and drinks, the bacteria produce acids that attack your teeth. If the acids are not removed, they can cause cavities.
4. What is gum disease?
Gum disease is a serious infection of the gums that can lead to tooth loss. Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. If plaque is not removed, it can harden into tartar. Tartar can irritate your gums and cause them to bleed. If gum disease is not treated, it can lead to bone loss and tooth loss.
5. What is a root canal?
A root canal is a procedure to remove the infected pulp from a tooth. The pulp is the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. If the pulp becomes infected, it can cause pain and lead to tooth loss. A root canal can save a tooth that would otherwise have to be extracted.
6. What is a crown?
A crown is a cap that is placed over a tooth to restore its shape, strength, and appearance. A crown is often used to repair a tooth that has been damaged by decay, fracture, or a root canal.
7. What is a bridge?
A bridge is a dental appliance that is used to replace one or more missing teeth. A bridge consists of two crowns that are connected by a false tooth. The crowns are cemented to the teeth on either side of the missing tooth.
8. What is an implant?
An implant is a tooth root that is surgically placed into the jawbone. A false tooth is then attached to the implant. Implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth.
9. What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the correction of crooked or misaligned teeth. Orthodontic treatment can be used to improve the appearance of your smile and to make it easier to clean your teeth.
10. What is a retainer?
A retainer is a device that is used to hold your teeth in place after orthodontic treatment. Retainer are usually worn at night, but some people may need to wear them during the day as well.
11. What is a nightguard?
A nightguard is a device that is worn at night to protect your teeth from grinding. Grinding is a common habit that can damage your teeth and cause headaches.
12. What is a fluoride treatment?
Fluoride is a mineral that can help to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride can be applied to your teeth in a number of ways, including:
- Fluoride toothpaste
- Fluoride mouthwash
- Fluoride rinse
- Fluoride gels
- Fluoride varnish
- What is a sealant?
A sealant is a clear or colored coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Sealants can help to prevent tooth decay by filling in the tiny grooves on your teeth where plaque can collect.
14. What is a whitening treatment?
A whitening treatment can be used to make your teeth whiter. There are a number of different whitening treatments available, including:
- Over-the-counter whitening strips
- In-office whitening treatments
- Laser whitening treatments
- What is a dental emergency?
A dental emergency is a situation that requires immediate dental care. Some common dental emergencies include:
- A toothache
- A loose tooth
- A chipped tooth
- A broken tooth
- Bleeding gums
- Swelling of the face or mouth
If you have a dental emergency, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible.