Decay occurs when plague, the sticky substance that forms on teeth, combines with the sugars and / or starches of foods we eat. This combination produces acids that attack tooth enamel. The best way to prevent tooth decay is to brush twice a day and floss daily. Eating healthy foods and avoiding snacks and drinks that are high in sugar are also ways to prevent decay.
You should floss your teeth at least once a day. Flossing between teeth removes food debris and plaque that toothbrushes can't reach. Plaque causes tooth decay and can lead to gum disease. Another great reason to floss is that recent studies have shown that flossing helps prevent a heart attack or stroke - may sound strange but it's true!
Adults and children should change their toothbrush every three months because they become worn out and lose their effectiveness. Exceptions to this would be if you were using an electric toothbrush and the manufacturer states otherwise. Some electric rechargeable toothbrushes have very good brush heads that only need to be changed every six months. If you have gum disease, you should change your toothbrush every 4 – 6 weeks because bacteria can harbor in the bristles. You should always rinse your toothbrush out with hot water after every use and change it after you’ve been sick.
Bruxism is the clenching and / or grinding of your teeth, especially at night. Clenching refers to tightly clamping your top and bottom teeth together. The force of clenching causes stressful pressure on muscles, tissues, and jaw. Jaw disorders, jaw pain, soreness, headaches, earaches, damaged teeth, and other problems can result from Bruxism. If clenching causes jaw pain, it can disrupt sleeping and eating, lead to other dental problems, or create TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problems. (The TMJ is the joint that connects the jaw to the skull.) Nightly grinding can also disturb sleeping partners. Your dentist can make a clear night guard for you to sleep in to alleviate clenching or grinding.
The main difference between silver and white dental fillings is the material used. Silver (amalgam) fillings consist of 50% mercury and 50% other various metals. White (composite) fillings are made up of acrylic and various glass particles. Other differences in silver and white fillings are cost, strength, and appearance.
Most children and adults should see their dentist for a regular cleaning and check up every six months. People at a greater risk for oral diseases should have dental check-ups more than twice a year. Tobacco and alcohol use, diabetes, pregnancy, periodontal and gum disease, poor oral hygiene, and certain medical conditions are some of the many factors that your dentist takes into consideration when deciding how often you need dental cleaning and a check-up.
It would be reasonable to expect that a dental crown could last between five and fifteen years. Most likely a crown that has only lasted five years would be somewhat of a disappointment to your dentist. It’s probably their hope that any crown they make for you will last ten years or longer. Depending upon the general wear and tear the crown is exposed to (chewing and biting forces, accidental trauma, tooth grinding) and how well you keep the tooth free of dental plaque, a crown can last somewhat indefinitely.
Generally, immediately after bleaching, the color will fade slightly and then remain stable for approximately six months to a year, sometimes longer. For maintenance, it’s recommended to touch up your smile every four to six months with one or two applications.
All bleaching agents used to whiten teeth will only work on natural tooth structure. This means that all dental work including but not limited to bonding, veneers, crowns (caps), and bridges will NOT bleach or whiten. All dental work would need to be replaced to match the newly whitened teeth.
Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. However, other factors can contribute to periodontal disease as well. These include: medications that lessen the flow of saliva, smoking, poor oral hygiene, and a family history of gum disease.
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