Parker City Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I brush my teeth?

According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth twice a day to help remove the plaque which causes tooth decay and which can lead to gum disease. Always use a soft bristled toothbrush with a toothpaste that contains fluoride.

What causes tooth loss?

The most common causes are tooth decay and periodontal disease. Tooth decay happens when most of the tooth’s mineral makeup has been dissolved and a hole (cavity) forms. Tooth decay mainly affects children. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums caused by the buildup of plaque, and its earliest stage is known as gingivitis. Periodontal disease mainly affects adults.

When should I bring my child in for his first dental appointment?

No later than the third birthday–and ideally when his first tooth comes in.

How do I keep my child’s teeth healthy?

Following a few simple guidelines can help keep your child’s teeth strong and beautiful for life:

Start oral care early. After feeding your newborn, clean your child’s gums using gauze or a clean, damp cloth. As soon as your child’s teeth appear, they should be brushed daily, using a soft, wet toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.

Prevent nursing-bottle mouth. Nursing-bottle mouth, also known as baby-bottle tooth decay or baby-bottle syndrome, can cause a baby’s front teeth to rapidly decay. This can lead to a lifetime of dental difficulties. If you give your baby a bottle at nap or bed time, simply fill it with plain water rather than formula, milk, or juice. Never let your child fall asleep with a bottle filled with a liquid other than water.

Take your child to the dentist. General, preventative dentistry should start early. A child’s first dental visit should take place at 6 to 12 months after birth, wit their first tooth. Regular fluoride treatments, administered by a dentist, are especially helpful in strengthening enamel and arresting tooth decay for children.

Take advantage of dental sealants. Dental sealants are a popular and effective way to protect your child’s teeth against cavities.

How can I prevent tooth decay and gum disease?

There are many things you can do. Here are the main ones:

Thorough brushing at least twice daily with a soft-bristle toothbrush and an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. Replace your brush every two to three months.

Proper flossing using an 18-inch strand of floss. Ease the floss between each tooth; then, sweep it up and down several times while curving around the tooth at the gum line.

Regular dental visits, every six months.

How does fluroide prevent tooth decay?

Fluoride helps reverse and prevent tooth decay in three ways:

Fluoride promotes tooth remineralization. Acids that form in our mouths can demineralize a tooth, creating a weak spot that develops into a cavity. Fluoride can help reverse this process in the very early stages of tooth decay.

Fluoride helps teeth become more resistant to tooth decay by actually strengthening them.

Fluoride inhibits oral bacteria’s ability to metabolize the sugars that create tooth-attacking acids.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is an infection of the gum tissue and is the initial stage of gum disease. In this stage, gums become red, swollen, and prone to bleeding. If gingivitis goes untreated, it can lead to bone loss and the loosening or loss of teeth.

What causes sensitive teeth?

Sensitivity can result when the porous, sensitive part of the tooth, called dentin, becomes exposed from any of the following:

  • Fractured or chipped teeth
  • Teeth injured by clenching or grinding
  • Receding gums caused by gum disease or improper brushing

How can sensitive teeth be managed?

Pain from sensitive teeth often comes and goes, but if you experience constant pain, you may have a more serious problem. There are many effective treatments for sensitive teeth, including:

  • A soft-bristle toothbrush to prevent gum irritation
  • Toothpaste designed to insulate the nerve that registers pain
  • A fluoride rinse or gel

If you have sensitive teeth, let us know. We can help determine the cause of your pain and recommend a treatment.

What causes teeth grinding?

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can be caused by various factors–both emotional and physical.

These can include:

  • Stress
  • Sleep disorder
  • An abnormal bite
  • Crooked or missing teeth

What are dental sealants?

Dental sealants are a plastic coating painted on the grooved, hard-to-reach surfaces of the back teeth. Pits and fissures on these surfaces are particularly susceptible to tooth decay. Dental sealants can be used to seal out cavity-causing bacteria that damage teeth.

My teeth are crooked! What are my options?

For many people, uncomfortable metal braces are a thing of the past. Cosmetic dentistry now includes Invisalign, a system of orthodontics that uses invisible plastic aligners to comfortably shift your teeth into place. Also, composite bonding and the application of porcelain veneers are both conservative ways to mask the appearance of crooked teeth. (Please note that these cosmetic approaches cannot address orthodontic issues such as an overbite, underbite, or crossbite, and therefore are not suitable for every patient.)

What are dental implants and when would I need them?

Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth.

There are many reasons for dental implants, such as:

Improved appearance: Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. And because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.

Improved speech: With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth and cause you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without this fear.

Improved comfort: Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.

Easier eating: Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.

Improved self-esteem: Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.

Improved oral health: Since nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving your long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.

Durability: Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.

Convenience: Removable dentures are just that–removable. Dental implants eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience of removing your dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep your dentures in place.