Dental FAQ

Coquitlam Dentist / Dental FAQ

Why do we need to have regular dental hygiene at the office?

The reason that you need to have a regular dental hygiene routine in the office is bacterial dental plaque is an invisible sticky bacterial layer around your teeth and gum that makes acid. This acid causes damage to your bones, gum, and teeth. With regular dental cleaning, the acidity level stays low.

Regular cleaning also ensures small problems do not grow into unmanageable ones. You can help prevent disease as well. Infections that start in your mouth can lead to worse health concerns. For example, gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums. It can then develop into periodontitis, a more serious infection causing tooth loss. The infections in your mouth can also be linked to complications like:

  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • Premature birth
  • Low birth babies
  • Respiratory problems
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Stroke

Taking care of your teeth at home and in the office will make those dentist trips easier.

Why do we have to take x-rays?

You need to have an X-ray taken during your dentist visit because there are different parts of the mouth including bone and teeth that should be checked for any abnormalities. Dental X-rays help us visualize diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissue that otherwise could not have been seen with a simple oral exam.

Dental X-rays can show:

  • Small areas of decay between teeth
  • Decay beneath fillings
  • Cysts and other types of tumors
  • Bone loss in the jaw due to periodontal disease
  • The position of teeth to determine what kind of tooth implant, braces or dentures are required
  • Abscesses

X-rays help dentists find and then treat dental problems in their early development, which can potentially save you money and unnecessary discomfort. In some cases, they can even help to save your life.

What does the fluoride rinse do after dental cleaning?

The fluoride rinse after a dental cleaning, after removing harmful bacterial dental plaque, increases teeth structure strength.

Fluoride is a natural mineral that builds strong teeth and prevents cavities. It helps to support healthy tooth enamel and fights the bacteria that harm teeth and gums.

The treatment received during a trip to the dentist contains more fluoride than in water or toothpaste. The treatment can come in a form of a highly concentrated rinse, foam, gel, or varnish.

Do kids need to take fluoride rinse?

Yes, kids do need to have the fluoride rinse except for kids under 3. They do not need to take fluoride.

From birth to 3 years of age, 0.1 to 1.5 milligrams (mg) of fluoride is sufficient. This can come from food, water, and supplements.

Fluoride toothpaste in the size of a pea is recommended for children 3-6 years old.

When should babies have their first dental appointment?

The first dental appointment of a baby should be between 6-12 months of age.

We typically see infants by 12 months of age or within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth.

3 reasons to take your child for dental exams:

  • You can discover if the cleaning you do at home works.
  • Your dentist can find problems and fix them.
  • Your child can learn that going to the dentist helps prevent unwanted issues.

How often should a tootbrush be replaced?

A toothbrush should be replaced every 3 – 4 months. You can replace it sooner if the bristles become frayed.

The reason why you want to change your toothbrush every 3 – 4 months is that, over time, your bristles will become worn out, loose, and ineffective. Worn-out bristles are more abrasive on your gums, which can possibly lead to premature gum recession and inflammation in your gums.

Some other dangers of not replacing your toothbrush include:

  • Lack of cleaning can trigger tooth loss – with a poor toothbrush, it’s harder to get a thorough cleaning of the teeth which leads to plaque hardening, tartar build-up and bacteria form pockets around the teeth. Each of these causes the gums to become irritated and lead to tooth loss.
  • Old toothbrushes equal a higher risk of infection – The longer you use a toothbrush, the more bacteria it collects. If you don’t replace it after a flu, cold sore, infection, etc, then those germs are being reintroduced to your immune system. 

What does the blue light do to my fillings?

The blue light is called a dental curing light. It is used to set fillings and sealants in seconds.

Halogen and LED are the 2 different types of curing lights. However, dentists today use LED curing lights because they don’t overheat like halogen lights.

How does it work?

When you have a cavity, your dentist removes tooth decay with a drill and preps the tooth for a dental filling. The filling material, resin, is soft and can be moulded by biting down or by manipulation with instruments. When resin is exposed to this blue light, the material hardens and makes it strong enough for normal chewing. Resin takes anywhere from 20-60 seconds to harden using the dental curing light.

At which months during pregnancy is it safer to visit a dentist?

The months in which to see a dentist during a pregnancy should be during the 3rd to 6th month.  This is generally ruled as the safest time to get treated.

Dental care is important during pregnancy because hormone changes and certain medications can increase the risk of periodontal disease and dry mouth. It is advised that patients brush and floss twice daily during pregnancy. Furthermore, vomiting related to morning sickness can cause acid erosion of the teeth, and rarely pregnancy hormones can cause benign growths in the mouth that can be annoying.