Top Dental Questions: Q & A

Top Dental Questions: Q & A

Patients may have some questions that they are hesitant to ask their dentist or dental hygienist. Asking questions when you are unsure about something is important to ensuring you are properly taking care of your teeth. The following are eight of some of the most common dental questions from cleaning tips to x-rays to exams.  

What type of toothbrush should I use?

A soft-bristle brush is best as overzealous brushing or applying too much pressure can wear on your gums and enamel. Electric toothbrushes are also ideal for cleaning your gums and teeth. They remove more plaque around the gum line than manual brushes and notify you if you are applying too much pressure and force while brushing. Most electric brushes also have timer settings, which notify you when you have been brushing the recommended two minutes. 

What type of toothpaste should I use?

Fluoride is the main ingredient you should be looking for when searching for toothpaste. Fluoride aids in the prevention of tooth decay and cavities. Aside from fluoride, the type of toothpaste you use also depends on what you’re looking for and your tooth type. If your teeth are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, toothpaste made specifically for sensitive teeth would be ideal for you. Or if your goal is achieving whiter teeth, investing in a whitening toothpaste may be what you are looking for. 

Do I need to floss?

It is never too late to start flossing. The American Dental Society considers flossing as an essential part of a dental hygiene routine, as a toothbrush will only brush away bacteria from 3 out of 5 areas of your teeth. Flossing at night is ideal for removing plaque and reducing gingivitis.

Do I need to use mouthwash?

Mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and flossing, but can help to prevent cavities, gum disease, plaque, tartar, and depending on the type of mouthwash, whiten teeth. Mouthwashes containing fluoride, can also aid in preventing tooth decay.  

What are possible early signs of dental trouble?

  • Toothache 
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Bleeding or Sore gums 
  • Mouth Sores 
  • Bad breath 
  • Jaw pain
  • Dry mouth 

What are possible early signs of gingivitis?

  • Bright red, swollen or tender gums
  • Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
  • Bad breath
  • Receding or soft gums 

Are x-rays safe and needed?

While dental X-rays do involve radiation, the exposure levels are so low that they are considered safe for both children and adults. Bitewings are the most common form of x-rays taken and necessary to diagnose gum disease and cavities between teeth. While full set x-rays allow dentists to view all your teeth and surrounding bone. Bitewing x-rays should be taken once every year, while a full set of x-rays should be taken once every three years. 

Why do I need regular dental exams?

Regular dental exams are essential to a preventative oral care routine. These exams help to spot trouble early on and prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar. Without a regular cleaning, bacteria can build up, leading to gingivitis or worse, gum disease. Your cleaning is also a time for your dentist to check your mouth for any abnormalities or sores. 

Feel free to comment below with any additional questions you may have. 

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