by on Feb.17, 2012, under Austin Dentist
Though most people are aware of the recommended dental care recommendations, there are still many questions that swirl around dental offices that can go unanswered. Here are a few of those that are commonly heard by dentists across the country, answered.
What is the difference between tartar and plaque? Plaque is found on the teeth and is generally pretty soft and easily brushed away. It is always existent and contains the bacteria that cause decay. Regular oral hygiene can keep it to a minimum, but when it is allowed to sit on the teeth for an extended period of time, it becomes tartar. Tartar is hardened plaque, which dental hygienists will scrape off at regular cleanings.
How often should teeth be x-rayed? The American Dental Association suggests that the frequency of dental x-rays needed depends on an individual’s dental history. Children will likely require them more often, as new teeth find their way to the surface, in an effort to discover any underlying problems. For adults, the answer depends on the number of cavities and other issues seen in the past. Those most prone to decay will likely need to have them more often than people who have very few cavities or none at all in the past.
What is fluoride? Fluoride is a chemical that is known to harden teeth, making them more resistant to tooth decay. It was first discovered many years ago when a particular town did not have the dental troubles seen in other areas. The chemical was found in high quantities in their water supply and has been a common dental tool since.
How often should fillings be replaced? There is generally no need to replace fillings unless they are damaged, cracked, of coming loose. When this occurs, bacteria can seep beneath the filling, causing further damage to the tooth and potentially reaching the root. Replacements might also be done for cosmetic reasons. An Austin dentist may recommend this if fillings begin to stain, particularly if they are located in very visible areas of the mouth.
What can be done to protect teeth that are more prone to decay? Even with a good and regular dental hygiene routine, some teeth are more prone to decay. There are a few questions that you can ask your dentist, such as ‘am I brushing and flossing correctly?’ The answers could assist in fighting the issue. If problems still persist, then a fluoride supplement might be prescribed to help harden teeth. There may also be a need to take a close look at dietary habits. Regular consumption of sugary or acidic foods can cause increased harm to the teeth.
Can I drink soda and still avoid cavities? This is a big question for millions of Americans who have come to enjoy the flavor of products like Coca Cola and Pepsi. Unfortunately, regular soda contains a lot of sugar, which is really bad for teeth. Even diet colas are full of acid that can erode teeth. More dentists will recommend that, if you are going to drink it, you should consider brushing your teeth more often throughout the day or that you rinse with water after drinking it.
What are dental implants Austin dentists order a lot of dental implants today. After years of success fitting patients with these devices, which are fit beneath the gum, where they attach to the bone, they have won a lot of praise. Not only can they improve the cosmetic appearance of a patient by providing a realistic replacement for pulled or lost teeth, they also act as spacers ensuring that existing teeth do not shift in the mouth.
Austin Dental Center, PC
2304 Hancock Dr. Suite 1
Austin, TX 78756-2537