How often should I get my teeth cleaned or checked?

Attending regular checkups will help to keep your gums and teeth healthy as well as detect any early problems such as gum disease, oral cancer and cavities. The best way to maintain good oral health is to visit your dentist/ hygienist every 6 months. Factors such as periodontal and gum disease, poor oral hygiene and certain medical conditions are what the dentist or hygienist takes into consideration when deciding how often you need your dental cleaning and check up. We say that Prevention is better than cure. By attending the recommended 6 months, you will need less treatment and your dentist will spot any problems earlier, making any treatment easier.

How many times a day should I brush my teeth?

Most dental professionals recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing after every meal (and flossing at least once a day) is also a good way to maintain dental health.

What causes tooth loss?

Tooth decay and periodontal disease are the most common causes of tooth loss. Tooth decay takes place when most of the tooth’s mineral makeup has been dissolved away and a hole (cavity) has formed. While tooth decay primarily affects children, periodontal disease, or gum disease, affects mostly adults. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums caused by the buildup of plaque, and its earliest stage is known as gingivitis.

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third molar teeth, also described as ‘eights’ because of their position in the mouth. They are the last of the permanent teeth to develop.

Why do my wisdom teeth not come up fully?

Because the wisdom teeth are the last to develop and the last to come up there may not be enough space left for them. Also they may develop in an abnormal alignment.

Must all wisdom teeth be removed?

No. Each case is individual and judged on its merits, other measures are available to control the problem and may be appropriate in your case.

When should a child have his/her first dental appointment?

A child should have his first dental appointment no later than his third birthday. Many dentists recommend a child have his first appointment when his first tooth comes in.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums around the roots of the teeth. It marks the early stage of periodontal disease, and it is characterized by red, swollen gums.

What is that white or yellow stuff on my tongue? How do I avoid it?

Coatings on the tongue can come from any of a number of causes.

The surface of the tongue is studded with myriad bumps known as papillae. They come in three types: filliform, fungiform, and circumvallate. The fungiform and circumvallate contribute to taste perception; they are the larger bumps on the front or the back of the tongue respectively. The most numerous type are the small filliform papillae, which cover the majority of the dorsal (upper) surface of the tongue.

Sometimes the filliform papillae either hypertrophy (grow larger) or atrophy (grow smaller) as a result of chemical, endocrine, or microbiological factors. This will give rise to changes in the appearance of the tongue.

For instance, the habitual use of hydrogen peroxide-containing mouthrinses will cause the filliform papillae to grow, leading to a clinical condition elegantly known as “black hairy tongue.”

Strep infection will sometimes take the form of scarlet fever (scarletina), which causes the filliform papillae to develop a white coating, allowing the fungiform papillae with their contrasting red color to create the characteristic “strawberry tongue” appearance.

A condition called benign migratory glossitis, also referred to as “geographic tongue”, presents as islands of atrophied filliform papillae within areas of normal papillae, giving the tongue a map-like appearance.

Some people develop yeast infection (candida albicans) following administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics or if the immune system is depressed. This causes a white coating to appear on the tongue.

Sometimes the level of activity and/or salivary flow is not sufficient to remove exfoliated cells from the surface of the tongue, allowing them to accumulate and create a coating. This can sometimes be reduced by habitually brushing the tongue when you brush your teeth. Use caution to avoid gagging yourself, though!

As you can see, there are many things that match the description you present; the treatment must be tailored to your specific problem. If it persists, I’d advise a consultation with your dentist to clarify the nature of the condition.

What is the difference between white and metal fillings?

White fillings are tooth coloured plastic composites. They are bonded to the tooth structure and are not obvious to the naked eye.

Composite fillings are set using a special light. Metal fillings are a mixture of metal alloys and mercury. This mixture is a called an amalgam. It is placed into the tooth and dhaped while soft. The amalgam sets after about one hour.


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