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Common Questions About Dental Health from Our Burlington Patients

You want to take care of your teeth properly, and we want to give you knowledge to help you do it. At Cornerstone Dental in Burlington, we answer dental health questions all the time. Here are some common questions on dental hygiene, restorative work, orthodontics, and more.

  • Dental Hygiene
    How often do I need to visit the dentist for a teeth cleaning? We recommend Canadians to visit the dentist once every six months for a teeth cleaning. Depending on the health status of your teeth, your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings. When should kids visit the dentist for the first time? Kids are recommended to visit the dentist six months after the first eruption of their first tooth, or by the time they are one year old. If you notice dental abnormalities, however, please see a dentist as soon as possible. How often should I brush and floss? The Canadian Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day and brushing at least twice a day. However, it’s ideal to brush after every meal because bacteria from stuck food start acting almost immediately after you eat. We understand that flossing is a hard habit to maintain. Educate your children so they adapt this habit early. To take away some of the boredom, floss while you’re watching TV or listening to music. How can I make my teeth whiter? Bleaching agents and surface whiteners can help make teeth appear whiter. Certain foods and drinks (such as coffee and tea) and tobacco can stain teeth. Your natural complexion or choice of make-up also influences how your teeth are perceived.
  • Cosmetic Dentistry & Orthodontics
    Aren’t braces just for kids? Nope! Although the most common recipients for braces are children and teens, adults can undergo orthodontic treatment like braces too. For adults who have more mild misalignment problems, they may prefer the discreteness of Invisalign®. How long does Invisalign® treatment last and is it expensive? It depends on the individual state of each patient’s teeth. Some patients can finish treatment in as little as three to six months! As for pricing, this largely depends on your insurance plan, but patients can pay anywhere between $50 and $200 a month, according to Invisalign®.
  • Gum Disease
    What is gingivitis? Gingivitis is a common, milder form of gum disease often caused by inadequate dental hygiene. You may have gingivitis if you notice bleeding, puffiness, tender, or receding gums. Higher risk of developing gingivitis is associated with smoking, older age, malnutrition, infections, medications, hormones, and poor oral hygiene. As gingivitis advances, it can cause teeth to loosen and fall out. What is periodontitis? Periodontitis is a more advanced and serious form of gum disease. It happens when bacterial infections of the gums are left untreated. The bacteria attack the gums, causing pain, bad breath, receding gums, and loosening and loss of teeth. Your dentist will have to conduct a more thorough examination of the state of your gum disease, and may need to extract teeth. How is gum disease linked to other disorders, like heart disease? You may have heard that gum disease can cause heart disease. While scientific evidence is yet to be conclusive, scientists suggest that: Bacteria causing gum disease can spread to blood vessels and then cause inflammation The body’s immune response to gum disease can trigger vascular damage Gum disease and heart disease may not be related at all; perhaps it’s smoking that causes both these things to happen and, thus, to be correlated. Whether or not they are related, it is still extremely important to look after your gums!
  • Restoration
    What should I do if my tooth gets knocked out? If you act calmly and quickly, a knocked-out too can be saved. If it’s an adult tooth, you should: Avoid touching the root of the tooth; only hold it by the white part Clean it by licking it or rinsing it in cold water, but for no more than 10 seconds Place it into the gum and hold it there by biting down on a clean cloth If it won’t fit back into the gum, store it in a container of milk, saliva, or hold it in your cheek (be careful not to swallow it) Then, call your dentist! If it’s after office hours, listen for emergency messages on their answering machine, or find another dentist near you for an emergency appointment. If you do end up losing the tooth permanently, don’t worry, there are restorative options. Modern prosthetic teeth are often nearly identical in appearance to natural teeth What’s the difference between bridges, crowns, inlays/onlays, and bonded fillings? A dental bridge covers the gap made by a missing tooth or teeth. They are anchored by natural teeth or implants on both sides, forming a “bridge” over the gap. Crowns or “tooth caps” cover damaged, but not lost, teeth. They look almost identical to normal teeth, and can be constructed out of metal, composite, or porcelain. Inlays and onlays act like fillings. Inlays fill up the space left over from lost tooth structure within the tooth. Onlays are similar but they also provide coverage across the chewing area of teeth. Bonding involves shaping composite resin to fill in areas of missing tooth structure. The dentist uses light to shape and harden the composite resin in layers, which can also be used to paint over stains.
  • Other Questions
    What are wisdom teeth? Wisdom teeth (scientific term: third molars) are the last teeth to emerge and they usually come in your late teens and early twenties. They are the last tooth in all four corners of your mouth. Not everyone has wisdom teeth, or all four wisdom teeth. It is believed that our ancestors used wisdom teeth to chew and grind plant matter, but as our brains expanded in size, our skulls could not accommodate wisdom teeth as well. Must I remove my wisdom teeth? Not everyone has to get their wisdom removed, but many do. Because they grow in so late, there may not be enough room in your mouth for wisdom teeth to grow properly, thus causing them to grow at an inappropriate angle (“impacted” wisdom teeth). Since they are so far in the mouth, it is also difficult to reach them for cleaning, so infections and decay is a risk to wisdom teeth. Does having wisdom teeth mean you are wise? Probably not! There is no scientific relationship between wisdom teeth and intelligence. The term “wisdom teeth” is traced back to the 17th century, when it was used to refer to teeth that emerged at a time (late teens to mid-20s) when you are (supposedly…) older and wiser. What if I’m anxious about going to the dentist? Dental anxiety is nothing to be embarrassed about is actually not uncommon among children and adults alike. Cornerstone Dental offers sedation dentistry that can alleviate some or all the stress. When do kids lose their first teeth and when should all their adult teeth come in? Kids lose their baby teeth at around age 6, and usually acquire all their adult teeth by age 12. Kids can wiggle baby teeth, but forcing them out by pulling is advised against. What if my child still has baby teeth at their age? Although you should check with your dentist, delays in losing baby teeth are usually not concerning. Dentists, however, can get a clearer understanding of the situation through examining x-rays. Sometimes, baby teeth that don’t fall can impede the growth of adult teeth and cause crowding issues.

Do you have additional questions we didn’t address here? Please don’t hesitate to give our team a call at Cornerstone Dental in Burlington. We look forward to hearing from you!

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