Below is a list of some of the questions our patients most frequently ask. If you have a question that isn’t answered below, feel free to give us a call and our team at Hillside Dental Associates will be happy to assist you.
Learn More About Common Questions
A child’s primary teeth sometimes called “baby teeth” are as important as the permanent adult teeth. Primary teeth often begin to appear when children are 6 months old. Some of the functions for baby teeth are to help the child chew and speak but they also hold space in the jaws for the permanent teeth that are developing under the gums.
Most children have a full set of 20 primary teeth by the age of three years. The American Dental Association recommends children be seen for their first dental exam at one year old. Having the child accompany a sibling or a parent as they get a cleaning or exam is a great way to familiarize the child with the office.
One of the most common places that tooth decay develops is on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth or permanent molars. There are pits and fissures on the biting surface of the teeth that are difficult to keep clean. The toothbrush bristles can’t reach into those microscopic pits and fissures to remove the plaque bacteria and tiny particles of food that can cause cavities.
Therefore, we recommend dental sealants. A dental sealant is a plastic material that is applied to the chewing surface of a back tooth. The sealant acts as a thin barrier protecting the enamel from the effects of decay-causing bacteria.
A cavity is another name for tooth decay. Our teeth are constantly being covered with plaque which is a sticky film of bacteria. When you eat or drink anything that contains sugar or starch-such as candy, soda, juice, bread, milk, cookies and many other foods and beverages, the bacteria in your mouth turn the sugar and starch into acids that attack the tooth enamel.
Those repeated acid attacks can eventually result in tooth decay. Therefore, to reduce the occurrence of cavities, you must make healthy choices when eating and drinking and you must remove the plaque by proper brushing and flossing.
Brushing should be done two or three times a day with a soft bristled brush or electric toothbrush with toothpaste. You should move the brush in a circular motion with gentle strokes. Make sure that the top, front, and back sides of each tooth is brushed. Remember to brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
Flossing helps remove bits of food and plaque from between the teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. It helps keep your teeth and gums healthy. You should floss your teeth once a day. Guide the floss between your teeth, when the floss reaches the gum line, gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth. Repeat this in between all of the teeth including the back side of the last tooth.
Periodontal Disease is an infection that affects the tissue and bone that support the teeth. As the tissues are damaged, the bone around the tooth begins to shrink and then a pocket forms under the gum tissue. The enlarged pockets allow harmful bacteria to grow and make it difficult to practice effective oral hygiene. Left untreated, periodontal disease may eventually lead to tooth loss.