|Preguntas comunes de pacientes |
When do I know if it is time to replace my toothbrush?
(There are only 3 right answers)
What is the right way for my child to brush?
In the beginning, you will need to brush your child’s teeth for him/her. For the very young, just chewing on the brush proves beneficial. As the primary teeth erupt [usually around 6 months +/-) they require as much care as the adults. Since children usually mimic what they see, they will copy the care you show them and the importance you establish for this care.
Most children will obtain the best results with back and forth brushing. This is not the most reliable, but in the beginning it gets them started. They can graduate to more advance methods as their coordination improves.
What is fluoride and does it really protect my teeth?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element, which was discovered as an advantageous element to prevent tooth decay when some children were found without tooth decay. Fluoride was found in relatively higher concentrations in the local drinking water of these areas. Texas is one state where naturally occurring fluoride exists. Africans use chewing sticks, which are high in fluoride, to decrease their incidence of decay. When used properly in small amounts, fluoride is a very safe material. The amounts found in local drinking water are safe and are less than are found in many naturally occurring water sources.
Fluoride becomes incorporated into the structure of the teeth. It provides additional strength and is slightly antibacterial in nature. It helps the most as the teeth are forming.
Is it a bad idea to leave a baby with a bottle overnight?
It would depend upon what was in the bottle. If it is just water, that probably would not injure the baby’s teeth. If it is a sugar containing liquid, that is not a good idea. Allowing the baby to coat his/her teeth every night will dramatically increase the amount and extent of decay.
Is it OK for my child to suck his thumb?
There should be no problem, as long as your child does not suck his/her thumb too long. Signs that this may be a problem include front teeth that no longer meet. Usually a child should stop sucking a thumb by the time they go to school.
What is gingivitis and is it different from gum disease?
The term’s gingivitis, pyorrhea, periodontal disease and gum disease are synonymous. They are like saying car or automobile as they refer to the same thing. Gingivitis is the oral response to a bacterial infection. There are some systemic dysfunction’s, which allow an increased incidence of periodontal disease such as diabetes, trisomy 21, autoimmune diseases and others, but generally bacteria are the etiologic agents of the infection.
Healthy gingival tissues exhibit a balance between the type and number of bacteria present. Disease occurs when the balance is disrupted and more pathologic agent become predominant. Tissue swelling, redness, exudate and pain generally accompany the disease process.
Left unaltered, the disease affects the bone support for the teeth. The exact sequence is not totally understood, but there is more bone loss than regeneration. This process of more loss than replacement directly correlates to the amount and duration of the infection, although there may be some individual differences. Unless the disease process is addressed, the bone loss continues.
Interventions may vary from practitioner to practitioner. Many new non-surgical methods are being used in place of conventional surgery or following surgery. The ultimate goal is to enable the patient to control the disease and maintain his/her teeth.
My dentist keeps telling me I need to replace my missing teeth. If I am not in pain, why should I spend the money to replace teeth I don’t need?
Suppose you were going to buy a new car and there were two models exactly alike, except one was $2,000.00 less. The only difference between the two cars is the dealer took one tooth out of one of the cars gears. There are multiple teeth in the gears and they only took one small tooth from the gears. Which car would you buy?
Suppose further that you bought the $2,000 cheaper model. Would you expect the cars to last the same period of time? Most probably not! You would probably find that just one missing tooth could cause multiple other problems with your car. The same can be true of your mouth.
There are three components, which comprise and determine how your mouth functions. These are the teeth, jaw joints and muscles of mastication. Potential and actual damage may occur if removal of one tooth allows the remainder of the teeth to alter their position. This affects not only the teeth, but it may also affect the muscles, causing head or facial pain, and jaw joint dysfunction. Uncontrollable shifting of the bite can be a very serious consequence. Many people suffer with temporomandibular joint dysfunction because of the loss of just one tooth and the bite shifting. This can result in some headaches, neck pain, facial or ear pain, or referred pain to associated areas.
What is a root canal and why would I need one?
Inside the tooth is a small chamber, which contains some minor blood vessels and small nerves. If this tissue dies or becomes infected, it is usually very tender to the touch. The infected tissue must be removed and replaced with a substance, which will not become re-infected. After the root canal is completed, the tooth is crowned for long term stability and function.
This is a relatively painless procedure and a very reliable one as well. This enables the professional to assist the patient in maintaining his/her dentition because the tooth would otherwise have to be removed.
Our son fell and chipped his tooth. My husband says to forget it, as it is just a baby tooth. When should I take my child to the dentist?
If a baby tooth is injured it needs to be examined. The baby tooth is subject to decay just like adult teeth and they hold the space for the permanent teeth that will follow. Premature loss can cause problems that are expensive to correct. Usually, take your child to the dentist around 2 to 3 years of age.
Sometimes I get a "clicking or popping noise" or just general soreness in my jaw. Is this a problem, and what can I do about it?
Clicking usually occurs when the cartilage is dislocated from its proper position. Without intervention, this process usually becomes worse and deteriorates.
Treatments often consist of wearing a diagnostic appliance called an orthotic that keeps the jaw from becoming dislocated. If the repositioning with the orthotic maintains a stable relationship, permanent corrections can be provided. Orthodontic corrections to a stable relationship are provided in the Feature section of Inside Dentistry, Case Review: Class II, Division 2 and Class III cases.
I don’t like my smile. Is there anything I can do?
Your smile is like the picture window through which people see you. If you are uncomfortable with your smile, there are certainly things that can be done. Replacement of stained, broken, repaired or missing teeth is possible with porcelain crowns. Removable appliances such as partials or dentures also improve esthetics. Orthodontic corrections are an excellent way to align the teeth so they look and function better.
How does orthodontic treatment work?
Conventional orthodontics applies forces to the teeth and the bone that supports the teeth adapts and reforms, allowing the teeth to be moved. Conventional orthodontic dental movements may or may not support the best jaw position, however. Newer methods first establish the best jaw joint and muscular relationship and then move the teeth to support the association.
The case above first had the functional bite relationship established and the teeth are being approximated using braces and the Universal Lingual Arch Wire System. The final orthodontic results will therefore support the functional joint and muscle relationship.