morning doesn't start until I've had my first cup of tea. How bad is
this for my teeth? Tea and coffee are safe to drink in
moderation. However, over time, large amounts can cause staining and
damage. In addition to caffeine, tea and coffee contain chromogens,
deeply pigmented molecules that adhere to dental enamel. They also
contain tannins, which boost a chromogen molecule's ability to
attach to dental enamel. Black tea is worse than black coffee,
because coffee is lower in tannins.
How can I protect my teeth from damage?
The enamel on our teeth is hard, but as we all know, it can be
chipped and cracked. In addition to following the instructions of
your hygienist, here are some other ways you can protect your teeth:
Avoid chewing ice, cracking nut shells, or opening packages with
Avoid "hard foods" such as popcorn.
Limit acidic soft drinks and sugary foods that stick to your teeth.
Decide against tongue and lip piercings, which can fracture teeth
and increase infection risk.
Should I update my manual toothbrush to
When used appropriately, a manual
toothbrush is as effective as a powered toothbrush. The key is to
brush for the recommended two to three minutes, using short strokes
at a 45-degree angle to the gums, and covering the entire tooth
surface - inner, outer, and chewing.
I'm pregnant. Is it safe for me to go
to the dentist? Congratulations! Yes, you should
continue to see your dentist, as pregnancy can increase certain
dental issues. Be sure to inform your dentist that you are pregnant
and if you're experiencing any changes in your oral health.
When should my child receive his/her
first dental check-up? Ideally, you should seek a
dentist for your child when the first tooth appears and no later
than their first birthday.
Are dental X-rays safe? Yes. New
digital X-ray machines limit the low-dose radiation to a beam that
targets only the areas needing to be filmed, faster film speeds
allow for shorter exposure times, and the use of film holders
prevents slipping, reducing the need for repeated exposure due to
retakes. Stray radiation is almost non-existent with the use of
modern dental X-ray machines, but the use of lead-lined, full-body
aprons protect against even that possibility. Every two years,
federal law requires X-ray machines to be checked for safety and
accuracy, and some states have even more stringent regulations.
I've heard that my silver-colored fillings
contain mercury. Should I have them replaced? Dental
amalgam (silver) fillings contain silver, tin, copper, and liquid
mercury, which are combined to form an inert (non-active) alloy.
According to the FDA, CDC, the American Dental Association (ADA),
and a number of other public health agencies, there is no link
between this type of filling and any known health issue. Because of
speculation and controversy, amalgam is the most researched and
tested dental filling material on the market.
Why don't my dentures fit right anymore?
The tissues and bones of your mouth may shrink (atrophy) with the
passage of time or with the gain or loss of body weight, causing a
change in the fit of your dentures. A simple reline may help them
fit snugly again. However, if you've worn your dentures for a number
of years, or the bases are too far out of shape, it may be time for
replacements. It is counterproductive to use more denture adhesive
to try to make them hold better, because this may lead to faster
bone loss and additional problems with the fit of your dentures.
This is just a sampling of often-asked questions. Have one of your own? Don't hesitate to give us a
call at 360-573-8181 so we can assist you.