Fluoride may be used to prevent or reduce dental decay on all natural teeth, and is effective on primary as well as permanent teeth. Fluoride is an element that can be naturally found in many things, like the water we drink and the food we eat.
Decades ago, scientists began to notice that children who lived in places where fluoride occurred naturally in the water, had fewer dental cavities. As teeth form during childhood the fluoride becomes part of the tooth enamel, making teeth stronger and more resistant to decay. Once absorbed and retained in tooth enamel fluoride provides a permanent barrier of additional protection.
Dental hygiene appointments need to be routine!
The dental profession has long recommended that patients visit their dental hygienist every 6 months to ensure that their oral health is in optimal shape. By having routine dental hygiene appointments we are able to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy and that your home care is protecting you from other, more expensive and sometimes painful experiences. Some patients require more frequent visits and regimented home care to promote and encourage healthy teeth and gums.
Dental X-rays may be a normal part of your hygiene appointment and we can assure you that our office equipment and practices are in keeping with industry standards. Dental x-rays are an important part of the dental examination process and enable us to identify areas of concern before they become more significant problems.
There are primarily two types of whitening procedures. Whitening may be done completely in our office (known as "chairside whitening”) or a 'take-home' system may be preferred. We typically offer day time and night time products for at home use with custom whitening trays.
Chairside whitening takes from one to two hours per visit. To protect the mouth, a gel-like substance is applied to the gums and a rubber “shield” is placed around the base of the teeth. A chemical solution, the oxidizing agent, is painted onto the teeth. A special light is used to activate the agent. It is not uncommon for teeth to become sensitive following these whitening treatments, however any discomfort should subside within two to three days.
To achieve the best results, teeth may be whitened a shade lighter than the desired result since they tend to darken slightly with time. Generally more than one visit may be necessary to complete the process of chairside whitening to your satisfaction.
At your first appointment we will take an impression of your teeth and create a model. A plastic tray will be fabricated that offers a custom-fit for your mouth. When you come back to pick up your tray we will instruct you on the proper application of the whitening gel. The gel is placed in the custom-fitted tray and worn up to two hours daily or at night for about two weeks.
The amount of time the custom-fitted tray is worn and the duration may vary according to each patient's individual goal with the recommendations of your dental team. Our team will monitor the entire process to ensure its effectiveness and safety.
Over the counter products that are self-administered are not recommended, although they may appear to cost less. We feel whitening treatment should be done under the supervision of a dentist following a proper exam and diagnosis.
Grinding of teeth, also known as Bruxism, occurs in both children and adults. Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw generally occurs during sleep and can cause headaches, jaw pain and excessive tooth wear and breakage.
For adults who grind and are wearing down the top surfaces of their teeth, we often recommend a night guard. Each night guard is custom made to ensure comfort and a proper fit. We will take an impression of your teeth and send it to a dental lab. They will mold the night guard over your model using a special procedure.
Night guards can cover the upper teeth or lower teeth. An effective night guard should be comfortable, resist tears, be durable, easy to clean and should not restrict your breathing or sleep.
We recommend that all patients were a custom fit sports guard when playing contact sports. A sports guard will protect the teeth, jaw and soft tissues (lips, cheeks, gums) when a traumatic blow occurs to the jaw or head. Sports guards are designed to absorb and redistribute the forces generated by an impact.
Orthodontic patients should also always were a sports guard. For children and youth with braces we typically recommend a 'boil and bite' customizable sports guard.
Although a custom sports guard is optimal, we recognize that because a child's mouth is changing and growing it is not always an economical option.
A sports guard can help to disperse the total amount of energy that has to be absorbed by any one tooth or region of the head. They may also reduce the incidence and severity of concussions. Sports guards help protect your jaw, teeth, gums and dental work!
A sport mouth guard is primarily worn to protect the teeth and mouth in case of sudden, hard impact. As a result, while a night guard may be made from durable hard acrylic plastic to withstand grinding over a long period of time, a sport mouth guard is usually made from a softer material that can absorb the force of sudden impact. And while a night guard only needs to cover the occlusal surface of your teeth, a sport mouth guard should cover your teeth including your gums. They can't be dual purpose.