F.A.Q. – Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I have a dental check up?

A reasonable frequency would be two times a year.

I can’t get dental floss between my teeth. How else can I clean them?

There is no adequate substitute for flossing. You can use different kinds of small toothbrushes or rubber tip, but you should see a dentist to identify the problem and to determine the best solution for you.

I have a baby. At what age should he have his first dental check up?

The first dental check up for an infant should be done between the age of 2 or 3.

I have silver coloured fillings. Should I worry about mercury?

According to the Canadian Dental Association, silver fillings are quite safe and a good material for dental fillings.

I am frightened of the dentist but I have tooth pain. If I ignore it will it eventually stop aching?

No it will get worse. You should call your dentist immediately.

My son had a tooth knocked out and I was told to take it to the dentist in milk. Why?

Traumatic injuries to teeth are more common than ever before and they are the most serious of dental conditions. First, find the tooth and keep it moist while transporting the injured person to the dental office. Distilled water, contact lens solution and milk are considered acceptable liquids to preserve the delicate soft tissue surrounding the root. Second, the tooth should be replanted immediately or at least within 30 – 60 minutes if possible.

Can I stop my teeth being so sensitive to cold things like ice cream?

In general, yes, but you should consult a dentist to see how.

If I have a missing tooth, do I need to have a false tooth in the gap to keep the rest from moving?

Yes because your teeth will continue to move and it might cause a serious problem down the road.

If I have my teeth whitened how much whiter will they be?

There will be a noticeable difference in the shade of the teeth, however, the degree of teeth whitening will depend on the existing shade.

Why do my gums bleed when I brush. Could my toothbrush be too hard?

Yes, but it might also be gum disease or another health problem. Your dentist can give you the best advice.

What should i do if my child has a tooth knocked out?

Traumatic injuries to teeth are more common than ever before and they are the most serious of dental conditions. Excluding motor-vehicle injuries, most data documents a relatively consistent increase in injuries to teeth in recent years. Advice to parents and team coaches used to be fairly straightforward and easy to remember. First, find the tooth and keep it moist while transporting the injured child to the dental office. Distilled water, contact lens solutions and milk were considered acceptable liquids for the purpose. Second, the predominant treatment philosophy following an accident involving tooth loss called for replacing the tooth immediately or within 30 to 60 minutes if possible. But after years of study, researchers have found that the long-term clinical rate of replanted avulsed teeth has been low, ranging from 4 to 50 percent. For this reason, attention is now being focused on keeping the soft tissue around the root healthy rather than on the speed of tooth replacement. The best outcome in the case of a tooth being knocked out can be expected when the tooth is replaced within a few minutes of the traumatic event. According to Endodontics: Colleagues for Excellence, if teeth can be replaced within 15 minutes of being knocked out, the periodontal ligament (soft tissue surrounding root of tooth) will be restored within a few weeks in a very high percent of teeth. However, the pulp cannot be expected to survive; therefore root canal therapy is an important part of successful treatment. The sole exception to performing root canal treatment of teeth that have been replanted is in the case of a very immature tooth, where revascularization of the pulp is possible and desired. Ideally, root canal treatment should be performed on a tooth during the second week after replantation. Calcium hydroxide placed for up to 1 month prior to filling the root canal will aid in disinfection of the root canal system, and stabilization of the tooth with a functional, nonrigid splint for 2 to 3 weeks will help re-establish the periodontal ligaments. If the avulsed (knocked out) tooth has been left dry for more than 1 hour, chances for restoration of the periodontal ligament are very poor. However, replantation of such a tooth may be worthwhile because the patient may benefit from several years of use. Parents and coaches can take preventative measures to protect the children from facial injuries when playing sports. Approved mouth guards are the first step. But somehow, accidents will happen. Consequently, you should purchase the commercially available balanced salt solution (HBSS or ETPS) from the local drug stores and have one or two of the kits available at every game and practice session. Because a team will use only one or two of the kits in a season, the cost should not be prohibitive. Simply having one of these balanced salt solution kits available will provide a significant head start when dealing with an avulsed tooth. If commercially prepared balanced salt solutions kits are not available in your area, consider informing the various sports leagues, local schools and pharmacies that there is a market for these kits, and their promotion should be encouraged.