Frequently Asked Questions
At Hamdan Family Dentistry, our main focus is to accommodate your dental needs and concerns. Our team will take the time to get to know you and help you feel comfortable.
1. Why is flossing important?
Flossing reduces the number of bacteria in the mouth. While brushing removes of some of the bacteria, flossing gets rid of the bacteria hiding in the spaces between your teeth where the toothbrush can't reach. By not flossing, plaque can calcify into tartar and increase the risk of periodontal disease.
2. How can I prevent cavities?
Spending at least two minutes brushing your teeth can effectively remove plaque build up. Positioning the toothbrush head at an angle toward the gum line and using gentle, circular motions helps cleanse the oral cavity. Brushing too hard can wear away the surface enamel of the tooth structure causing tooth sensitivity. Don't forget to brush your tongue to prevent bad breath!
Watching your sugar intake will also help to reduce your caries risk assessment. Carbohydrates break down into acid which work to attack the enamel layer of our teeth. Using a fluoridated mouth rinse or sugar-free xylitol gum after sugar exposure can help to quickly reduce the acidic environment in your oral cavity.
Most importantly, regular dental visits allow the dentist to assess your teeth with a comprehensive exam. Good dental habits go a long way toward a cavity-free visit!
3. Why does the dentist take X-rays?
Many diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissues cannot be seen when the dentist examines the mouth.
An X-ray examination may reveal:
small areas of decay between the teeth or below existing fillings
abscesses or cysts
developmental abnormalities, tumors
Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save time, money and often unnecessary discomfort. X-rays serve as an early diagnostic tool before breakdown can be detected clinically.
4. Why is fluoride important for my dental health?
The lack of exposure to fluoride places individuals of any age at risk for dental decay. Fluoride strengthens your the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria in your mouth.
Studies have shown that children who consumed fluoridated water from birth had less dental decay. Fluoride can reverse early decay and help prevent osteoporosis, a disease that causes degenerative bone loss. Talk to your dentist or dental hygienist about whether you're getting the daily amount of fluoride you need.
5. What are sealants?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, school-age children without sealants have almost 3x more cavities than children with sealants. Sealants are a thin coating painted on the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars. Dental sealants act as a barrier, protecting your teeth against decay-causing bacteria.
Sealants have proven effective with both adults and children, but are most commonly used with children. Although sealants don't replace brushing and flossing, they can keep cavities from forming and even prevent early stages of decay from becoming progressively bigger.
6. What can I do about sensitive teeth?
Sensitivity toothpaste, can be very effective in treating sensitive teeth. After a few weeks of use, you may notice a decrease in sensitivity. Highly acidic foods such as oranges, grapefruits and lemons, as well as tea and soda can increase tooth sensitivity, and work against sensitivity toothpaste. If you do not get relief by brushing gently and using desensitizing toothpaste, see your dentist. There are high-fluoride compounds that can be applied in-office to the surface of your tooth to reduce - if not eliminate - the sensitivity.
Ask the friendly staff at Hamdan Family Dentistry for more information on sensitive teeth.
7. What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is inflammation and infection of the gums and supporting bone structure, which if left untreated, can cause permanent bone loss, leading to tooth loss. Untreated periodontal disease has been linked to increased risk for conditions such as heart disease, stroke, low birth weight babies, pre-term delivery, respiratory disease, and prostate cancer.
Other signs of periodontal disease include:
Build up of tartar
Periodontal disease can be prevented and treated successfully by seeing your dentist and dental hygienist regularly and following recommended care plans. However, advanced stages may require surgery.
8. What should I do about bleeding gums?
Bleeding gums are often a sign of gingivitis - or inflammation of the gum tissue. The inflammation process is triggered by the presence of plaque. A regular brushing and flossing regimen can significantly improve the health and appearance of your gums.
It is also worth noting that chronic dental pain and discomfort are obvious signs of a problem. Over-the-counter drugs may provide some temporary relief. These medications usually only mask the existence of a problem and should be taken on a temporary basis.
It is important to see your dentist as soon as possible if you think you may need it examined.
9. How can I maintain a white smile?
Tobacco, red wine, coffee and tea are just some culprits known to stain those pearly whites! These substances continually work on your teeth causing your white smile to gradually fade. Cutting down on coffee and tea can go a long way to creating a great smile.
Teeth whitening works to effectively break down tough stains and illuminate your smile. Ask our friendly hygienist your next visit.
10. Why should I use an oral appliance?
Oral appliances in dentistry are used to protect the teeth. If you think you may have a nighttime grinding habit, you may consider a mouth guard to prevent further loss of tooth structure. Mouth guards also prevent injuries to your face and teeth, as used in sports. The best mouth guards are custom-fitted by your dentist. These are especially important to preserve crown/bridge work and last years.
Commercial mouthguards are relatively inexpensive but they are also less effective. In either case, rinse your mouthguard with water or mouthwash after each use. With proper care, it should last for several months.
Ask your Dr. Hamdan which kind of mouth guard is best for you.
11. I have dentures. Is it necessary for me to still see my dentist?
Visits to the dentist include more than just "checking teeth." While patients who wear dentures no longer have to worry about dental decay, they may have concerns with ill fitting appliances or mouth sores, to name a few. During annual visits to the dentist, an oral cancer screening and head and neck exam will be performed as well as an evaluation of the existing appliance (s). Regular visits can help you to avoid problems down the road.
Specialty Health Section
Research today suggests a link between gum disease and diabetes. People with poorly controlled blood glucose levels may be more likely to develop gum disease and could potentially lose their teeth. Be sure to see your dentist regularly for check-ups and follow home care recommendations. If you notice other conditions such as dry mouth or bleeding gums, discuss it at your next visit. And don't forget to mention any changes in medications.
Regular visits to your dentist and healthy habits can help keep you and your little one healthy. Hormonal changes in pregnancy can sometime effect our oral health. It
Pregnancy Gingivitis- About half of women who are pregnant experience a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. This condition can be uncomfortable and cause swelling, bleeding, redness or tenderness in the gum tissue.
Pregnancy Tumor- Overgrowth of tissue on the gums is common among some women in their second trimester. This can be related to plaque buildup and can lead to bleeding but can be managed by thorough cleaning of the teeth and usually disappears postpartum.
3. Chemotherapy and Radiation
Chemotherapy and Radiation can cause a number of problems in the mouth, some of which might include: mouth sores, infections, dry mouth, bleeding of the gums and lining of the mouth and general soreness and pain of the mouth. It can be harder to control these things while undergoing treatment, as the immune system is generally compromised as a result of the treatment. There are some special mouth rinses that can be prescribed to help with discomfort during treatment. It is very important to see Dr. Hamdan before treatment begins and then to continue with recommended follow-up care.