Frequently Asked Questions
What is dental plaque and why is it bad?
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. As plaque collects it forms a hard layer, called calculus (or tartar), that is most prominently found in between your teeth and on the gum line.
The bacteria found within plaque causes inflammation to your gums. If left untreated, these bacteria can begin to damage the underlying bone that keep your teeth in place which may cause tooth loss. This is called periodontal disease, which has also been linked to various medical conditions including diabetes, heart disease, and alzheimers.
By brushing twice a day, flossing, and going to your recommended cleaning appointments, you can significantly decrease your risk of developing periodontal disease. If you have any questions about periodontal disease, please contact us at 949-644-9181.
What are the pros and cons of a manual vs. electric toothbrush?
Manual toothbrushes are just as effective as electric toothbrushes if used for the correct amount of time and with proper technique. However, electric toothbrushes have many advantages as well. Most come with an automatic timer to ensure you are brushing for the recommended two minutes. Some electric toothbrushes on the market have a feature that makes you aware of how hard you are brushing your teeth. This prevents you from pressing too hard with your toothbrush and damaging your teeth. These types of toothbrushes can be very effective for children who do not have the fine motor skills to properly brush with a manual toothbrush.
If you have any questions about electric toothbrushes, or the proper technique when using a manual toothbrush, please contact Newport Beach Dentistry at 949-644-9181 today.
Why do I have bad breath?
Bad breath, or halitosis, results from poor dental hygiene and dietary habits and may be a sign of other health issues. When you do not brush and floss daily, food particles can remain in your mouth, which will promote bacterial growth and cause bad breath.
Dry mouth (xerostomia) can also lead to bad breath. Certain habits, such as smoking and mouth breathing, will lead to dry mouth. Also, a side effect of many medications is dry mouth. If you have bad breath and would like more information on what may be causing this condition, contact Newport Beach Dentistry at 949-644-9181.
It's been a long time since I've visited the dentist. What do I need to do?
It is never too late to get back into a great dental routine! At Newport Beach Dentistry, we will provide a complete, thorough examination of your entire mouth. We not only believe in providing the best treatment to their patients, but also preventing future dental problems from occurring through patient education. Give us a call today 949-644-9181 to schedule your comprehensive examination.
Why should I have my teeth cleaned twice a year?
Even with brushing and flossing twice a day, plaque continues to form on your teeth. As this plaque builds up, it hardens into calculus (or tartar) and sticks to your tooth. Once calculus has formed, the only way to remove it is by having a dental hygienist clean it off of your teeth. Leaving calculus on your teeth for a prolonged period of time can cause issues such as bad breath, bleeding gums, and eventually bone loss (periodontal disease).
It is recommended for most healthy patients to have their teeth cleaned every 6 months due to this natural buildup of plaque. Some individuals build up plaque and calculus at a more rapid rate and require more frequent cleaning appointments. We understand that each patient’s mouth is unique and will develop a customized plan to return your gums and teeth to a healthy state. To schedule your cleaning appointment, call us today at 949-644-9181.
Now that I'm pregnant, why are my gums more sensitive and bleed more easily? What happens if I have a dental problem when I am pregnant?
During pregnancy, your changing hormone levels may cause healthy, pink gums to become red and swollen. This is called “Pregnancy Gingivitis” and is very common among pregnant women. The condition usually resolves shortly after giving birth.
It is important to stay current with exams and dental cleanings during your pregnancy. During your first trimester, the baby is developing rapidly and it is advised to avoid dental treatment. In order to minimize you and your baby’s risk, it is ideal to perform any dental treatment during the second trimester if necessary. If you have any additional concerns, do not hesitate to contact Newport Beach Dentistry at 949-644-9181.
When will my child get his or her first tooth?
On average, your child’s first teeth should begin to erupt when he or she is between 5-7 months old. However, it is common for their teeth to erupt before, or even after, this range and still considered to be normal. The first teeth that you will see are the lower front teeth followed by the upper front teeth. Also, girls’ teeth tend to erupt earlier than boys. It is important to start introducing your child to the dentist as early as one years old. Please contact Newport Beach Dentistry at 949-644-9181 to schedule your child’s first appointment.
My child’s baby teeth have cavities. Why do they need a filling if they’re just going to fall out in a few years?
Even though your child’s baby teeth will eventually fall out, they still need to be treated with proper care. Baby teeth that have decay can lead to an infection causing pain. Keeping your child’s baby teeth for as long as they can holds the space for their permanent adult teeth to come in. By removing baby teeth too early, it can lead to spacing issues with their adult teeth. If you’re concerned your child may have cavities, please give us a call at 949-644-9181.
What are dental sealants?
One of the most common places patients develop cavities is in the deep grooves and pits of their back teeth. Food tends to get stuck in these areas, which make them a prime location for bacteria and decay to form. Sealants are a thin, hard white material that cover up these deep crevices and help prevent food and bacteria from getting into the grooves.
Sealants are minimally invasive and are a great preventive measure to reduce the risk of getting cavities. This procedure is recommended on children whose back permanent teeth have just erupted to decrease the risk of getting cavities at a young age.
My dentist says I have a cavity and that I need a filling. Why doesn't my tooth hurt?
One of the most common misconceptions in dentistry is that cavities always cause your tooth to hurt. Most of the time when you have a cavity, you are completely unaware of the fact because it does not hurt. Sometimes, if a tooth hurts because of a cavity, it means the decay has gotten into the nerve and the tooth will most likely need more work including a root canal and crown. When a cavity is small, usually only a small filling is needed. That is why it is important to go to your recommended dental appointments to evaluate your teeth to prevent any major dental problems from occurring.
I am concerned about radiation, why do I need to get dental x-rays?
It is important to get dental x-rays so that we can see all the areas of your mouth that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Areas such as your jaw bone, in between your teeth, and the roots of your teeth where infections are likely to develop can be seen only with x-rays.
The amount of radiation you receive from dental x-rays is very low. With our digital x-rays, the amount of radiation is only a small fraction of what traditional, non-digital x-rays used to be. As a comparison, a CT scan exposes a patient to 2500 times the radiation as a digital dental x-ray. Even a 5 hour airline flight is approximately 6 times the radiation compared to a digital dental x-ray.
What should I do if one of my teeth gets knocked out?
The first thing you need to do if one of your teeth gets knocked out is to locate the tooth. Then, determine whether the tooth is broken or if the tooth came out in one piece. When you pick up the tooth, avoid touching the root of the tooth and place the tooth in milk. Time is of the essence so immediately call your dentist and come into the office. We will evaluate the tooth and determine if it can be re-implanted. If the tooth is re-implanted, it may be splinted to the tooth next to it with a wire for a period of time.
What are my options for replacing a missing tooth?
If you are missing a tooth, we offer different options to have that tooth replaced. A thorough examination of the missing space will be completed by the doctors to determine the best option for you which can include a dental implant, dental bridge, or partial denture. In many instances, a dental implant is a great long term option to replace your missing tooth. If you have any missing teeth and would like us to take a look, call Newport Beach Dentistry at 949-644-9181.
What can I do if I have a dry mouth?
Dry mouth (or xerostomia) is caused from a lack of saliva. There are many reasons why dry mouth occurs including salivary gland diseases, side effects of medications, and aging. A decreased salivary flow can lead to many dental problems including gum disease, decay, and infections.
Some effective ways to increase the amount of saliva you produce include chewing sugar-free gum and drinking lots of water. There are also several over the counter products, such as Biotene, that can help with your dry mouth. If you have dry mouth and would like an evaluation, please contact Newport Beach Dentistry at 949-644-9181.
I have diabetes. Are there any dental problems that are associated with this disease?
Diabetes decreases blood flow and circulation to your gums, which can cause gingivitis and in some cases, periodontitis (bone loss around your teeth). It will also be more difficult to fight off dental-related infections with diabetes. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is important that is properly controlled. You increase your risk of developing dental related problems if your diabetes is poorly controlled. In addition, you will want to make sure you maintain excellent oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily.
If you have any questions regarding the variety of dental services we provide, contact Newport Beach Dentistry today at 949-644-9181.