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 your teeth.
- 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 an electric?
When used appropriately, a manual toothbrush is as effective as a powered toothbrush. However, we have
found that patients can benefit from using a powered toothbrush. The key is to brush for the recommended
two to three minutes 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. Our 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. However, if the
amalgam filling is leaking or breaking down, it can be replaced with a composite (white) filling.
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 (423) 586-3432 so we can assist you.