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 // FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I have bad breath ?

There are various reasons why someone might have bad breath. For many healthy people, it is due to microbial deposits on the back of the tongue. Brushing the tongue can reduce bad breath up to 70%

Bad breath can be caused by:

  • Morning time
  • Certain foods
  • Poor oral hygiene habits
  • Periodontal (gum) disease
  • Dental cavities and improperly fitted dental appliances
  • Dry mouth
  • Tobacco products
  • Dieting
  • Dehydration, hunger, and missed meals
  • Certain medical conditions and illnesses

To prevent bad breath, practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day and with daily flossing, see your dentist regularly for a cleaning and check-up, stop smoking and chewing tobacco, drink water frequently, and use mouthwash or rinse. In most cases, your dentist can help you treat the cause of bad breath.

How often should I brush and floss?

Brushing and flossing help to control plaque and bacteria. Tooth brushing should be done twice a day with a soft bristle brush or electric toothbrush and ADA approved toothpaste. You should floss daily the clean between the teeth and under the gum line to avoid plaque from building up.

How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?

You should have your teeth checked at least twice a year. Your dentist or hygienist may recommend a frequency for your cleaning, depending on the condition of your oral health. These visits will include a medical history review, diagnostic x-rays, oral cancer screening, gum disease evaluation, examination of tooth decay, examination of existing restorations, removal of tartar and plaque, teeth polishing, oral hygiene recommendation, and a review of dietary habits.

How can I tell if I have gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)?

4 out of 5 people have periodontal disease and don’t know it. In the early stages, there is often no pain and the disease will go unnoticed. Having no signs and symptoms is common and makes regular dental visits and daily brushing/flossing vital. Periodontal disease often begins with gingivitis, a film of bacteria left on the teeth. Symptoms can include red and puffy gums, bleeding gums, bad breath, loose teeth, receding gums, pus, teeth spacing, and discomfort. View our periodontics page to learn more.

What’s the best way to floss my teeth?

We recommend using a water picker to floss your teeth. An alternative to traditional flossing, water picking directly streams water into your mouth and gums to massage gums and push food away from the teeth. It does not scrape the teeth and can get into hard to reach places. The light massage can help improve gum health and avoid bleeding and sensitivity that often comes from traditional flossing.

What are porcelain veneers and how can they improve my smile?

Porcelain veneers are thin shells of tooth-shaped porcelain individually crafted to cover teeth. They are durable, won’t stain, and are a popular option to restore or enhance your smile. 

They can help restore:

  • Severely discoloured or stained teeth
  • Unwanted or uneven spaces
  • Worn or chipped teeth
  • Slight tooth crowding
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Teeth that are too small or large

Learn more about the veneers process.

What are porcelain veneers and how can they improve my smile?

We recommend using a water picker to floss your teeth. An alternative to traditional flossing, water picking directly streams water into your mouth and gums to massage gums and push food away from the teeth. It does not scrape the teeth and can get into hard to reach places. The light massage can help improve gum health and avoid bleeding and sensitivity that often comes from traditional flossing.

What can I do about stained or discoloured teeth?

There are many products and options when it comes to teeth whitening. Professional whitening is a simple, non-invasive treatment used to change the colour of natural tooth enamel to enhance the beauty of your smile. Over-the-counter products are also available but not always approved by the American Dental Association.

It’s important to have your teeth evaluated by your dentist to determine if you’re a good candidate for bleaching. Teeth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel and past restorations many need to be replaced in order to match. Learn more about our teeth whitening offered at Coast Dental Centre.

What are my options if I have missing teeth?

Due to state-of-the-art equipment and procedures, they are fewer reasons to extract teeth. We do everything possible to restore a natural tooth to its original function. When a tooth is lost, this can cause other teeth to shift which can affect your bite and wear. There are many options to replace these missing teeth including:

Implants:  an implant is an artificial root surgically placed in the jaw to replace a missing tooth. An artificial tooth is anchored to the implant and appears as a natural tooth. They are the most aesthetically pleasing option.

Fixed bridges: made of porcelain, this bridge is anchored to the natural teeth using the adjacent teeth to the empty space. The adjacent, natural teeth will have to be crowned to hold the bridge in place. It cannot be removed and is very sturdy. 

Dentures: this is most often used when a majority of natural teeth are missing. They are artificial and made to resemble the patient’s original teeth. There are partial or complete denture options.

What can be done about old, unattractive, or discoloured fillings?

Some of our fillings can date back years and may now be old, dark, and unattractive. In addition to an unattractive appearance, they may also be defective by allowing bacteria and food debris in. Your dentist can check your fillings and evaluate if they are defective and need replacing. Many options are available that are quick, painless, and cost-effective to replace old fillings.

Options include:

What do heart disease and other medical conditions have to do with periodontal (gum) disease?

Many people are unaware that periodontal (gum) disease can affect your overall health. It is one of the most common infections and the number one reason for adult tooth loss. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection, usually beginning in gingivitis. 
There are many studies to suggest a correlation between gum disease and major medical conditions. These studies suggest that those with gum disease are at a greater risk for oral bacteria to enter the bloodstream and travel to major organs and begin new infections. This may contribute to:

  • Heart disease
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Compromised health of those with diabetes or respiratory diseases
  • Increased risk of having a preterm, low-birth-weight baby

There is still much more research to be done to understand the link. To ensure a healthy mouth, we recommend regular dental cleanings and exams, which will include a periodontal evaluation.

When are sealants recommended?

Although brushing and flossing are effective in moving most food particles and bacteria, it does not reach deeps grooves of your teeth called pits and fissures. More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves. Sealants are a thin plastic coating that covers and protects the chewing surface of molars, premolars, and grooves to make cleaning easier and reduce the risk of decay.

Sealants only take a few minutes per tooth. Chewing surfaces are roughened with an acid solution to help the sealant adhere to the tooth. The sealant material is painted onto the surface and then hardens. Combined with proper home care and regular check-ups, sealants are effective in preventing tooth decay.

What should I do if a tooth is knocked out?

By handling this dental emergency properly, we may be able to save your tooth. If acted upon quickly, your tooth may be re-implanted by following these steps:

  • Locate the tooth and only handle it by the crown (chewing part of the tooth) and not by the roots
  • Do not scrub or use chemicals to clean the tooth. If there is dirt or debris, rinse with your own saliva or whole milk. If not possible, rinse very gently with water. 
  • Get to a dentist within 30 minutes. The longer you wait, the less chance there is for successful reimplantation. 

How to transport the tooth:

  • Try to replace the tooth into its socket. Gently bite down on gauze, a wet tea bag, or your own teeth to keep the tooth in place. Apply a cold compress for pain and swelling if needed. 
  • If it cannot be placed back in the socket, place the tooth in a container and cover with a small amount of your saliva or whole milk. You may also place it under your tongue or between your lower lip and gums. Keep the tooth moist at all times and do not transport the tooth in a tissue or cloth.
  • Consider buying a “Save-A-tooth” storage container and keeping it in your first aid kit. The kit is available at many pharmacies and contains a case and fluid for easy transport.

Why straighten teeth?

Straighter teeth make chewing, biting, and speaking functions easier and more effective. It can enhance your smile and boost confidence! Alignment problems can include overbite, underbite, crossbite, and overcrowding. Misaligned teeth can be caused by:

Periodontitis: crooked teeth are hard to clean effectively, leasing that plaque and tartar can build up in these hard to reach places. This makes you more susceptible to gum disease from bacterial infections. 

Temporomandibular Disorder (TMJ): crooked teeth can cause improper alignment in your jaw turning into the painful condition, TMJ. This can include severe headaches, jaw pain, lockjaw, and teeth grinding

Tooth Injury: straight teeth create a strong wall where injuries are less likely to occur. Crooked teeth are weaker and often protrude making them more susceptible to injury. 

Uneven wear:   crooked teeth cause some of the teeth to work more than others while biting. The workload is spread evenly, meaning less risk of injury.

Teeth can be straightened using traditional braces or Invisalign. Ask us which option is best suited for your needs.

How do I know what my plan cover?

Every dental coverage plan is unique in what they will cover. Contact your insurance provider to learn more about your plan. We would also be happy to help guide you through your coverage. When recommending treatment, please note we offer the best treatment plan that is suited for your dental needs, not your plan.

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