At Portway Dental Centre we love answering our patients questions. We’ve assembled a collection of the most frequently asked questions below. If you have any more queries, don’t hesitate to get in touch and our dental professionals will be happy to respond!
Q: How frequently should I schedule checkups and cleanings?
A: We recommend children and adults visit the dentist every six months for a cleaning and checkup. If you are at a greater risk for oral diseases, you should schedule a dental checkup more than twice a year. Other factors your dentist might consider when deciding how often you need a dental checkup and cleaning include:
Q: How often should I brush my teeth?
A: Experts from the Canadian Dental Association recommend that you brush 2-3x a day. By brushing your teeth frequently, you can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease by removing plaque and other bacteria.
Q: When should I change my toothbrush?
A: After 3 months of daily use, your toothbrush becomes worn out and is no longer as effective as it once was. Electric toothbrushes may be an exception with some brands requiring their brush heads being changed only every 6 months. We recommend that you change your toothbrush every 4 to 6 weeks if you have gum disease because bacteria can linger in the bristles. Always rinse your toothbrush out with hot water after each use. Also be sure to change it after you’ve been sick.
Q: What is plaque?
A: Created from food debris and bacteria, plaque is a soft and sticky substance that collects on your teeth. Brushing and flossing thoroughly can remove plaque. If not removed, gum disease and cavities can form.
To help prevent plaque, we recommend:
Q: What causes bad breath?
A: Bad breath, also called halitosis, can affect anyone at any time. It can be caused by several factors. Common causes of bad breath are preventable and easy to treat. On the other hand, medical conditions that cause bad breath might be more difficult to remedy. For instance, chronic halitosis may mean you have an underlying medical concern that should be addressed by either your dentist or medical doctor.
Q: How often should I floss my teeth?
A: We recommend that you floss once a day. Flossing removes food debris and plaque from areas between your teeth that are out of your toothbrush’s reach. When you floss, you remove plaque that can cause tooth decay or gum disease. Recent studies have even shown that flossing can help prevent heart attack or stroke.
Tips on flossing your teeth:
If you struggle to floss your teeth, there are a number of dental products available that are designed to make flossing easier, such as disposable dental flossers. These can be a great option for kids as well! Ask your dentist or dental hygienist for more details.
Q: What is a dental sealant?
A: Dental sealants are clear, protective coatings applied to the biting surface of your back teeth. The sealant shields your teeth from bacteria and plaque to help prevent cavities. We recommend adding dental sealants to your child’s permanent back teeth as children can be more prone to cavities. The majority of insurance companies pay for children’s dental sealants; however, adults are usually not covered.