Frequently Asked Questions
At West Wind Dental, we want you to be an active participant in your oral health care and will give you as much knowledge as possible to help you do so, starting with this FAQs page. If you have any questions that we haven’t answered here, please call our kind and compassionate front desk team. They love sharing their vast dental knowledge!
The frequency of your dental care appointments depends on many things – all of them personal to your unique oral health needs. For most patients, we recommend coming in every 6 months, so we can check for any potential problems. This includes examining for tooth decay and ensuring that we know of any changes to your health that may impact your dental treatments or your dental health.
We also screen for oral cancer and check your restorations to ensure they are in good working order. If there is a concern, we can then repair the problem while it is still small and to help you avoid a dental emergency in the future. At your hygiene appointment, in addition to cleaning away any tartar, calculus, and staining from your teeth, we will polish them. We also check for gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease, and help educate you on how homecare routines and lifestyle changes may improve your gum health.
For those who have the more advanced periodontitis, we may recommend you come in more frequently. Your overall health is as important to us as your oral health and we’d like to help you avoid the systemic health issues that can come with gum disease.
The Canadian Dental Association recommends bringing your child to the dentist for the first time at age 1 so we can check for any developmental issues that could affect how their teeth will grow in. We can then assess whether they are at risk for having cavities when their teeth have come in by age 3, when we will want to see them regularly. Even something as innocent as putting your child to bed with a bottle of milk can bathe their teeth in sugars and contribute to cavity formation. Most of your child’s first appointment will be focussed on helping you establish a good home routine and diet to support your children having healthy teeth for life.
Many people think that because baby teeth fall out that cavities or premature tooth loss due to decay or an accident isn’t important. In fact, our baby teeth help guide the placement of adult teeth and without them kids are at risk for crooked or unevenly spaced teeth – not to mention pain from decay.
If you’re like nearly half the population you’ll suffer from bad breath (halitosis) at some point. This is usually caused by bacteria building up on the back of your tongue that produces a Sulphur-like compound … and a smell like rotten eggs. It can also be caused by smoking, drinking alcohol, hormonal changes, or in some cases, merely being hungry. Gum disease can also be a cause, which is why it’s so important to see a dental hygienist regularly and practice meticulous home care.
Good homecare habits include brushing your teeth twice a day for a minimum of two minutes, gently brushing or scraping your tongue, flossing or using an interdental cleaner at least once a day, and using mouthwash will give you the best protection from bad breath caused by bacteria.
If bad breath is a concern for you, please give us a call. One of our dentists will check for dental disease, our hygienists can help with homecare education and cleanings, and together with you, we will work out a treatment plan that supports your gum health and helps prevent cavities. We’re here to answer your questions, and if needed, join you on your journey to excellent oral health.
Even when you brush twice daily for two minutes, your toothbrush can’t reach all the places that food and bacteria collect. About one third of your tooth surfaces are missed by brushing alone, and that’s why some people who brush regularly and don’t use floss or interdental cleaners still end up with tooth decay.
Using dental floss or tape, or an interdental cleaner between your teeth once a day cleans debris and newly formed plaque from the areas your toothbrush just can’t reach. Daily attention to cleaning these areas prevents plaque from hardening into hard calculus that can only be removed at the dental office and helps you avoid gum disease. If you have questions about how to properly care for your teeth and gums, give us a call.
Grinding your teeth, also known as bruxing, or bruxism – in addition to irritating your spouse – can and often does cause tooth damage including chips and hairline cracks, morning headaches (most bruxism occurs while you’re sleeping), and sore neck and jaw muscles. Fortunately, we can correct this issue with the use of a mouthguard you wear at night to prevent unconscious clenching and grinding.
Night guards look a little like sports mouthguards but are designed to take the pressure of teeth grinding. Custom-made to your personal dentination, they are designed to withstand the pressure and prevent muscle tension. We’d be happy to help you with a night guard or if needed other treatments to help relieve the pressure of teeth grinding. Just give us a call and we’ll fit you right in.
“You are what you eat” is a common phrase that is particularly true when we talk about how it impacts your oral health. While most of us try to eat healthy and nutritious foods at mealtimes, how we snack between meals – and take care of our dental needs during the day – can make a big difference to your oral health. Snacks that bathe your teeth in sugar also feed that bacteria that live in your mouth. And these foods don’t need to taste sweet. Even pretzels and chips are converted straight to sugar when you eat them. Plus, constant snacking doesn’t allow your saliva to clean away this sugar and bacteria, leaving you open to tooth decay and gum disease.
Choosing healthy fruits and vegetables helps prevent this bacterial feeding frenzy – and foods like apples that are crunchy and high in vitamins work as nature’s toothbrush while also giving healthy vitamins that support your overall health.
Aside from contributing to cavity and gum disease risk, some foods and drinks can also stain your teeth – coffee, red wine, and tomato-based foods, for example. Try adding more water to your diet after consuming them to help prevent this staining.
Ensure your daily routines include brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits to keep your teeth healthy and beautiful – and if you’d like a little help with a brighter smile, we can help you with that. Just give us a call. We’d love to meet you!
If you find it difficult to swallow, speak, and chew food, you may be experiencing dry mouth syndrome (xerostomia). This dry, uncomfortable feeling comes with a decrease in saliva production. A number of conditions can cause your salivary glands to slow down saliva production…
• Emotional stress & anxiety
• Medical conditions including Sjögren’s syndrome, diabetes, stroke, or others
• Some over the counter and prescription medications.
Once your doctor has ruled out health issues, we can help you with any dental concerns that come with dry mouth syndrome. Saliva is an important component to your oral health – it remineralizes your teeth and washes away bacteria and food debris. Without the proper amount of moisture in your mouth you can be more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. We can recommend simple treatments to increase the amount of moisture and protection, and work with you to create a treatment plan that addresses your dental concerns. Give us a call, and in the meantime, continue to brush twice daily for two minutes and clean between your teeth with floss or an interdental cleaner every day.
When you lose even one tooth it can cause problems with both your oral health and appearance. The reason for this is twofold. First, you need your teeth to chew and speak properly. Even one gap can make a difference to what kind of nutritious foods you can eat comfortably. Added to that is that when there is a gap in your smile it leaves room for your other teeth to shift or move – and this could in time affect your bite. Your tooth roots play an important role in your jaw health, and without the constant stimulation from your tooth roots, your jawbone could shrink over time and change your appearance.
This is where dental implants come in. Because they are a permanent tooth replacement that mimic the look and feel of natural teeth, they can prevent many of the issues that come with missing teeth.
• Keep your smile looking natural, so you can speak and smile with confidence
• Are permanently attached, so you can comfortably chew the foods you love
• Stimulate your jawbone like tooth roots to prevent bone loss
• Can replace or anchor dentures … no more glue!
If you’d like to learn more about how dental implant treatment can help you smile with confidence, eat the healthy foods you love, and speak clearly, give us a call.