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!
A: 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.
A: 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.
A: 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.
A: 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.