Q: How can I treat bad breath?

A: Bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by a variety of things. The most common causes of bad breath include sleeping (giving us “morning breath”), odorous foods, poor dental hygiene, periodontal disease, cavities, having a dry mouth, tobacco products, dieting, dehydration or hunger, and certain medical conditions. Although bad breath may seem unavoidable, there are treatments for it. The most beneficial treatments are to practice good dental hygiene habits and to regularly visit your dentist. Other treatments may include avoiding tobacco products, drinking more water, and using mouthwash. If you have questions about halitosis or need further treatment, our dentist can help.

Q: How often should I brush and floss?

A: You should brush your teeth at least twice a day. The most effective way to brush is in small circles; this helps get your toothbrush bristles inside every little area. Be sure to brush all sides of your teeth and your tongue. You should floss between your teeth at least once daily to help remove plaque between the teeth and along the gum line. It is important to also rinse your mouth after brushing and flossing.

Q: Are amalgam (silver) fillings safe?

A: According to the American Dental Association, 76% of dentists use amalgam fillings that contain mercury. According to research, there have been no links confirmed between silver fillings and mercury-related medical disorders. Most people, including the FDA, CDC, and World Health Organization, agree that amalgam fillings are safe.

Q: How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?

A: It is recommended that you have a dental exam and cleaning at least twice a year; however, if you have more extensive dental issues, your dentist may recommend additional visits. Typically, these visits consist of cleaning your teeth and checking for cavities and other decay. Some dentists may also include X-rays, an oral cancer screening, and a gum disease evaluation. Having regular, bi-annual visits to your dentist is one of the best things you can do to maintain a healthy mouth.

Q: What are the signs of periodontal disease (gum disease)?

A: Periodontal disease is usually painless in its early stages, making it difficult to detect. However, as the disease advances, your gums will become puffy and red, and they will start bleeding. Periodontal disease can also cause bad breath, gaps between your teeth, loose teeth, and receding gums. If you think that you have periodontal disease, visit your dentist immediately for a diagnosis and treatment.

Q: Why is it important to floss?

A: Brushing your teeth is great for removing plaque and bacteria, but your toothbrush bristles cannot reach between your teeth, which is where your teeth are most susceptible to damage. By flossing daily, you can clean between your teeth and prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Flossing only takes a few minutes each day, which is a small price to pay when it comes to avoiding major dental problems.

Q: How can cosmetic dentistry help improve the appearance of my smile?

A: Cosmetic dentistry includes treatments that whiten, straighten, or otherwise enhance the appearance of your teeth. These treatments can improve just a single tooth, or your entire mouth. If you have just a few things that are keeping you from having the smile you want, cosmetic dentistry can often bring the results you want.

Q: What can I do about stained or discolored teeth?

A: The most common procedure used to treat stained or discolored teeth is teeth whitening (or bleaching). This has become the number one aesthetic concern among most people. Today, dentists offer a variety of teeth whitening treatments that are completed in-office or at home. Teeth whitening is, overall, a fairly simple process, and it can help you get a newer, more confident smile.

For more information about dental care and oral health, and to set up your next appointment with our dentists in Quincy, Massachusetts, please feel free to contact Coddington Dental today. We are eager to hear from you!