My morning doesn't start until I've had my first cup of tea. How bad is this for my teeth?
Tea and coffee are safe to drink in moderation. However, over time, large amounts can cause staining and damage. In addition to caffeine, tea and coffee contain chromogens, deeply pigmented molecules that adhere to dental enamel, and tannins, which boost a chromogen molecule's ability to attach to dental enamel. Black tea is worse than black coffee, because tea is higher in tannins.
How can I protect my teeth from damage?
The enamel on our teeth is hard, but as we all know, it can be chipped and cracked. In addition to following the instructions of your hygienist, here are some other ways you can protect your teeth:
- Avoid chewing ice, cracking nut shells, or opening packages with your teeth.
- Avoid "hard foods" such as popcorn kernels.
- Limit acidic soft drinks and sugary foods that stick to your teeth.
- Decide against tongue and lip piercings, which can fracture teeth and increase infection risk.
Should I update my manual toothbrush to an electric?
When used appropriately, a manual toothbrush is as effective as a powered toothbrush. The key is to brush for the recommended two to three minutes, using short strokes at a 45-degree angle to the gums, and covering the entire tooth surface - inner, outer, and chewing.
I'm pregnant. Is it safe for me to go to the dentist?
Congratulations! Yes, you should continue to see your dentist, as pregnancy can increase certain dental issues due to changes in hormone levels. Be sure to inform your dentist that you are pregnant and if you're experiencing any changes in your oral health.
When should my child receive his/her first dental check-up?
Ideally, you should seek a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears and no later than by his/her first birthday.
I've heard that my silver-colored fillings contain mercury. Should I have them replaced?
Dental amalgam (silver) fillings are comprised of silver, tin, copper, and liquid mercury, which are combined to form an inert (non-active) alloy. According to the FDA, CDC, the American Dental Association (ADA), and a number of other public health agencies, there is no link between this type of filling and any known health issue. Because of speculation and controversy, amalgam is the most researched and tested dental filling material on the market. Dr. Dernick places tooth-colored composite fillings instead of silver-colored amalgam fillings for a more natural look.
What's so bad about losing a tooth?
When teeth are lost, the result is more than just a gap in your smile. Bone loss in your jaw begins almost as soon as the tooth goes missing. Losing even a single tooth can cause the other teeth to shift and move around. This can affect chewing and your ability to absorb nutrients from your food. Your face can look "sunken" and age your appearance. Your speech can be affected, too. One of the best ways to treat a missing tooth is with a dental implant. An implant can replace one tooth or many. They can be made to look so natural that even a dentist has to look hard to tell the difference.