Dentistry is a very broad field of medicine, and many people have questions about their oral health and dental treatments. Dr. Andrew Smith and Dr. Bradley Smith have provided the following page of answers to common dental questions. If you have further questions, please call Wasatch Gentle Dental at 801-262-6661. Our dentists and team will be happy to provide you with more information and help you schedule an appointment at our office in Murray, Utah.
What should I do if I have bad breath?
Bad breath can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Morning time
- Certain foods
- Poor oral hygiene habits
- Gum disease
- Poorly-fitted oral appliances
- Dry mouth
- Tobacco products
- Dehydration, hunger, and missed meals
- Certain medical conditions and illnesses
To prevent bad breath, we recommend that you:
- Practice good oral hygiene
- Visit our dentists regularly
- Stop smoking or chewing tobacco
- Drink water frequently
- Use mouthwash/rinses
In most cases, our dentists can treat the cause of bad breath. If halitosis persists, we may refer you to your physician for further treatment.
How often should I brush and floss?
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, and preferably after each meal. Be sure to brush before going to bed at night. We recommend that you use an ADA-approved soft-bristle toothbrush and toothpaste. Electric toothbrushes are also recommended.
Floss daily to clean the spaces between the teeth and under the gum line. If you have difficulty using conventional floss, try using a floss holder.
Are amalgam fillings safe?
Yes. While there is some debate about the safety of amalgam fillings, they have been safely used to fill teeth for more than 100 years. The ADA, along with the Center for Disease Control World Health Organization, and FDA support the use of silver fillings as safe, durable, and cost-effective.
How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?
You should visit the dentist twice each year for routine dental cleanings and exams. Our dentists or hygienists may recommend more frequent visits depending on your oral health.
How can I tell if I have gum disease?
As gum disease has no obvious or painful symptoms in the earliest stages, it can be difficult to diagnose. Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Red and puffy gums
- Bleeding gums
- Persistent bad breath
- New spacing between teeth
- Loose teeth
- Pus around the teeth and gums
- Receding gums
- Tenderness or discomfort
Our dentists will check your mouth for signs of periodontal disease at each dental exam you receive.
Why is flossing important?
Flossing reaches the areas of your moth that cannot be cleaned by your toothbrush. The areas between your teeth and under the gum line are highly susceptible to decay and periodontal disease, and daily flossing is the best way to ensure those areas remain clean and free from plaque and harmful bacteria.
How can cosmetic dentistry help improve the appearance of my smile?
Cosmetic dentistry has become increasingly popular as dentistry has advanced and as patients have become more focused on improving their overall health and appearance. There are many cosmetic treatments available to help you improve your smile. Depending on your needs and smile goals, your cosmetic treatment could produce results ranging from subtle improvements and single-tooth restorations to dramatic enhancements and full-mouth makeovers.
Common cosmetic procedures include teeth whitening, composite (tooth-colored) dental fillings, porcelain dental veneers, porcelain crowns (caps), dental implants, and orthodontic treatments.
What are porcelain veneers, and how can they improve my smile?
Porcelain veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells. Each shell is individually crafted to cover the front surfaces of teeth to restore and enhance the beauty of your smile. They are highly durable, and will not stain. Veneers typically require two appointment with our dentists. You may want to consider veneers if you have one or more of the following conditions:
- Severely discolored or stained teeth
- Gaps or uneven spaces between the teeth
- Worn or chipped teeth
- Slight tooth crowding
- Misshapen teeth
- Teeth that are too large or too small
What can I do about stained or discolored teeth?
The most common treatment for stained or discolored teeth is teeth whitening, or bleaching. There are several types of whitening available to help you brighten your smile.
While over-the-counter whitening treatments are available, they are much less effective than professional treatments, and may not be ADA-approved. Professional whitening treatments may be available in-office or in the form of take-home teeth whitening kits. Please speak with our dentists to learn more about our teeth whitening options.