Q&A: Age-Related Discoloration in Teeth

Teeth BleachingIs bleaching OK?

Today everyone wants a beautiful smile with white teeth.  Unfortunately, different types of food and beverages can discolor teeth.  As we get older, it is common for our teeth to appear darker or more yellow.
Bleaching is a great solution for discoloration.  I believe the most effective type of bleaching is our tray bleaching treatment.  We take an impression of your mouth and fabricate custom trays.  Our patients apply bleaching gel in the trays and wear them for 15 minutes twice a day for about a week to achieve optimal results.  Although this will permanently bleach your teeth, most patients want to “touch-up” every year or so to remove new stains.  They can use their original trays to do this.

Q&A: Baby’s 1st Visit to the Dentist

Baby's 1st VisitWhen should my child first visit a dentist?

I suggest the first dental visit should be between the ages of 2 and 3.

What actually happens during a child’s first visit to the dentist?

We want the child to have an enjoyable experience during their first visit, which is why I encourage them to begin at a young age before any major dental problems occur. It is important for each child to be comfortable during their first visit, so we initially begin with an orientation to the dental office and the role of the dentist. Next, we will complete a tooth brush cleaning, which allows us to provide a thorough cleaning and also teach the child and parent how to properly brush their teeth. Finally, we will discuss an at-home, teeth cleaning regimen for the child.

When will my child need their first X-ray and teeth cleaning?

This process usually begins around the age of 5 or 6. This is the age when children begin to develop adult teeth and it is important to begin regular checkups every 6 months at this age.

What is essential dental care?

Essential dental care includes several things:

  • Initial X-rays which should be completed every five years.
  • Teeth cleaning every six months
  • Bite-wing X-rays to check for cavities

Are those x-rays really necessary?

Yes! X-rays are a way to ensure that teeth are growing correctly and are used to detect cavities in the early stages and lesions between the teeth. The radiation exposure from digital X-rays is less than that received while standing in front of a microwave oven while it’s running and less than the exposure received from the sun while taking a walk on a sunny day.