Cosmetic Dentist Carmel

Questions About Family or Cosmetic Dentistry?

Below is a list of some of the questions we get asked most frequently from our patients. If you have a question that isn't answered below, feel free to give us a call and our team at Everly, Everly and Mercho Dental will be happy to assist you.

Taking Care of Your Teeth and Gums
How often should I visit the dentist?
You should visit the dentist at least twice a year. A dental exam can reveal early signs of decay and disease that you may not see or feel. Catching these conditions early can help control them before them get worse and harder to treat. Additionally, getting a cleaning by a trained professional will remove plaque in areas you may have missed or cannot reach.
How often should I brush and floss my teeth?
You should brush at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed. You should floss once a day as well.
What is the proper way to brush my teeth?
The following guidelines are important to brushing correctly.

1.Firstly, make sure to use a soft bristled brush. Hard bristled brushes can wear down the enamel of your teeth.

2. Place your brush at a 45 degree angle to your gumline. Bristles should contact both the tooth surface and the gumline.

3. Use short back and forth strokes or tiny circular movements to brush your teeth. Each movement should be no bigger than the size of each tooth.

4. Make sure to use gentle strokes while brushing. Gentle strokes are effective in removing plaque, while too much pressure can wear down the enamel of your teeth.

5. Brush all surfaces of each tooth, including the outer, inner, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.

6. Finally, don't cut your brushing short! Make sure to brush for at least 2 minutes.
What is the proper way to floss?
The following guidelines are important to flossing correctly.

1. Take 18" of floss and wind it around the middle finger of each hand .You can use these fingers to take up floss as it becomes dirty. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch the floss leaving 1-2 inches in between for cleaning.

2. Gently move the floss up and down the spaces of your teeth. Never snap the floss down onto your gums, as it can cause damage.

3. As you move the floss down into the space between two teeth, slide it up and down against the surface of one tooth. Gently clean at the gumline as well. Repeat this for the other tooth.

4. Repeat this process for all of your teeth.

What is plaque?
Plaque is a sticky, clear film which forms every day on teeth from food debris and bacteria. If plaque is not removed, it can lead to gum disease and cavities. Regular dental check ups, along with brushing and flossing every day, can help prevent plaque buildup on teeth. In addition, avoiding sugary snacks and eating a balanced diet can help control plaque.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
What is periodontal (gum) disease
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the gums and bone that hold your teeth in place. Typically, periodontal disease occures when plaque builds up on the teeth and hardens, often due to poor brushing habits. The gums can become swollen and red in the early stage of the disease, called gingivitis. As the disease advances, periodontal disease can lead to sore and bleeding gums, pain while chewing, as well as tooth loss.
What are the signs of periodontal disease?
The following are signs of periodontal (gum) disease, and you should contact your dentist if you experience any of these:

  • gums that bleed while brushing
  • red, swollen or tender gums
  • gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • bad breath that doesn't go away
  • pus between your teeth and gums
  • loose teeth
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • a change in the fit of partial dentures
How can I prevent periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene. This includes brushing, flossing, and visiting you dentist regularly. Also make sure to eat a healthy diet to get the required vitamins and minerals necessary for your teeth.
Teeth Whitening
Why do our teeth turn yellow?
While our teeth start out pearly white, they can discolor through the years as our enamel wears down. The wearing down of enamel allows dentin, a yellow color substance that makes the core of our teeth, to show through. This is what gives our teeth a yellowish tint.
What are the different types of teeth whitening options?
Below are the three most popular teeth whitening options available today.

In-office teeth whitening
In-office teeth whitening works by producing a significant color change in your teeth in short amount of time, usally within an hour. The procedure is done at the dentist's office applying a high-concentration peroxide gel on the teeth after they have been protected with a special shield.

Professionally Dispensed Take-Home Whitening Kits
These whitening kits are purchased from your doctor for use at home. The strength of the gel used in these kits is lower than that used for in-office bleaching, and thus the gel can be applied for longer periods of time. Usually the trays are worn a couple hours a day or overnight for a few days or weeks depending on the product.

Over the counter whitening
Over the counter teeth whitening kits are store-bought and use a lower concentration gel than both in-office bleachin and take-home kits purchased from your doctor. While they are cheaper, they typically are less effective than methods that can be performed by your dentist because of the low concentration gel. Additionally, over the counter trays are not custom fit for your teeth, which can result in irritation to your gums while wearing the trays.
How long does teeth whitening last?
Teeth whitening usually lasts from one to three years before darkening of the teeth is noticed. Additionally, once your teeth have been initially whitened, typically only "touch ups" are required to maintain the whiteness.
Other Common Questions
What can I do about bad breath?
Bad breath is caused by a variety of factors, including the types of food you ingest, periodontal disease, dry mouth, and other causes. Going to your dentist will help you determine the cause of your bad breath, so that you can take steps to elminate it.

Regardless of the cause of your bad breath, good oral hygiene and regular checkups to the dentist will help reduce it. Brushing and flossing will eliminate particles of food stuck between your teeth which emit odors. It will also help prevent or treat periodontal disease (gum disease), caused by plaque buildup on your teeth, which can lead to bad breath. Dentures should be properly cleaned and soaked overnight in antibacterial solution (unless otherwise advised by your dentist). Finally, make sure to brush your tongue regularly to eliminate any residue.
Post-Op Instructions
Crowns, Veneers, and Bridges

Temporary : Be careful during the phase in which you have your temporary crown.  When flossing, it is best to pull the floss out through the side versus pulling up.  This will help prevent the temporary from loosening and possibly coming off.  Make sure to keep the area brushed, but do so gently.  Also try to avoid any sticky or hard foods.

If your temporary comes off in between appointments, it is important to call your dentist within 48 hours so it can be re-cemented.

Sensitivity:  Hot and cold sensitivity is to be expected following treatment.  It is normal to have some discomfort with the tooth and gum tissue for the first few days.  If you are having any discomfort with the tissue around the tooth, rinse with warm salt water.  You may also take Advil or Tylenol to help with any discomfort you may experience after having a crown preparation.

Crowns and Bridges:  After having the permanent crown or bridge cemented, you may notice that your bite feels a little different.  Over time, your bite will adjust to the new crown.  If after a few days it is still uncomfortable or begins to hurt, it is important to make an appointment to have the bite checked.  Even a small interference can make the tooth sore.

Home Care:  It is important to resume regular home care after having a crown or bridge placed.  Brushing and flossing should be the same as before you had the crown made.  You should also keep your routine dental check ups so that the health of the crown and the supporting tooth can be monitored by your dentist.

Composite fillings (bonding)

Sensitivity with hot and cold is not uncommon to experience after having a restoration done.  If you have any discomfort that lasts more than two weeks, you should contact the office to have the dentist look at the filling.  You may need your bite adjusted.

Extractions

Bleeding:

It is normal for bleeding to occur for the first 24 hours following an extraction.  If heavy bleeding occurs:

1. Place a teabag over the extraction site (teabags contain a compound called tannic acid which helps blood clotting).

2. Gently bite on the teabag for at least 30 minutes. DO NOT chew on it.

3. If the bleeding continues, call the office.

4. Do not suck on area or drink through a straw during the first 48 hours. 

5. Do not smoke for the first 48 hours following the extractions.

Rinsing:

1. Do not spit or rinse the surgical area on the day of the surgery.

2. The day after surgery you may gently rinse with warm salt water.

3. You may brush your teeth and your tongue after the surgery. Be careful of the surgical site.

Eating:

 Liquids and very soft foods for the first 24-48 hours following the surgery are highly recommended. If the area feels a little better, you can then move on to a normal diet. Be careful that you don't chew on hard foods near the surgical area.

Pain & Swelling:

It is normal to experience some degree of swelling.

If you do experience swelling, you can place ice over your face for 20-30 minutes at a time during the first 24 hours. This should help to reduce pain and swelling. Do not ice the area after the first 36 hours.

If you feel discomfort, it is recommended that you take Advil or Tylenol to ease the pain. If pain persists, you should call the office and have one of our doctors look at the surgical site.