Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Which type of toothbrush should I use?
A: The brand of the toothbrush is not as critical as the type of bristle and the size of the head. A soft toothbrush with a small head is recommended because medium and hard brushes tend to cause irritation and contribute to recession of the gums, and a small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums. It's unnecessary to "scrub" the teeth as long as you are brushing at least twice a day and visiting your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings. Battery operated toothbrushes are also highly recomended. They have an assortment of features to help you better clean your teeth. We recomend Sonicare and Oral B. We have both models in office for demonstration. Please have a conversation with your Dental Hygienist when your in the office. She will be able to recommend the perfect tooth brush for you.
Q: Is one toothpaste better than others?
A: Dr. Strange recomends a tooth paste with out any whitening, or scrubbing beads, etc. Just the basic tarter control tooth paste. it's advisable to use a fluoride containing toothpaste to decrease the incidence of dental decay. For children, we recomend any fluoride tooth paste that they enjoy the taste of to help with motivation for consistent tooth brushing. Mouth wash is also recomended. When using mouth wash, it is recomended that you use an alcohol free product. Dr. Strange also recomends a baking soda tooth paste. There is one on the market but it is best just to make your own. Use a teaspoon or two of baking soda, add water or hydrogen peroxide (just a few drops), add mouth wash for taste if necessary. Scoop up mixture with toothbrush and apply to teeth as usual.
Q: How often should I floss?
A: Flossing of the teeth once per day helps to prevent cavities from forming between the teeth where your toothbrush can't reach. Flossing also helps to keep your gums healthy. Once per day is recomended. Minimum of three times per week is a must.
Q: What's the difference between a "crown" and a "cap"?
A: These are restorations to repair a severely broken tooth by covering all or most of the tooth after removing old fillings, fractured tooth structure, and all decay. The restoration material is made of gold, porcelain, composites, or even stainless steel. Dentists refer to all of these restorations as "crowns". However, patients often refer to the tooth-colored ones as "caps" and the gold or stainless steel ones as "crowns".
Q: What's the difference between a "bridge" and a "partial denture"?
A: Both bridges and partial dentures replace missing teeth. A bridge is permanently attached to abutment teeth and it is important to know that the retention teeth must modified or made smaller to fit the retention crowns. (We can show videos and models to demonstrate this description) A partial denture is attached by clasps to the remaining teeth, can replace more than one tooth, and is easily removed by the patient. If you are a candidate for either or both of these replacement options, our office will provide you with a treatment plan and thoroughly answer any and all questions.
Q: What about "silver" fillings versus "white" fillings?
A: In 1993 the U.S. Public Health Service issued a report stating there is no health reason not to use amalgam (silver fillings) and this is currently still their position. However, more patients today are requesting "white" or tooth-colored composite fillings. We also prefer tooth-colored fillings because they "bond" to the tooth structure and therefore help strengthen a tooth weakened by decay. Tooth colored fillings are also usually less sensitive to temperature, and they also look better. However, "white" fillings cannot be used in every situation, and if a tooth is very badly broken-down, another treatment option will usually be necessary and would provide better overall satisfaction for the patient. Please note that Dr. Strange does NOT offer amalgam restorations in his office.
Q: Do I need to have a root canal just because I have to have a crown?
A: No. While most teeth which have had root canal treatments do need crowns to strengthen the teeth and to return the teeth to normal form and function, not every tooth needing a crown also needs to have a root canal.