James Yee Dental
Modern technology with old-fashioned charm
Frequently Asked Dental Questions

Brushing your teeth:
Good oral health begins with clean teeth - brush your teeth at least twice a day and make sure that you do a thorough job. Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits your mouth comfortably. Consider using an electric or battery-operated toothbrush, especially if you have arthritis or other problems that make it difficult to brush effectively. Invest in a new toothbrush or a replacement head for your electric or battery-operated toothbrush every three to four months - or sooner if the bristles become frayed.

Brushing alone doesn't reach the tight spaces between your teeth or under your gumline. That's why flossing your teeth on a daily basis is important. We can show you proper flossing technique.

Bad breath:
Bad breath (halitosis) can be embarrassing. Certain foods, health conditions and habits are among the causes of bad breath. In many cases, you can improve bad breath with proper dental hygiene. If this does not solve the problem, you should see your dentist to make sure that the condition is not caused by another more serious problem.

Cavities are permanently damaged areas in your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes. Cavities are caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria in your mouth and not cleaning your teeth properly. If cavities aren't treated, they get larger and affect deeper layers of your teeth. This can lead to severe toothache, infection and tooth loss. Good brushing and flossing habits combined with regular dental visits can help in preventing cavities.

Sensitive teeth:
When you have sensitive teeth, activities such as brushing, flossing, eating and drinking can cause sharp, temporary pain in your teeth. Sensitive teeth are typically the result of worn tooth enamel or exposed tooth roots. Sometimes, however, tooth discomfort is caused by other factors, such as a cavity, a cracked or chipped tooth, or receding gums. This recession of the gum line exposes the underlying more sensitive dentin. You should consider limiting acidic foods and drinks, such as carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, wine and yogurt — all of which can remove tooth enamel. Desensitizing toothpaste can help block pain associated with sensitive teeth. If you grind your teeth, ask your dentist about a mouth guard. Tooth grinding (bruxism) can fracture teeth and cause sensitivity.

Do whitening toothpastes actually whiten teeth?
Whitening toothpastes can whiten teeth slightly by removing surface stains, such as those caused by drinking coffee or smoking. Whitening toothpaste can also be used after a bleaching treatment to help maintain results. However, whitening toothpaste can't change the natural color of teeth or reverse discoloration caused by excessive exposure to fluoride during tooth development, penetrating surface stains or decay. When used twice a day, whitening toothpaste typically takes two to four weeks to make teeth whiter. Whitening toothpaste is generally safe for daily use, but excessive use might damage tooth enamel. If you're considering using a whitening toothpaste, look for a brand that has a seal of approval from a reputable dental organization — such as the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, which indicates that the toothpaste is effective at removing surface stains and reducing tooth decay. If you're not satisfied with the effect of whitening toothpaste, talk to your dentist about more effective tooth whitening options.

What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a condition caused when bacteria surrounds the teeth and enters the gums. The gums can become irritated, inflamed and often bleed. In order to prevent the condition from worsening, regular dental hygiene visits are recommended.

What is the Difference a White and Silver Filling?
Silver Fillings known as Amalgam have been around for decades. Made from a metal alloy, it was the best restoration for fillings. Properly placed amalgam fillings are long lasting and keep the teeth healthy and strong. White Fillings, also known as composites are often made of plastic or glass polymers. These cosmetic fillings allow us to fill a cavity with a substance that will look and feel just like your existing tooth structure. This restoration is created with a resin material and fits tightly into a tooth to prevent decay. Rather than a gray or silver material in your mouth, the composite color will match the tooth color.

What is Bonding?
Bonding is a procedure used to fill gaps in front teeth and to change a tooth’s color.

What are Porcelain Veneers?
Porcelain Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that go directly on your natural teeth. Veneers change the size, shape and color of a person’s teeth. This procedure is used to repair fractured teeth, teeth darkened by age or medication, or a crooked smile.

What are Crowns?
Crowns are a permanent cosmetic procedure that covers the entire tooth.

What is a Dental Implant?
A Dental Implant is a “man-made” replacement for a missing tooth or tooth root. Made from titanium, this screw-like object is inserted under the gum and directly into the upper or lower jaw bone. There is usually minimal discomfort involved with this procedure. After a period of a few months, the Dental Implant and the bone fuse together. This creates an anchor for the new tooth to be placed onto the dental implant. With routine dental hygiene scheduled and proper home care, dental Implants can last approximately 30 years to a lifetime.

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