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Patient Education

At Parkland Dental Associates, we want you to be an active participant in your own health. We take the time to listen to your concerns & explain different options, so you can make informed decisions about your dental care & stay involved.
We encourage an open dialogue between our dental professionals & our patients. Like any health professionals, we are prone to doctor-speak, but we always strive to speak plainly & avoid jargon! If we ever say a word you don’t understand, please ask us to explain. We believe that the more our patients understand their care, the healthier their smiles will be.
Here are some frequently asked questions about dental care. Please take a look & feel free to contact us if you want more information on any topic.
  • Do I really have to go to the dentist every six months?
    Our mouths are constantly changing depending on what we eat & drink, our habits & our age. Seeing a dentist regularly is the best way to catch a potential problem before it becomes a big deal. Not to alarm you, but lots of dental conditions don’t necessarily have obvious symptoms that you can rely on to spot something early. Dentists have the expertise & advanced tools to properly examine your oral health in a way that patients simply can’t do for themselves. Not everyone needs to see the dentist every six months: some patients need to see us more often. Depending on your oral health situation, the dentist will recommend the frequency at which you need to visit us. Some patients see us every 3 or 4 months, especially if they have gum disease. If the dentist asks you to come in more frequently than you did in the past, please know that this advice is given with the idea of keeping you healthier in the long run. Your regular visits are your best chance for keeping your teeth strong, clean & white & your breath fresh. Hygienists can remove stains that regular brushing & flossing & in-home whitening treatments can’t! Plus, we’re always happy to give you refresher training on the best techniques for your at-home oral hygiene routine.
  • Remind me, how often do I need to brush & floss?
    You should be brushing your teeth twice a day & flossing at least once a day. Most people brush in the morning when they wake up & brush & floss at night before bed. If you want to brush after lunch too, we highly approve. When you brush your teeth it should be for a full two minutes. Make sure you get the back & front sides of your upper & lower teeth & their biting surfaces. Floss with about an arm span’s worth of floss, using a clean two inches for each tooth to prevent cross-contamination from one tooth to another. If you’d like the dentist or hygienist to demonstrate proper brushing & flossing technique, please just ask during your visit!
  • I’ve heard I don’t really need to floss. Is that true?
    Don’t believe everything your hear in the news. It’s true that more studies are needed to solidify the connection between flossing & various effects on your oral health. But that doesn’t mean flossing is ineffective, it just means we need to know more. To us, the idea of not ever cleaning plaque & food out from between your teeth is scary, not to mention gross! Why would you want all that nasty stuff hiding away somewhere in your mouth, feeding bacteria & causing bad breath? You still need to floss every day!
  • I brush my teeth & floss thoroughly every day. Do I still need to see a hygienist for a cleaning?
    Yes! There is some stubborn tooth gunk that even the best brushing & flossing can’t get off. This is especially true of tartar, which is the hard substance that plaque can turn into if not cleaned off in time. Getting a professional scaling & polishing (the technical term for a teeth cleaning) by a hygienist can actually improve the appearance of your smile by removing stains. Polished teeth are also smoother & harder for bacteria to stick to, which will make your at-home brushing & polishing efforts more effective.
  • What causes cavities?
    As children, we’re taught that eating too much candy causes cavities, so it must be sugar that causes tooth decay, right? Actually, that’s an overly simple way of explaining the process. Sugar is more like the fuel for decay & it doesn’t just come from sweet foods. When you eat, chemicals called enzymes in your saliva break down carbohydrates into sugars. These sugars—plus the sugar compounds that occur naturally in fruit & foods sweetened with refined sugar or corn syrup—are then eaten by the bacteria in your mouth. Unless you brush or floss them away, these bacteria hang out in your mouth, consuming the sugar & excreting a waste product in the form of acid. This acid is what eats holes in your tooth enamel & the softer dentin layer underneath, causing cavities & tooth decay.
  • At what age should children first visit a dentist?
    Children should see the dentist when their first tooth comes in or by age 3, whichever comes first. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be caring for your baby’s oral health before then. After feeding, you can clean your baby’s gums by rubbing them gently with a damp washcloth. For more advice about caring for your baby’s mouth, please feel free to ask your pediatrician or us.
  • I’m very nervous about visiting the dentist. What should I do?
    Tell us! The last thing we want is for you to be uncomfortable in silence. Being nervous at the dentist is not uncommon so don’t be embarrassed about it. Knowing that you are a nervous patient helps us prepare properly for your appointment. There are steps we can take to make you more comfortable during your visit. We can take things slower & explain more about what we’re doing at each step. We can work with you to develop a communication system so you can tell us clearly when something is bothering you or you need to take a break. Sedation is also an option in some cases & we’d be happy to discuss it. One of the biggest ways we can help you overcome your nervousness is by working through it together. We want our office to be a warm, welcoming & pleasant place for you. The easier & less intimidating we can make your visit, the better we’ll be able to care for your oral health, now & in the future. If there is anything we can to do improve your experience, just ask. We promise you, you won’t be the first person who has brought up these concerns.
  • My dentist is recommending treatment (I know nothing about). What should I do?
    Ask questions. It sounds simple enough, but sometimes we feel embarrassed to ask simple questions. There is no need to feel that way. You will feel much better, and be able to make a better decision, if you understand the dental procedure that is recommended to you. If you don't say anything, your dentist may think that you already understand. Here are some tips when asking questions. Ask: 1. If you can see any pictures of the procedure or what it looks like when it is done; 2. How many times your dentist has done this procedure in the past; 3. How much it will cost; 4. How long it will take; 5. If it will need to be redone in the future; 6. If there are alternatives to the procedure and if so, what are the pros and cons of each option. The final decision about how and when to proceed with any treatment is yours. To help you understand what is involved in the treatment, your dentist may give you some printed material to read. If you have already left the dental office without asking questions, call back later. Be careful about getting information from unknown sources, including sources on the Internet. Some of this information may not be reliable. If, after all of your questions have been answered you are still uncertain, you may wish to get a second opinion from another dentist. Often, a second opinion will give you confidence that your dentist has planned the right treatment for you.
  • Digital X-Rays
    Digital radiographs, commonly known as x-rays, are a vital diagnostic & assessment tool for dentists. We offer modern digital x-rays at our practice, both for your convenience & for efficiency of treatment. In the past, dental x-rays were captured using a film process similar to an analog photograph. With the advent of digital imaging, computerized radiography has become the dental industry standard. Digital x-rays require up to 90% less radiation than conventional film-type x-rays, which were already fairly low risk to begin with. Instead of using the traditional silver-oxide x-ray film, which must be developed & then fixed in caustic & environmentally damaging solutions, the new system takes pictures via a small electronic sensor. What Is A Digital X-Ray? X-rays, also known as radiographs, have long been part of preventive care in dentistry. X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation that is invisible to human eyes. When scientists first discovered evidence of these electromagnetic rays, they weren’t sure what they were, so they called them x-rays, & the name stuck. X-rays can pass through the soft tissues of the face & mouth (lips, cheeks, etc.) but are absorbed by the hard material of teeth & bone. This allows the dentist to see potential oral health issues that may not be easily visible from the outside. X-rays are used primarily to find cavities, but dentists also use them to look at tooth roots, to evaluate the health of the bone surrounding the tooth, to assess possible periodontal (gum) disease problems, to analyze tooth & jaw positioning & to keep track of development in younger patients. Type of Dental Digital X-Rays While there are several types of dental x-rays (including periapical & full-mouth), the most common kind of dental x-rays are called bite-wing x-rays, based on the wing shape of the films that were once used. These x-rays are done while you’re in the dental chair & capture an image of several teeth at a time, roots included. A dental team member will place a sensor in a certain part of your mouth & ask you to bite down while they aim a tube-shaped device at your face. This is the x-ray emitter, which sends the x-rays through your tissues & onto the sensor in your mouth. No light or heat will come from the emitter. There is usually no discomfort associated with getting dental x-rays. The Advantage of Modern Digital X-Rays One other big advantage of modern digital x-rays over the old film type is the lack of a lag time between taking the x-rays & being able to examine them. The x-ray picture of the tooth can be instantaneously transmitted onto a monitor in the treatment room so we can see your teeth & surrounding structures while you’re still in the chair. The immediacy of digital x-rays allows the dentist to assess the health of your teeth & identify potential problems right away. The dentist can easily point out potential trouble spots to you, allowing you to see & understand your oral health condition as the dentist explains it. The digital files are also easy to share with any other dental professionals who might be involved in your care in the future.
  • Dry Mouth?
    It is not uncommon to experience dry mouth as you age, but it is not directly caused by age itself. It has many possible causes, including age-related changes to bodily functions. You are even at higher risk to develop dry mouth if you breathe too often through your mouth rather than your nose! Despite being uncomfortable, dry mouth alone is not a severe issue as long as it is not persistent. If it is, it can lead to various long-term health issues, ranging from irritating to dangerous. Someone who suffers from chronic dry mouth will likely experience mouth sores, splits at the corners of the mouth, cracked lips, increased plaque buildup & a greater risk of tooth decay & gum disease. You might even start to have nutrition issues, because the lack of saliva makes it more difficult to break down food when you eat. What Is Dry Mouth? Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is a condition where the body does not produce enough saliva, characterized by a dry & often sticky feeling in the mouth. For the most part, it is just uncomfortable. Many people experience short-term dry mouth as a result of anxiety or stress, which is easily treatable & not a huge concern. However, persistent dry mouth is often a sign of greater health concerns that can cause bigger problems & damage your teeth. In extreme cases, it can even lead to tooth loss. For example, your body’s tolerance to a medication’s side effects can decrease as you grow older, making you more susceptible to dry mouth. The causes of dry mouth are highly varied & include: Stress & anxiety Dehydration Many medications (prescription & over-the-counter) Smoking Drinking alcohol Radiation therapy Diseases & infections (especially autoimmune disorders) Nerve damage Drug abuse Treating Dry Mouth Even if your dry mouth does not seem to be persistent, it is important to stay on top of treating it. The good news is that treatment is simple for most cases of dry mouth. First, make sure you stay hydrated by sipping on water throughout the day. For your dental & overall health, you should drink lots of water anyway! Dehydration, which dry mouth can be a sign of, is a serious health risk. Other simple things you can do to treat dry mouth include chewing sugarless gum & limiting the salt, sugar & caffeinated drinks in your diet. Some people might recommend sucking on an ice cube or sugarless hard candy, but this can actually damage your teeth, so don’t do it! You can also purchase nonprescription saliva substitutes over the counter to reduce your current issues. If you use tobacco or drink alcohol, cut back on those or find a way to quit. Even if you don’t think smoking or drinking is the root cause, those activities can irritate a dry mouth, so you should limit or stop them entirely. Plus, they’re just bad for you! The best treatment for dry mouth always depends on the specific cause, so if home remedies or over-the-counter solutions don’t prevent your dry mouth, it can indicate a more serious underlying health issue. In serious cases it is best to visit a physician or dentist who can work with you to figure out the root cause of your dry mouth & help you treat it.
  • Local Anesthesia
    Sometimes dentists need to do more in-depth work than your regular cleanings & exams. Due to the sensitivity of your teeth & gums, some treatment may require local anesthetic medication to cause numbness. You may have heard of dentists using Novocain to numb patients’ mouths, but Novocain is not actually used anymore. Modern dentists use much safer & more effective drugs such as lidocaine. These are usually combined with other substances such as vasoconstrictors to increase the effectiveness & duration of the anesthesia. There are two kinds of local anesthetics that dentists use to numb your mouth. The first is called a topical anesthetic, which is swabbed over a small area on the surface of your mouth or gums. In most cases, this is used to numb the area where the dentist plans to inject the other kind of local anesthetic. The injectable anesthetic is what we rely on to keep you comfortable & pain-free. What Is Local Anesthesia? Local anesthesia is used to make a very small, specific area of your body temporarily unable to feel sensations, including pain. Examples of procedures requiring local anesthesia include fillings, crown placement & root canals. A local anesthetic works by blocking nerve cells in a specific area from sending pain signals to your brain. You can expect this numbness to last for two to four hours, which means you will probably still feel residual numbness after your appointment. Before you undergo a procedure requiring local anesthesia, we will ask for information regarding any allergies & the medications you take. There is a possibility you might need a different formula if you have certain medical conditions. Call us if you have concerns or wish to know more about how we use local anesthesia. What To Expect Despite the numbness from the topical anesthetic, some patients feel a stinging sensation from the injection & think it isn’t working. In reality, this feeling is caused by the anesthetic drug entering the body & beginning to work. The stinging subsides within several seconds. Side Effects Local anesthesia does have side effects, but they are usually not serious. One well-known side effect is a temporary rapid heartbeat, which can happen if the local anesthetic is injected into a blood vessel. One of the chemicals used in the local anesthetic injection, epinephrine, can travel directly from the blood vessel to the heart. You may also know epinephrine by its other name: adrenaline. It is a naturally occurring substance in your body that can rapidly increase your heart rate. The fast heartbeat it causes can be alarming, but it is not dangerous & should return to normal in a matter of seconds. Numbness The numbness from local anesthesia will take a couple hours to wear off, which may inhibit proper speaking & eating. After your appointment, you’ll need to be careful about biting & chewing—you could bite your tongue or cheek & not feel it! You may also experience temporary swelling or drooping of parts of your mouth or face. Some patients find themselves unable to blink, though this is not something to worry about. The dentist can tape your eye shut so it won’t dry out. You’ll be able to blink normally again as soon as the anesthetic wears off.
  • Oral Cancer Screening
    Early detection is key in the battle against cancer & this is no different with oral cancer. Even if you don’t smoke, keep in mind that 25% of oral cancer diagnoses are for non-smokers. It’s important that every patient receive a simple & pain-free oral cancer screening. Oral cancer doesn’t always cause symptoms in the early stages, which is why it’s important to have a screening that can detect potential problems before they’re visible to the naked eye or cause sensations. Signs & Symptoms Oral cancer can appear throughout the mouth, including on your lips, cheeks, gums tongue, the roof of your mouth & other soft tissue surfaces. It can also develop further back in your throat, which doctors call oropharyngeal cancer. Red or white sores that don’t get better over time are the most common oral cancer symptom. These can be discolored patches or hard lumps. They may be accompanied by feelings of pain, but they aren’t always painful. Because it can be difficult to distinguish cancerous sores from normal mouth sores, seeing your dentist for regular screenings is extremely important. Other symptoms include throat soreness, bad breath & changes in the mouth, such as loose teeth or difficulty chewing & swallowing. If you experience any of these, you should come see us immediately. Though conditions other than cancer can cause these things, visiting us as early as possible is your best chance to improve your oral cancer prognosis. Risk factors for oral cancer include: Tobacco use (smoking, chewing & dip) Excessive alcohol consumption Poor diet HPV (human papilloma virus) Age (higher risk over 40 years old) How Dentists Diagnose Oral Cancer During your oral cancer screening, your dentist will visually examine your mouth & surrounding areas. Using lights, mirrors & other tools, they can check areas of your mouth that are otherwise too difficult to see. They are also trained to locate more subtle signs of cancer such as asymmetrical features inside & outside the mouth. With modern technological advances, dentists also have a wide array of cancer-detecting tools. Specially designed lights can highlight potentially cancerous spots & cleaning rinses can improve the inspection process. This equipment is only used to enhance the visual & physical examinations; it’s never used as a replacement for tried & true detection methods! When a dentist completes an oral cancer screening, they won’t immediately say whether you have oral cancer. They may wish to monitor the condition of your mouth & they may ask you to come back for further testing. Please understand that this does not necessarily mean that something is wrong. Discovering oral cancer can be complicated. The doctor might simply want to keep an eye on your oral condition to make sure that more serious symptoms don’t appear. Remember that when caught early, oral cancer has an 80 to 90% survival rate. Oral cancer can seem like a scary thing, but we encourage you to come to us any concerns as soon as possible. Early detection & lifestyle changes will help ensure the best possible outcome. So be sure to ask the dentist or the hygienist for your annual screening!
  • Tooth Decay
    Despite its prevalence, we don’t want any patient to think they’re destined for tooth decay, even if they’ve had a hard time avoiding it in the past. There are a lot of factors that contribute to your oral health, but be assured that at our practice you’re in the hands of compassionate decay prevention experts. Anyone who’s been to the dentist knows we have a lot more tools than just a toothbrush & floss for caring for your teeth. In addition to removing plaque, our arsenal of hand tools & handpieces are designed to remove hardened deposits called tartar or calculus that are hard for you to remove yourself using just a toothbrush & floss. During a cleaning visit, we also check your teeth thoroughly for existing signs of decay. If we find a problem, we will talk to you about fixing it as soon as possible with a filling, a crown, or another treatment if the decay is more severe. Of course, our favourite outcome is when we find no decay at all. Understanding how decay starts is a great way to solidify your understanding of how to prevent it. What Is Tooth Decay? Statistically speaking, tooth decay could be considered the second most common illness humans suffer from (number one is the common cold). If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to pain & more severe problems such as abscesses or systemic infections, not to mention tooth loss. Data indicates that almost every adult has had tooth decay at some point. Our goal is to reverse this trend, at the very least in our local community. Educating our patients about how tooth decay happens & how to prevent it is how we hope to accomplish this. One myth seems to have emerged from how we were taught about tooth decay & cavities as children: avoid sugar & you can avoid cavities. The reality is there is no single thing you can do to prevent tooth decay. Rather, preventing cavities is a collection of good habits, maintenance & professional attention. The steps for a decay-free smile, in no particular order are a healthy diet, a thorough daily hygiene routine, & seeing us regularly for teeth cleanings & checkups. Causes of Tooth Decay Just like other parts of your body, your mouth is populated by both good & bad bacteria. When you don’t care for yourself properly, you can end up creating an environment where the bad (i.e. pathogenic) bacteria get the upper hand. In particular, these bacteria thrive when there is plenty of sugar for them to consume, which they digest & excrete as acid. This acid is what damages your teeth, eating into your tooth enamel & the softer dentin layer underneath. Eating highly acidic foods (lemons, tomatoes, soft drinks, etc.) can also weaken & even wear away your teeth. Keeping Your Mouth Healthy If your mouth is in an ideal condition, your body’s own immune responses & mechanisms, such as healthy saliva that contains tooth-building minerals, repair damage & keep bad bacteria from getting out of control. The goal of preventing decay is to keep your mouth in this healthy, balanced condition at all times. If you brush & floss correctly, get enough fluoride, limit your consumption of acidic or sugary foods & visit the dentist regularly, this should be easy for you. Guidance On Preventing Tooth Decay However, some patients have a tougher time preventing tooth decay & we are happy to provide guidance. If you’ve had a few run-ins with cavities, you may need a refresher course on your brushing or flossing techniques, which we’re happy to provide at your next visit. You can also boost the effectiveness of your at-home hygiene with special toothpastes, mouth rinses, toothbrushes, or floss options. We’re happy to recommend these types of products if we think they will benefit you. Nutritional counseling is another option to ensure decay-causing bacteria doesn’t get too much fuel. In children whose hygiene skills are still developing, sealing the deepest grooves on their back teeth can help prevent decay until they’re older & better at caring for their own teeth.
  • Postoperative Instructions For Extractions
    Dental Extraction Medications You may have received a prescription for any of the following: pain medications, an antibiotic, or an oral rinse. Please have the prescriptions filled at a pharmacy on your way home. The antibiotics should be started within two to four hours following surgery. The oral rinse should be started the following day. Pain Post-operative Pain is a normal response of the body to any surgical procedure. The local anesthetic or freezing that was administered during your surgery will probably last from 2 to 4 hours. It is advisable to have pain medication on board prior to the freezing wearing off & pain is actually experienced. You will be given pain medication before you leave, please take another within 2 hours. As long as pain continues, use the pain medications as prescribed. The pain usually peaks in twenty-four to forty-eight hours. On the third day we expect the pain to level off & gradually start getting better. An increase in pain on the fourth day or later can indicate a problem & our office should be contacted. A throbbing or sharp shooting pain along the jaw line, 4 days or more after surgery may indicate the development of an incomplete healing or “dry socket”. This discomfort is easily relieved by a sedative dressing in our office. Please contact our office is this is a concern. Please Note: Pain medications taken on an empty stomach can result in an unsettled feeling and/or nausea & vomiting. This can also be caused by blood in the stomach. Please take food or fluids before your pain tablets. For nausea you should use Gravol which can be purchased at your pharmacy (suppositories are preferable if you are very nauseated or vomiting). Control of Post-Operative Bleeding It is normal to bleed or ooze for some time following oral surgery. It is not unusual to have blood on the gauze for the day & night of surgery. It is also not unusual to have blood on the pillow or in the saliva for 3-4 days after surgery. To control the bleeding, the gauze should be placed directly over the surgical site & firm pressure applied. Change your gauze every 30 – 45 minutes until you are seeing very little spotting or pink staining on the gauze. At this point you no longer require the gauze. If the oozing continues or reoccurs the following day reapply the gauze until it subsides. If you’re having difficulty controlling the bleeding, or run out of gauze, you may purchase more gauze or use a regular black tea bag moistened & placed over the surgical sites. Do not chew the gauze or tea bags; a constant firm pressure is most effective in controlling the bleeding. Swelling & Stiffness This occurs following almost all extractions & oral surgery. This is nature’s way of aiding the healing process by splinting & resting the surgical site. The swelling is at its maximum on the second or third day, following surgery & begins to disappear on the fourth day. In order to help minimize the swelling, ice packs should be applied for the first 2 – 3 days alternating ice, on & off, 20 – 45 minutes at a time during waking hours. By the third day the swelling should have peaked & cold will not be effective. A gentle massage with a hot face cloth should be used 15 minutes every hour you’re awake for 2 – 3 days. The swelling normally disappears in about a week. At times, swelling is an indication of infection. In such cases the swelling continues to increase beyond the fourth day, or suddenly reappears after initial healing. The patient could feel quite ill, & there is often an elevated temperature. If this should occur, please contact the office. A slight post-operative temperature elevation (for 2 – 3 days) is normal following surgery & anaesthesia. Careful attention to oral hygiene will greatly reduce the possibility of infection. Return of normal jaw movement may take up to 3 weeks; during this time, we recommend jaw exercises to reduce stiffness. These should start the day after surgery. Discoloration of the Skin Bruising of the facial tissues following oral surgery is not uncommon. The bruising may occur within the first 3 – 5 days & may appear dark purple to a greenish yellow color. The bruising occasionally migrates, due to gravity, into the neck or upper chest area & normally will disappear in seven to ten days. Gentle massage with a warm face cloth for fifteen minutes each waking hour will aid in a gradual return to normal. Diet & Nutrition Following oral surgery your body requires adequate fluids & nourishment. While your jaw is frozen, drink only liquids, or foods that require no chewing such as soup, Jell-O, pudding, yogurt, apple sauce, juices or pop. You should be drinking about 2 – 3 litres a day for the first few days. Once the freezing has worn off start with a soft diet, pasta, eggs, ground meat, casseroles, cooked vegetables, fish, chicken, etc. A gradual return to your regular diet as you are able to tolerate it is recommended. Avoid foods that break down into hard crunchy bits, chips, popcorn, nachos, pretzels, whole grain or crusty breads, seeds, nuts & raw vegetables. These foods are easily lodged in the surgical area, & are very difficult to rinse out, possibly causing an infection. Avoidance of these foods for 1 -2 weeks is advised. Smoking – is discouraged during the healing period (2 – 4 weeks). Smoke is an irritant & will retard healing. It can increase post-operative bleeding & lead to increased risk of infection & dry sockets. Sutures – Self dissolving sutures are routinely used. These will release or dissolve in 1 – 10 days. Loose sutures may be gently removed with tweezers or the long ends can be carefully trimmed. Oral Hygiene HYGIENE IS ESSENTIAL TO REDUCE INFECTION & ENHANCE HEALING. Rinsing should be started the day following surgery. Rinse frequently, first thing in the morning, following all meals, & before you go to bed. Gently swish rinse with warm salt water (1 tsp. Salt to an 8 oz cup of water). If salt water cannot be tolerated you may use a non-alcohol-based mouth wash (diluted half & half with water) or at the very least plain tap water. If you’ve been provided with a syringe, you may fill it with rinse solution then place it directly over the surgical sites or sockets & flush the area as necessary. You may notice food debris being washed from the surgical sites for a period of time. This is normal. Some people will have a prescription rinse, which should be used following the salt water rinses. It should be used 4 times a day until finished. Temporary Numbness or Tingling in the Lip or Tongue Due to the position of many impacted teeth, sensory nerves supplying the lip or tongue are occasionally involved during surgery. Numbness or tingling or an altered sensation in the lower lip &/or tongue can occur requiring several weeks, months or even up to 2 years for normal function to return. In extremely rare situations, normal sensation does not return.
  • Postoperative Instructions for Denture Care
    Handle Dentures with Care To avoid accidentally dropping them, stand over a folded towel or a full sink of water when handling dentures. Brush & Rinse Dentures Daily Like natural teeth, dentures must be brushed daily to remove food, plaque & to prevent the development of permanent stains. Use a brush with soft bristles that is specifically designed for cleaning dentures. Avoid using a hard-bristled brush as is can damage or wear down dentures. Gently brush all surfaces of the dentures & be careful not to damage the plastic or bend attachments. In between brushings, rinse dentures after every meal. Use Denture Cleaner Hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid can be used for cleaning dentures. Household cleaners & many toothpastes may be too abrasive & should not be used. Avoid using bleach, as this may whiten the pink portion of the denture. Ultrasonic cleaners can be used to care for dentures The appliance is immersed in the tub containing a cleaning solution & then sound waves create a wave motion that dislodges the undesirable deposits. This can be done at your dental office at your regular check-up appointment. The use of an ultrasonic cleaner does not replace a thorough daily brushing. Unworn Denture Care Dentures need to be kept moist when not being worn so they do not dry out or lose their shape. When not worn, dentures should be placed in a denture cleanser soaking solution or in water. They should never be placed in hot water, as it can cause them to warp. However, if the dentures have metal attachments, the attachments, could tarnish if placed in a soaking solution. Make sure to follow the directions on the cleanser packing closely. Your dentist can recommend the best method of care for your particular denture.
  • Panthera – Home Care Instructions
    Cleaning your Panthera Sleep Appliance with NovaDent: The maintenance of your Panthera sleep appliance is very simple. Pour 185 mL (3/ 4 Cup) of tap water into the container provided (NOTE: it is recommended to let this tap water stand for a few hours for the Chlorine to evaporate out). Add one sachet of NovaDent powder. You can use Regular or UltraSoft NovaDent; both are efficient. Stir until the powder is completely dissolved. Place the appliance in the safety basket & sink it into the container provided. The dental appliance may be soaked for several hours up to all day long. The goal is to dissolve the microorganisms & particles of tarter which have accumulated over the night of use. Remove the appliance, thoroughly rinse it with water, & allow it to dry. The appliance is now ready to be worn. This solution is active for 7 successive days in the container, at room temperature, with a sealed lid. The NovaDent is biodegradable & does not contain any acid or chlorine; its mild formula will not damage your appliance over time, & will maintain the original white color for many years. However, NovaDent will stain dark clothing & surfaces. Please handle the solution with great care.
  • Whitening with PolaNight
    PolaNight 22% Carbamide Peroxide: Whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home, at a time that suits you. Your Pola white dentist/clinician supplies your own whitening kit with custom-made trays & Pola whitening gels for whiter teeth in 5-14 days. Pola Night has a neutral pH teeth whitening formulation that can achieve your desired whitening effect in as little as 45 minutes a day. Each contains fluoride to remineralize your teeth & protect them against tooth sensitivity. Pola Night uses carbamide peroxide, a more gentle tooth whitening ingredient which is better suited to sensitive teeth. Using Pola Night’s more gentle formula will require a longer treatment time. Your Pola tooth whitening professional can help guide you to the best strength for your teeth. In general, the higher the concentration, the quicker the treatment – however, stronger concentrations can lead to sensitivity. If the directions are followed, each concentration will ultimately give the same result – a whiter, more confident smile. Tooth Whitening Frequently Asked Questions WHERE CAN I BUY POLA? Pola whitening is a professional tooth whitening solution, using a scientific formula that can only be performed & overseen by trained dentists. WHY CHOOSE POLA OVER OTHER OPTIONS? Some teeth whitening products are produced by companies with limited dental experience & unclear manufacturing origins. Most online tooth whitening systems only use sodium bicarbonate as the active whitening ingredient. This weaker formula can only treat mild surface stains. Pola is produced by SDI, an Australian company that has 50 years of experience in oral health. Pola’s scientific formula has been refined over many decades to ensure the best whitening result. WHERE IS POLA MANUFACTURED? Pola is manufactured in our Australian manufacturing plant in Victoria. Our Pola products have been used by millions of people across over 100 countries. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO WHITEN MY TEETH? With in-clinic whitening, results can be seen in just 30 minutes. A Pola take-home whitening system can take approximately 5 – 14 days to complete, depending on the Pola formulation. Stronger formulations work faster but may cause short-term sensitivity. Your Pola clinician will work with you to select the best Pola option for your oral health needs. HOW MUCH WHITER WILL MY TEETH BE? Many teeth whitening manufacturers make claims of ‘5 shades’ whiter or similar. However, this can be misleading as it depends on the original shade of your teeth & the current staining on your teeth. Pola is formulated to remove the toughest stains from your teeth & return your teeth to their whitest natural colour. HOW LONG WILL MY TEETH STAY WHITE? Your lifestyle is the greatest influence on your oral health. If you are an avid drinker of coffee, wine, &/ or soft drinks, your teeth whitening will diminish more quickly than someone who prefers water. Typically, your whitening will be at its best for the first 6 months, before slowly diminishing. Pola Luminate is a perfect instant touch-up solution at any time. WILL POLA WORK WITH MY RESTORATIONS OR VENEERS? Teeth whitening will remove existing stains on your restorations & veneers. It will not alter their original shade. IS THE POLA WHITENING SAFE? Yes. Clinical studies have shown that teeth whitening with carbamide or hydrogen peroxide is safe if performed under the guidance & supervision of a trained dentist. A small minority of people may experience short-term teeth sensitivity during the whitening process. This sensitivity will subside quickly & does not lead to tooth or gum problems. HOW CAN I MEASURE MY BEFORE & AFTER TOOTH WHITENING RESULTS? Your dentist will assist you in recording your original tooth shade, by referring to a universal tooth shade chart. For future verification purposes, we recommend you also take a photo with this shade physically beside your teeth. Once your teeth whitening is complete, simply match up the shade guide to your new whiter teeth to measure results. IS TOOTH WHITENING SAFE DURING PREGNANCY? While no studies have been conducted on potential risks for pregnant women, it is not recommended to use tooth whitening products during pregnancy.
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