Frequently Asked Dental Questions –  West Hartford, CT, Avon, CT

Answers Right From the Source

Rather than getting generic answers to your dental questions by searching online, why not consult a local dentist instead? At Blue Back Dental, we’re always willing to take the time to give you thoughtful and personalized information regarding your oral health. Below, we’ve gone ahead and addressed some of the most common questions we receive every day. Be sure to give us a call if there is anything else you want to ask!

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Should I brush first or floss first?

The question of which should be done first, brushing or flossing, is one of the most common dental questions. The answer? It doesn't matter if you floss or brush first as long as you are thorough. If you want to put yourself to the test, you can buy plaque-disclosing tablets from a pharmacy or other local store. After you brush and floss, you chew one of these tablets and the dye (usually red) stains any remaining plaque left in your mouth. This is an easy way to check how thorough you are when you brush and floss your teeth.

Is it possible to brush your teeth too hard?

Yes, it is possible to brush your teeth too hard, especially if you use a manual toothbrush with harsh or medium bristles rather than an electric toothbrush. The key benefit of an electric toothbrush is that it does all of the work. When using an electric toothbrush, remember to move your toothbrush across your teeth slowly. We often see patients who have damaged their gums due to excessive force while manually brushing. If using a manual toothbrush, use a soft-bristled one and take it easy. Most electric toothbrushes have a force sensor and will only work with a mild force.

How often should I go to the dentist for checkups?

Regular dental checkups are vital to maintaining a healthy mouth and smile. Two checkups per year are usually sufficient for most patients. However, only you and your dentist can accurately determine how often you need a checkup.

What's the difference between a DDS degree and a DMD degree?

A Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) and Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) are the same degree and education. A majority of dental programs award the DDS degree, but some offer the DMD degree. There is no difference between the two.

How can I prevent tooth decay?

Tooth decay is caused by plaque that builds up between your teeth and along your gums. Bacteria in plaque excrete acids that dissolve tooth enamel and also infect the gums and bones surrounding your teeth. Poor and infrequent brushing and flossing lead to plaque buildup throughout your mouth. If left untreated, the buildup of food particles, germs, and bacteria in your mouth combine to form plaque. Prevention of tooth decay and gum disease requires a combination of a good diet, thorough brushing and flossing, and professional dental care.

I knocked a tooth out. What should I do?

Don't panic! If you can, try to reinsert your tooth in its socket, ensuring that you've rinsed it off with water first. Take care to hold the tooth by the crown and do not scrub away any attached tissue fragments. If you are unable to reinsert the tooth, place it in a glass of milk and bring it to your dentist as soon as possible.