Keeping the facts straight about different health issues can be overwhelming. While it is hard to entirely predict your dental health future, these frequently asked questions and answers will help you know how to best care for your teeth no matter what stage of life you and your family are in.
Do babies get fevers when teething? No. If your infant has a fever while teething, contact your pediatrician for treatment options.
Why are baby teeth important? Baby teeth act as holding spots in the mouth for adult, or permanent, teeth. If a child loses a tooth too early, the adult tooth under the surface has more time to move around and is less likely to grow straight into the correct baby tooth spot. Taking care of baby teeth may help avoid other problems when the child is older.
Why are sugary drinks discouraged? Drinking too many sugary drinks, like energy drinks and sodas, can cause tooth decay and enamel erosion. If you do have an occasional sugar drink, try to rinse your mouth with water when you’re done to get rid of any leftover sugar molecules.
Does toothpaste clear up pimples? No. In fact, putting toothpaste on your face can actually cause irritation and redness, especially those who may be allergic to substances found in the toothpaste.
Adults – 40 and younger
Is it okay to whiten my teeth on my own if I have staining? Over-the-counter whitening procedures can be found at many drugstores, and they are perfectly safe. The problem comes when your teeth go past the point of recommended bleach-time, causing over-sensitivity in the gums and teeth.
It’s time for my annual dentist appointment, but I don’t feel any pain in my mouth. Should I go? You should go to the dentist as more of a preventative option rather than only going when your mouth hurts. Usually, by the time you’re in pain, it is too late to treat the gum disease, cavity, or gingivitis.
Adults – over 40
Should I worry if my mouth is dry sometimes? Many people get dry mouth from time-to-time, so it is not a serious condition in-and-of itself, but pay attention to other signs your body is giving you. If you feel tooth pain or other oral health pain, contact your dentist immediately to discuss treatment options before it gets any worse.
Am I going to need dentures at some point? Thanks to good dental care, many people do not need dentures at any point in their lives. While it is hard to know right now if you will need dentures later in life, it has been proven that proper brushing and flossing can be great preventative measures against dentures in the future.
To learn more about your dental health, visit the American Dental Association’s website at www.ada.org.