dental sealants procedure

What to Know Before Getting a Dental Sealants Procedure for Kids

Applying a dental sealant is a good way to protect your child’s teeth. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), dental sealants can prevent up to 80 percent of cavities on the back teeth, which is where nine in 10 of all cavities occur. If you’re thinking of getting a dental sealants procedure for your child, there are a few important things to know.

Here are some of the most important facts and tips regarding dental sealant so that you and your child will be prepared for your visit.

What is Dental Sealant?

Dental sealant is a thin coating that is placed over the biting surface of your child’s molars. This sealant helps to protect the teeth from decay and cavities.

Most dental sealant is applied using a white or clear resin liquid that goes directly onto the surface of your child’s molars using a small brush. Once applied, the liquid bonds to the teeth and then it’s dried using a blue LED light.

After the sealant has “cured” it creates a strong layer of protection. This simple, non-invasive procedure is completely painless and does not require the use of anesthesia or numbing agents. 

Since the sealants bond to the tooth, there is also nothing that goes inside the tooth compared to a filling. The medical grade resin is similar to the composite that is commonly used to fill cavities. However, the thin layer and method of application create a light, protective cover for the teeth that you can’t see with the naked eye.

How and Why a Dental Sealants Procedure Works

You might wonder how a dental sealants procedure actually works. The special sealant covers the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to help prevent food particles, germs, and plaque from affecting the teeth.

This sealant forms a protective shield over the grooves in the molars (or back teeth), making it much easier for your child to keep their back teeth clean. The sealant also protects the teeth from food particles and sugar, two common causes of cavities. This protective sealant also shields the teeth from harmful bacteria.

The grooves in the molars are extremely vulnerable to germs and bacteria that can accumulate when food (especially sugar) gets trapped in them. And while brushing regularly can help, getting deep into those grooves can be a challenge, especially for children. Applying a sealant gives your child a bit of extra protection and it gives you peace of mind.

Dental Sealant Benefits

As a parent, you probably want to know more about the benefits of this simple procedure. Ultimately, the sealant will help prevent tooth decay and cavities for your child.

Dental sealants are considered a preventative procedure since they protect the teeth and help to prevent cavities. Some studies have shown that children without dental sealant were up to three times more likely to have cavities than children who had the sealant applied. 

Not only will this simple coating protect your kid’s teeth, but it will also protect your wallet. Filling cavities or removing teeth is much more costly than a standard dental sealant procedure. It’s important to note that the sealant will wear down over time, but it’s easy to get a new layer applied if you choose to do so. 

What to Expect

Now that you know more about what dental sealant is and what the benefits are, it’s time to dive into how the process works. The entire process is fast and painless, and there is no drilling or numbing required. 

Here are the general steps that your child’s dentist will take to apply the sealant.

  • Your child’s teeth will be cleaned with a polishing brush and a gritty pumice toothpaste
  • The teeth will be dried and isolated from saliva from the tongue and cheeks with a small cotton roll or cheek shield
  • An etching solution is applied to the tooth’s surface to help disinfect and prep the tooth so the sealant can adhere
  • The etching solution is rinsed off, and the teeth are dried again
  • A thin bonding layer is applied to the teeth, followed by the sealant directly onto the surface over the enamel
  • An LED blue light is used to “cure” the sealant and allows for faster application

Once the dental sealant is applied and cured, the appointment is officially completed. Overall, it takes just one minute to seal each tooth, so the entire process is extremely quick. In most cases, your child will be able to eat and drink right afterward.

More Important Facts

Most dental sealants should last anywhere from three to five years, but they may last up to 10 years in some cases. Your dentist will check the condition of the sealants during your child’s regular dental appointments.

If the sealant is damaged or worn, it’s very easy to replace or repair. How long they last may depend on how well your child maintains their teeth during this time.

Most dental insurance plans should cover dental sealants for children. Be sure to check with your specific insurance provider to confirm that it’s covered and to find out how much it will cost you. 

Protect Your Child’s Teeth with Dental Sealant

Now that you know more about the dental sealants procedure, you can feel confident about your kid’s dental health. This quick and painless procedure is a great way to protect your child’s teeth for years to come.

If you’re interested in dental sealant or another of our dental services, be sure to contact us today with any questions or to schedule an appointment. 

teeth brushing

7 Teeth Brushing Mistakes Everyone Makes

Did you know that 90% of adults over the age of 20 have at least one cavity? It’s obviously not uncommon to get cavities, even if you are taking care of your teeth. It seems to just be a fact of life. We all know that brushing our teeth is essential for good oral hygiene, but do we know how to brush correctly? Many of us make common teeth brushing mistakes when it comes to brushing our teeth, which can lead to poor dental health and even cavities.

But don’t worry. Keep reading and learn from these 7 tooth brushing mistakes so you can develop a healthy oral hygiene routine and keep your smile looking its best.

7 Teeth Brushing Mistakes Everyone Makes

Now, let’s jump in and explore these 7 common teeth-brushing mistakes. They include:

1. Brushing too Hard

Brushing your teeth too hard can have very serious consequences for dental health over an extended period. An important aspect to remember with brushing your teeth is that gentle motions are far more effective than harder, vigorous ones. Circular, light strokes are much better for plaque removal than aggressive scrubbing.

Doing this will ensure your pearly whites stay in tip-top condition. Take some time when you brush and make sure you’re doing it correctly: be mindful of the pressure being applied, use gentle movements and take good care of your smile!

2. Not Brushing Long Enough

Many people often find themselves in a rush to finish their brushing routine, leaving some teeth surfaces uncleaned. Unfortunately, this could have long-lasting detrimental effects on your oral health. To ensure you are adequately cleaning your entire mouth, you should take your time when brushing and always know that two minutes of activity is sufficient!

Two minutes spent brushing allows enough time to focus on the top, bottom, and sides of each tooth while also focusing on the front and back surfaces. A great way to make sure you’re not missing any areas is to divide your mouth into four quadrants and spend thirty seconds on each quadrant of your mouth.

Doing so will leave you feeling confident that you did a thorough job of preventing plaque and decay!

3. Not Replacing Your Toothbrush Regularly

Regularly changing your toothbrush is an extremely important part of your oral hygiene routine. Over time, the bristles on your brush become frayed and deformed, meaning that brushing is not only less effective but may even cause damage to your teeth and gums.

Additionally, bacteria can build up on the brush and be reintroduced into your mouth every time you use it – not something any of us want! For best results, dental professionals recommend replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. That way, you always have a clean brush and can make sure your oral health remains at its peak!

4. Not Cleaning Your Toothbrush Thoroughly

Taking good care of your toothbrush is essential for maintaining good oral hygiene. You must rinse your toothbrush with hot water after each use, as this will help get rid of any food particles or germs that may be lingering on the bristles.

On top of that, don’t forget to clean your toothbrush handle regularly too; it may come in contact with bacteria from surfaces like your sink or bathroom counter, so make sure to give it a quick wash now and then. Taking these simple steps will help keep your toothbrush in the best condition, ensuring you get a thorough brushing every time you use it!

5. Brushing Immediately After Eating or Drinking

Eating and drinking can provide energy and enjoyment to our day, but it’s essential to remember that both of these activities can affect the health of our teeth. Some foods and drinks are high in acid content, which increases the acidity in the mouth, making enamel brittle and easily erodible.

To protect your teeth from damage, it’s best to wait at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking before brushing your teeth. While this may be a difficult thing to remember when you want to get rid of any leftover flavors quickly, doing so will help ensure that you keep your teeth healthy for years to come.

6. Not Flossing Regularly

Staying on top of oral hygiene doesn’t just mean brushing – flossing is also a crucial part of making sure your teeth and gums stay healthy. Flossing helps to remove trapped food particles and plaque that can build up between teeth and areas that may be difficult for a toothbrush to reach.

Though it may be easy to forget this part of oral health care, it’s important not to skip flossing, especially if you know have braces or other dental work. To make flossing easier, try using an interdental brush or selecting flossing flavors you enjoy; and if necessary, break up the task into smaller chunks by flossing while brushing each day. Remember: healthy teeth are worth the effort!

7. Not Using Fluoride Toothpaste

Choosing not to use fluoride toothpaste can have far-reaching consequences on the health and well-being of your oral hygiene. When it comes to protection against tooth decay, fluoride makes all the difference. Studies have shown that this chemical helps strengthen enamel and shield teeth against dangerous bacteria and food particles that can accumulate on teeth over time.

To ensure that you are using one of the most reliable forms of toothpaste, check for products that show a seal from the American Dental Association. This stamp acts as an assurance that a dentist has looked over this product and given it their full endorsement. By being mindful of these things, you’ll ensure better breath and an overall healthier smile for years to come.

Find a Dentist in Lexington, KY

With this teeth brushing guide, hopefully, you have a better idea of how to brush your teeth and maintain good oral hygiene. By following these tips, you’ll be on the right track to improving your dental routine.

Another thing you can do is invest in professional teeth cleaning. You can contact us at Justice Dental to set up an appointment. Your smile will thank you!

dentist in lexington, ky

Looking For a Dentist in Lexington, KY – What Is Preventive Dentistry?

Two of the most common reasons people avoid preventative dental care are lack of time and finances. Another major reason is fear.

Despite that, preventative dentistry is extremely important not just for your teeth, but your entire body as well. When dental problems progress, the are chances the damage is irreversible. 

If you’re on the fence about visiting a dentist in Lexington, KY, let’s put your mind at ease and look at why preventative dentistry is needed. 

What is Preventative Dentistry?

Preventative dentistry is the practice of regularly caring for your teeth by using good oral hygiene techniques and practices. In this way, you maintain the health of your teeth and body. 

Without preventative dentistry, you may succumb to oral and other health problems such as:

  • Gum disease, like gingivitis and periodontal disease
  • Loss of teeth
  • Oral cancers
  • Tooth decay
  • Bacterial infections
  • Heart problems
  • Cavities
  • Complications from diabetes

As you can see, caring for your teeth and mouth is critical to your health. Many of these problems are detected at dentist’s appointments and in some cases, like gingivitis, may be reversed to save your teeth and gums. 

Children, especially, need to develop healthy oral habits as early as possible in life to avoid the pain and frustration that may follow from poor oral care. 

Types of Preventative Dentistry

So, what are the types of preventative dentistry and why are they important? Here are a few to consider. 

1. Dental Cleanings

One of the best and easiest ways to preserve and protect your teeth is to schedule regular dental cleanings. 

Over time, plaque forms on your teeth, and when it’s not removed, it turns into tartar. Tartar eats away at the gum line and may cause gum disease. Regular dental cleanings keep plaque and bacteria at bay. 

Your dentist also checks for dental problems, so visiting your dentist may help you find potential problems that could become worse over time. 

2. Sealants

Cavities are one of the main reasons that people visit the dentist. When food particles become stuck on the teeth or sit for too long, cavities form and they need to be removed and filled. 

However, if you opt for sealants, you can lower your chances of cavities significantly. Sealants are a thin coating that covers the top of your tooth and acts as a shield against food particles. They’re especially beneficial for children who need to develop their brushing habits over time. 

3. Oral Testing

Periodontal disease affects nearly half of adults living in the United States. While this is a sobering statistic, there are services offered to find out if you’re at risk.

Oral DNA testing is a type of diagnostic dentistry that looks at the type of bacteria that’s in your mouth and determines what treatments work best to combat it and avoid deadly diseases. This form of preventative care gives you peace of mind, as your dentist works with you to give you the utmost care.

4. Fluoride Treatments

Fluoride is an important mineral that’s necessary for the health of your teeth. When you visit your dentist they may recommend a fluoride varnish to strengthen your teeth. This treatment can be done every few months depending on the health of your teeth. 

Children receive fluoride at their visits because their teeth are still growing and forming. 

5. Restorative and Cosmetic Procedures

You might be thinking, “What are restorative dentistry and cosmetic procedures?”

While these types of dentistry are not considered preventative, they can improve the look and feel of your mouth, which in turn may cause you to care for your teeth more. 

Restorative dentistry includes fixing oral problems that arise from traumatic situations like injury or illness. Cosmetic dentistry involves methods or techniques to whiten or straighten your teeth. 

The Patient’s Roll in Preventative Dentistry

While the dentist plays a vital role in your oral care, you can help! There are several preventative measures you can take in your dental care before you step into a dentist’s office. 

Here are some ways that you help protect your teeth.

1. Healthy Oral Habits

Regular brushing and flossing are tried-and-true methods of keeping your teeth healthy and strong. You should be brushing after meals, in the evening before bed, and flossing once a day.

These practices will go a long way in warding off any type of oral problems like gum disease and keep other expensive costs at bay. 

2. Healthy Eating

Consuming healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, and dairy all aid in keeping your mouth clean and healthy. Added sugars or processed foods cause bacteria build-up on your teeth and may cause problems. Crunchy foods like carrots help remove bacteria and other build-ups on your teeth

Also, indulging in sweet foods deprives your teeth and body of the nutrients it needs to maintain good bone health. 

3. Visiting the Dentist

Visiting your dentist at least yearly is recommended, and sometimes twice a year depending on your situation. Regular dental cleanings will remove all the harmful bacteria from your gums and teeth.

Your dentist can also offer you oral education on the best ways to care for your teeth at home. They may even provide you with a toothbrush, floss, or mouthwash. 

Do You Need a Dentist in Lexington, KY?

By visiting your dentist and taking your role in preventative dentistry, you can feel confident about having a healthy mouth and teeth in the future. Preventative dentistry is there to help!

Are you looking for a dentist in Lexington, KY? Our caring team of professionals at Justice Dental can help! Contact us today with questions or to set up your appointment. 

cosmetic dentist in lexington ky

Cosmetic Dentist in Lexington, KY – Benefits of Dental Veneers

How do you feel about your teeth?

It’s okay if you’re not satisfied with your smile. That’s what we’re here for. Offering you a new smile is one of the best things we can do as your cosmetic dentist in Lexington KY.

If you’re looking for a simple solution that promises great results, veneers are a great option. With their durability and gorgeous appearance, your teeth will be in the best shape of their life.

We’ve put together a guide on the benefits of dental veneers here. Continue reading to see how veneers add to your smile and to your life.

What Are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are porcelain shells made to fit directly over your original teeth in order to hide cracks, discoloration, gaps, or uneven tooth structure.

Veneers do not mimic dentures in the way that they’re permanent and meant to fix to your natural teeth.

Veneers are custom-made by your dentist to match your existing teeth perfectly, allowing you to have a natural, white smile. These porcelain or composite caps slide over your teeth to improve their appearance effortlessly.

Dental veneers are permanently fixed to your teeth in a worry-free, easy procedure that will leave you smiling from ear to ear.

Veneers: Benefits and Side Effects

Some benefits of veneers are that they’re a quick fix, they improve your tooth structure, and they’ll make you want to take care of your teeth even more. 

Side effects that you might have include slight tooth sensitivity, you won’t be able to replace your veneers, and that you’ll have to avoid certain foods or drinks. 

However, the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to veneers–let’s look at some great benefits veneers have to offer.

Veneers Are an Instant Fix

The best thing about dental veneers is that they’re usually a 2-step procedure. 

Your dentist will usually schedule several appointments with you to start your process of getting veneers. You will start by getting an imprint of your teeth and molding the veneers, and the next visit will be to put your veneers on.

The great thing about this is that your veneers will be fixed onto your teeth in no time–rather than some other cosmetic dental problems that take months or even years to fix.

They’re Just Like Natural Teeth

Veneers are great in the way that they look and function just like your natural teeth do. 

You’ll treat your veneers the same way as your normal teeth by brushing and flossing as much as usual. Avoiding dark drinks and food as well as difficult things to chew will help keep your veneers looking and functioning as they should.

Porcelain veneers are extremely durable and beneficial. Even with the aftercare for these new teeth, you can be confident that your veneers aren’t going anywhere.

Veneers Hide Imperfections

If you’re struggling with chipped teeth, gaps, or discolorations in your smile, veneers might be a great way to help you gain back your confidence. 

Veneers cover your original teeth with a coating of natural-looking porcelain to match your neighboring teeth, allowing you to hide discolored or chipped teeth.

If you want to get just one veneer or several, choosing veneers for confidence purposes is perfectly normal.

They Improve Your Tooth Structure

Gaps in your teeth can cause some inconsistencies within your tooth structure, especially for those teeth fronting your smile.

Getting dental veneers to fill those gaps will improve the way your teeth look by giving you a constant pearly-white strip. This will also help with chewing food by reducing gaps in your mouth. This results in an easier way of life and less stress on you.

Dental Veneers Boost Your Confidence

A perfect smile is a perfect way to boost your confidence. 

Veneers help boost appearances by molding to your natural smile, enhancing your teeth in a subtle way. Not only do dental veneers match your teeth, but they also whiten them naturally.

While veneers are whiter than natural teeth, the color match that your dentist does ensures that your full smile will look even whiter than before. 

When fitting veneers, you’ll be able to approve your new smile. You may decide that you want the perfect smile, but remember that everyone’s smile is perfect in its own way. Veneers only help that!

You’ll Take Better Care of Your Teeth

It’s common for those with veneers to take even better care of their teeth than before. 

Like natural enamel, veneers are susceptible to discoloration or chips. However, people with veneers take more care of their new teeth because of the desire to keep their smile looking as great as ever. You can say yes to beautiful teeth and better oral hygiene.

What Does a Procedure Look Like?

The great thing about putting veneers on your teeth is that the procedure is a simple, minimally invasive operation. Your dentist will fit your veneers, shave the front surface of the treated teeth down, and put your new teeth on with a special concreting agent.

You’ll need little to no anesthesia for this procedure and you’ll be able to walk away with a brand-new smile.

How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?

Veneers function just like natural teeth, allowing you to eat, drink, brush, and floss exactly the same that you would normally. Because these mimic your natural teeth, you can expect to see them last about 10 to 20 years.

Keeping your veneers safe from excessive stains caused by dark foods and drinks will also help them last longer in terms of their appearance. 

Getting Veneers at Your Cosmetic Dentist in Lexington KY

Veneers offer a plethora of benefits for those who get them–so if you’re considering it, you should go ahead and get a consultation with your cosmetic dentist in Lexington KY.

Getting fit for your new teeth will change your smile and your life. All it takes is a step in the right direction.

If this article helped you learn more about veneers and the benefits they offer, take a look at our Veneer Dental Resources

how to keep teeth white

How to Keep Your Teeth White After a Professional Whitening Procedure

Almost half of American adults consider a bright white smile the most important component of the proverbial first impression. 

The popularity of professional teeth whitening services is thus unsurprising. According to some estimates, more than 45 million Americans have pursued professional whitening services.

Professional whitening is a safe and highly effective way to improve your smile. However, choosing professional whitening services still requires at-home maintenance. 

Read on to find out how to keep teeth white after professional cosmetic dentistry procedures.

How to Keep Teeth White

Teeth whitening aftercare requires being proactive and vigilant about how you treat your teeth. This means paying attention to your diet and dental hygiene routine.

1. Brush Twice, Floss Once

It goes without saying that white teeth are healthy teeth, and healthy teeth require regular cleanings.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing the teeth for two minutes twice daily. It also recommends flossing once a day.

Regular brushing and flossing can prevent food and drink from staining the teeth. They can also help keep teeth white by removing bacteria and plaque.

Finally, proper dental hygiene prevents tooth decay, which can discolor teeth and cause a host of other cosmetic and health problems.

2. Brush with an Electric Toothbrush and Whitening Toothpaste

If you want to up your dental hygiene game, invest in an electric toothbrush and opt for whitening toothpaste.

Electric toothbrushes themselves don’t whiten teeth, and they cannot remove internal stains. No toothbrush or toothpaste can. Therefore, they are not a substitute for professional teeth whitening.

However, electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque and external stains than regular brushes. Thus, they can be a helpful part of your teeth whitening aftercare routine.

Whitening toothpaste, too, can help you maintain your bright white smile. 

Compared to regular toothpaste, whitening toothpaste tends to use more abrasive ingredients, like silica and baking soda. Along with vigorous brushing, these ingredients can remove surface stains.

Keep in mind, though, that when used excessively, whitening toothpaste can damage the enamel of your teeth and irritate gums. Some people also experience tooth sensitivity when using whitening toothpaste.

It’s wise, therefore, to limit your use of whitening toothpaste to a few times a week. Also always choose a whitening toothpaste that has the ADA seal of approval.

3. Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Another component of a healthy dental hygiene routine is the preventative checkup. You should visit your dentist for a professional cleaning and checkup every six months. 

While an electric toothbrush is stronger than a manual brush, your dentist’s tools are more powerful still. At your regular checkup, your dentist will clean your teeth and remove tartar that your at-home cleanings simply can’t.

Your dentist will also look for—and, if necessary, treat—early signs of periodontal disease and decay. 

4. Limit Consumption of Foods That Stain Teeth

The obvious culprits when it comes to discolored teeth are coffee, black tea, and red wine.

However, other intensely colored foods can also stain teeth. These include:

  • Coke
  • Sports drinks
  • Dark-colored fruits and fruit juices
  • Marinara and other tomato-based sauces
  • Soy sauce
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Curry
  • Candy

Beyond this list, you can also keep the t-shirt test in mind. If a substance can stain a white t-shirt, it can stain your teeth.

It’s unlikely that you’ll be able—or want—to avoid the above food and drink options entirely. However, you can cut back on your consumption of them.

You should also remember to brush promptly after eating or drinking substances that can stain your teeth. At the very least, rinsing your mouth with water after a meal can limit the damage.

Finally, you can try using a straw to drink intensely colored liquids, like coffee, Coke, or tea.

5. Enjoy Food and Drink Options That Promote Healthy Teeth

While certain foods stain teeth, other foods help you maintain your bright smile.

Dairy products are among the best options to promote dental health and whiter teeth. So after a whitening procedure, fill your diet with milk, cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese.

Fruits and vegetables, like apples, pears, celery, and carrots, are also ideal. These foods trigger your salivary glands. Saliva neutralizes acid and helps remove food particles and other debris that can cause stains or decay.

Finally, eggs, poultry, salmon, and other lean meats and fish contribute protein and other nutrients that keep teeth strong.

6. Chew Sugarless Gum

Enjoying sugarless gum is another way to promote saliva production. While it’s no substitute for brushing, chewing sugarless gum also helps keep teeth clean.

7. Quit Smoking

Smoking is among the worst culprits when it comes to discolored teeth.

Tobacco leaves brown stains on the surface of teeth. Over time, these stains penetrate more deeply and become more difficult to remove.

Smoking also contributes to gum disease, bad breath, and countless other health problems, including cancer.

If you’ve invested in professional teeth whitening, such as KoR Whitening, therefore, it’s important, too, to invest in your overall health by quitting smoking.

Kicking the habit will not only protect your bright white smile. By reducing your risk for serious illness and death, you’ll also have more reasons to use it. 

8. Be Aware of Medications and Other Chemicals That Stain Teeth

Certain medications and other chemicals can lead to discolored teeth. These include:

  • Certain antihistamines, antipsychotics, and blood pressure medicines
  • Excessive iron
  • Excessive fluoride
  • Certain ingredients, such as chlorhexidine or cetylpyridinium chloride, in antibacterial mouthwashes

In children, tetracycline, an antibiotic, can also cause the teeth to take on a grayish appearance.

Being aware of the potential relationship between medications and tooth discoloration is important. Equally, important, though, is maintaining your overall health. You should never stop taking a medication without your doctor’s approval.

If you are concerned about medications staining your teeth, talking to your doctor is a good first step. He or she can help you determine if your medications are the culprit. If they are, your doctor can help you protect your health and your smile.

Rediscover and Protect Your Smile with Professional Teeth Whitening Aftercare

Now that you know how to keep teeth white, it’s up to you to put your plan into action.

No matter where you are in that process, Justice Dental is here to help. 

Maybe you’re still looking for the right professional whitening service. Or maybe you’ve had your teeth whitened but need to schedule a check-up.

Maybe, finally, you know you need dental work. However, you can’t make it into the office right now and need a virtual consultation.

Whatever your circumstances, Justice Dental is your dentist for a lifetime. Contact us today.

lexington dentist

5 Questions to Ask Your Lexington Dentist During Your Next Visit

Do you or your family require a Lexington dentist?

If you’re like many Americans who feel anxious at their dentist visit, your mind probably goes blank. Have you considered that asking the right questions might help you and your dentist take better care of your teeth?

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, almost a third of adults in the U.S. have untreated dental caries (tooth decay)! According to that same source, less than two-thirds of them visited the dentist in the past year. Unfortunately, only half of adults attend a dental visit at the recommended six-monthly interval.

If you want to take great care of your mouth, you need to treat a dental visit like a primary care appointment. Ask the right questions and understand your oral health so you can work together with your dentist.

Here, we’ll explain what to ask, how your dentist might answer, and what you should know. Read on!

1. Why Do My Teeth Hurt?

If you’re asking this question, there may be necessary changes. Because dental pain doesn’t always leave visual clues, this is a great example of why a patient’s questions are valuable to your Lexington dentist.

Your mouth pain may feel like a tooth problem, but instead could be an issue with your gums, for instance, if they are receding. By drawing attention to the pain, your dentist can x-ray the offending area and look for cracks or signs of tooth decay. Cracks can extend down to the root of the tooth, or a loose filling could be the cause.

Tooth sensitivity can be triggered by sugary or acidic foods, as well as hot or cold drinks. Your dentist will probably advise steering clear of foods that damage enamel. 

Brushing with too much force can damage the enamel and expose nerves, so your dentist may recommend switching to a softer brush. Additional treatments include toothpaste for sensitive teeth, fluoride gel, or sealants.

2. How Is My Dental Hygiene?

Although you may not want to hear the answer, it’s important to have a good idea of how you’re doing with your oral care routine. If you’re diligent with brushing twice a day for around two minutes and flossing once, you’re on the right track.

Don’t skip those bi-annual exams and cleanings. Bitewing x-rays are typically performed annually with a full mouth x-ray every 4-5 years. Patients at higher risk for tooth decay may require x-rays every six-months.

Let your Lexington dentist know if you have any bad habits that might impact your oral health. Tobacco products and grinding your teeth are known to be problematic, so ask your dentist for advice on solutions.

If you have a sweet-tooth, try and rinse your mouth out with water at times when you are unable to brush your teeth. Because sugary and acidic substances weaken the tooth enamel, dentists recommend waiting about an hour before brushing. If your dentist recommends any special rinse or fluoride gel, make sure to follow the directions.

Prescription mouthwash often kills bacteria that is responsible for gum irritation and plaque/biofilm. Unchecked gingivitis can escalate to full-blown gum disease.

Fluoride is a mineral that not only prevents the progression of tooth decay but can also reverse the early stages.

3. Do I Need a Cosmetic Dentist?

Do you have stains on the exterior surfaces of your dental enamel? Certain foods and drinks are known to stain teeth. The main offenders are coffee, wine, soda, and tobacco.

You might have considered tooth whitening, but you should be cautious about trying some of the over-the-counter and mail-order options. This is because some of the home whitening kits may be harsh on your dental enamel and may lead to tooth sensitivity. Your Lexington dentist will be able to advise you on professional teeth whitening options.

Some external staining may be from internal tooth damage, and if you aren’t happy with the appearance, your dentist can help. Veneers are one cosmetic option that can correct staining that bleaching won’t whiten. These thin covers on the front of your teeth are also perfect for correcting a chipped tooth or teeth worn down from grinding.

If you have missing teeth, implants can restore your smile, as well as your self-esteem. A tooth with extensive fillings may benefit aesthetically and functionally from a beautiful and natural-looking crown.

4. When Do You Need a Family Dentist?

If you’ve recently started a family, you’ll want to know when you need to start bringing your little ones in for dental visits. Pediatric dentists advise that a child should visit the dentist by their first birthday or within six months of the first tooth eruption.

Remember that your overall health can affect your dental health, including vitamin deficiencies, conditions like diabetes, and osteoporosis. Conversely, poor oral health can lead to negative overall health, increasing your risk of heart disease or stroke.

Be proactive in establishing good dental hygiene habits for your family.

5. Can You Correct My Misalignment?

Your Lexington dentist is skilled at preventative dentistry, fitting crowns, and applying dental sealants and bonds. We use non-metal resin fillings and offer a gum treatment/oral wellness program.

If you need a cosmetic smile restoration or other enhancement, we also have you covered. We can correct misalignment issues with clear braces, perform a gum lift (contouring), or provide a full mouth rehabilitation.

Whatever questions you still have, our highly trained staff are happy to answer them. Our friendly team members can make you an appointment and help you achieve a smile that says: “Wow!”

Need a Lexington Dentist?

We’ve shown that a Lexington dentist has the answers to keep your teeth healthy and beautiful. Don’t let waiting room anxiety prevent you from asking the questions that are important to you.

If you need a dentist in Lexington, KY, we can help you. We are a world-class dental practice, and we want to be your dentist for a lifetime. Our services include general, family, and cosmetic dentistry. 

Contact us today to join the Justice Dental family.