Which type of toothbrush should I use?

The brand is not as important as the type of bristle and size of the toothbrush head. We recommend a soft brush with a small head because medium and hard brushes tend to cause irritation and gum recession.

A small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums. You don’t need to "scrub" your teeth if you brush at least twice a day and visit your dentist at least twice a year for routine cleanings.

Is one toothpaste better than others?

: Generally, no. However, it's best to use a toothpaste with fluoride to reduce the risk of decay. Just use what tastes good to you, as long as it contains fluoride.

How often should I floss?

Flossing once a day helps prevent cavities, which can form between the teeth where your toothbrush can't reach. Flossing also helps keep your gums healthy.

What's the difference between a "crown" and a "cap"?

Both are restorations to repair a broken tooth by covering all or most of the tooth after removing old fillings, the fractured tooth structure, and decay. The restoration material can be made of gold, porcelain, composites, or even stainless steel. Dentists refer to all such restorations as "crowns". However, patients often call the tooth-colored ones "caps" and the gold or stainless steel ones "crowns".

What's the difference between a "bridge" and a "partial denture"?

Both replace missing teeth. A bridge is permanently attached to abutment teeth or, in some cases, implants. A partial denture is attached by clasps to the teeth and can be easily removed by the patient. Patients are usually more satisfied with bridges than partial dentures.

What’s the difference between "silver" and "white" fillings?

Despite a 1993 U.S. Public Health Service report stating there’s no health reason not to use amalgam (silver fillings), most patients now request "white" or tooth-colored composite fillings.

We prefer tooth-colored fillings because they "bond" to the tooth structure, which helps strengthen a tooth weakened by decay. While white fillings are usually less sensitive to temperature, they also look better.

However, white fillings cannot be used in every situation. If a tooth is badly broken down, a crown will usually be necessary and provide better overall patient satisfaction.

If I need a crown do I also need a root canal?

No, not every tooth needing a crown also needs a root canal. But most teeth that have had a root canal treatment do need crowns to strengthen the teeth and return normal form and function.