Many of our patients have questions about dentistry and oral health problems. Samuel Yee DDS INC has provided this page of answers to frequently asked questions to give you a better understanding of your dental treatments and oral health. If you have further questions, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Samuel Yee DDS, please call our office at 949-831-3111.
What should I do if I have bad breath?
Bad breath can be caused by one or more factors, including morning time, certain foods, poor oral hygiene habits, periodontal disease, dry mouth, tobacco usage, medical conditions, illnesses, diet, dehydration, and improperly fitted oral appliances. It can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene (including brushing your tongue) and visiting the dentist regularly. We also recommend that you stop smoking or chewing tobacco, use mouthwashes, and keep well-hydrated.
In most cases, our dentist will be able to treat the cause of your bad breath. If bad breath persists even though your mouth is healthy, you may need to speak with your physician to determine the cause of the odor and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Why is flossing important?
Flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gum line. Flossing disrupts plaque colonies and prevents damage to the gums, teeth, and bone. If you have difficulty using conventional floss, you can try using a floss holder instead.
How often should I brush and floss my teeth?
You should brush at least twice a day, especially before going to bed at night. Use an ADA-approved soft-bristle toothbrush and ADA-approved toothpaste. Electric toothbrushes are recommended. You should floss daily. We also recommend that you rinse your mouth with water after brushing and after meals when you are unable to brush. Consult your dentist about mouth rinses that may be beneficial to you.
Are amalgam (silver) fillings safe?
Yes. Studies have failed to find any link between silver fillings containing mercury and any medical disorder. These findings are supported by the American Dental Association, the Center for Disease Control, and World Health Organization, the FDA, and the U.S. Public Health Service.
Although amalgam fillings are safe, our practice provides composite, or tooth-colored fillings. Tooth-colored fillings match the color of your natural teeth and offer greater strength to the tooth over time.
How often do I need to have a dental exam and cleaning?
You should receive a dental cleaning and exam every 6 months, or twice a year. Our dentist may recommend more frequent visits depending on your needs.
How can I tell if I have gum disease?
When you visit our practice for your routine dental exams, our dentist and hygienist will check your mouth for signs of periodontal disease. Be attentive to your mouth during your at-home care routine as well, and make an appointment with our dentist if you notice any symptoms of gum disease.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen gums
- Gums which bleed easily
- Persistent bad breath
- New spacing between teeth
- Loose teeth
- Pus around the teeth and gums
- Receding gums
- Tenderness or discomfort
How can cosmetic dentistry help me improve my smile?
Cosmetic dentistry helps you enjoy a healthier, more attractive smile. It includes everything from preventive care to restorative treatments, and may range from single-tooth restorations to full smile makeovers. Popular cosmetic treatments include:
- Teeth whitening
- Tooth-colored (composite) fillings
- Porcelain dental veneers
- Porcelain dental crowns
- Dental implants
What are porcelain dental veneers?
Porcelain dental veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells that are bonded to the front of your teeth. Each veneer is custom-design to fit perfectly over the front surfaces of your teeth to provide you with a picture-perfect smile. Veneers are excellent choices for correcting severely discolored/stained teeth, unevenly spaced or gapped teeth, worn teeth, chipping, slight tooth crowding, and misshapen teeth. Veneers typically require two appointments to complete.
What can I do about my stained and discolored teeth?
The easiest, quickest, and most popular choice for improving stained or discolored teeth is tooth whitening. Teeth whitening treatments are available in many forms. While you can purchase many over-the-counter whitening products, the most effective whitening methods are professional treatments. You can receive a professional teeth whitening treatment in our dentist’s office, or you can purchase an at-home whitening system from our dentist to use at home. Contact our practice for more information.
What do heart disease and other medical conditions have to do with gum disease?
Periodontal (gum) disease is a bacterial infection. Numerous studies have shown that there is a correlation between gum disease and other serious medical conditions. These studies suggest that people with periodontal disease are at a greater risk of developing or worsening a systemic disease. Gum disease may contribute to:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory disease
- Pregnancy complications, including premature birth and low-weight babies
We recommend that you maintain your regular dental cleanings and exams, and follow the recommendations provided by our dentist. We will also work with your physician or doctor to ensure that you receive the care you need.
What are my options for replacing my missing teeth?
Modern dentistry offers numerous options for replacing your missing teeth. These include:
- Removable bridges
- Fixed bridges
- Dentures and partial dentures
- Dental implants
Our dentist will work with you to determine which restorative treatment will be most beneficial for you.
What can be done about my old or discolored fillings?
Our dentist will check your fillings to evaluate if they are defective and need replacement. You may also replace fillings if you feel they are unattractive. We will work with you to determine which fillings should be replaced, and which replacement options will be most beneficial for you. Options for replacing your old fillings include:
- Composite (tooth-colored) fillings
- Dental crowns
- Dental inlays and onlays
- Porcelain dental veneers
When should I receive a dental sealant?
Sealants are recommended for children as soon as their first permanent molars begin to erupt (about age 6), and may be recommended at any time throughout the cavity-prone years of 6-16. Our dentist may occasionally provide sealants for baby teeth with deep groves, or if the child is at greater risk of cavities. We will also provide sealants for adults with deep grooves and pits in the chewing surfaces of their teeth.
When should my child visit the dentist for the first time?
Your child should begin visiting the dentist at about age 1, or when their first teeth begin to erupt. While these initial visits will not general include treatments, they serve as a foundation for building a trusting relationship between your child and the dentist, and helping the child become accustomed to the dentist’s office.