Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, sweets and foods with acid, like candy and soda, could stick to teeth and lead to cavities. Smoking and chewing tobacco can cause oral cancer and gum disease.

While teeth are strong enough to chew ice and tear open packages, this can break them and stress your jaws. Gritting or grinding down on teeth when you’re stressed may crack them.

Biting your nails is another bad habit. It pulls your jaw out of position and changes how your teeth fit together.

Caps and crowns cover problem teeth by surrounding them in a material that looks like a real tooth. They use the root and inside of the tooth as a base to build on, then attach with special cement.

Veneers and bonding improve your smile by sticking a layer of smoother and whiter materials like porcelain or resin to the natural tooth.

Talk with your dentist about which fix is right for you.

Stores sell many whitening products, and you can get take-home gels and trays from your dentist, but neither is as strong as procedures done in a dental office

If you want to try an over-the-counter whitener, look for one with an ADA seal. Check with your dentist for advice before you buy, especially if you have dental work or dark stains. And don’t keep using them, or you could damage your teeth.

Cavities break through the surface enamel of teeth, and they’ll probably get bigger unless you close them off with fillings.

Your dentist will numb your mouth before drilling around the cavity to prep it. A combination of strong materials or a white mix called a composite goes into the cavity soft and then hardens as it dries. You may feel pain or pressure when getting the numbing shot and during the drilling.

Once set, fillings can last a long time but need replacing if they break or wear down.

Fluoride helps make teeth strong and prevents decay. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Dental Association (ADA), and the CDC all agree that kids should use fluoride toothpaste for brushing, taking care not to swallow it.

Adults benefit from using fluoride to protect their teeth, too.

FAQ