Hello guys, welcome back to dentistry simplified part 2. First of all, the response for part 1 was overwhelming, so thank you everyone. Second of all, there was quite a lot on my plate so I have split the questions into 2, half of them are discussed below and the other half are going to come out next week, promise.
Why does my dentist take x-rays? Isn’t it harmful?
An x-ray shows structures that cannot be seen by the naked eyes, like problems in the jaw, secondary caries under a filling, tooth which is yet to come in the mouth, so on and so forth. Also, it helps detect and treat a lot of diseases at an early stage, which would have otherwise gone undiagnosed. So it is a healthy practice to take x-rays on a regular basis.
According to ADA and FDA guidelines, for children who are not at high risk for caries, should get their x-rays done every 1-2 years, teens should get it done every 1.5-3 years, and adults should get it done every 2-3 years, and not every single year.
Talking about the harm that a dental x-ray can cause, it is negligible. With the advent of digital x-rays, and the utilization of lead apron and thyroid shield, it is safer than ever to get them done. According to the American association of pregnancy, one single dental x-ray will not have any adverse effect on the embryo when proper precautions like lead jackets are used, nevertheless, it is advisable to postpone all the unnecessary dental work until after the birth of the baby.
Do the OTC whitening products work?
One of the most commonly asked questions, and my answer is a yes and a no, meaning that it works differently for different people. I have had patients get amazing results with the whitening pastes, and mouthwashes or strips, as well as patients who came in for professional whitening as none of the products, worked out for them. Another thing to keep in mind is that some of these products contain a lot of abrasives and can cause problems if used for a prolonged period of time, so its best to ask your dentist if the product you intend to use is safe or no, irrespective of its results. For more details on cosmetic dental treatments, click here.
Are caries contagious? Can they get transferred to my baby?
Absolutely yes. There are these cavity-causing microbes in our mouth, predominantly streptococcus mutans, which can get transferred. So when you try to check if the baby food has cooled or if it is proper in terms of taste and use the same spoon, you are unknowingly depositing those microbes in the kid’s mouth, and the best way to avoid this is to keep your tasting spoon separate, not moistening their pacifiers in your mouth, and so on, especially if you are prone to cavities. Also, there are instances where someone who never had dental problems, started getting them after long-term dating or moving in with their partners if their partners have a lot of dental issues. Now, this could be a result of multiple factors like the transfer of microbes, or change in food patterns, or hygiene habits. My suggestion here would be, to stick to good hygiene habits to avoid these problems. And as for the partner with dental problems, they need to fix that ASAP.