Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know when it is time to come in for a check-up?
We recommend that patients with good oral health schedule a check-up and hygiene visit two – three times a year, but some of us need to be seen more frequently. We will inform you at every visit when you should be scheduling your next appointment with us.
When should a child have his first dental appointment?
A child should have his first dental appointment no later than his third birthday. Many dentists recommend a child have his first appointment when his first tooth comes in.
I want my front teeth to look better, but I do not want to wear braces. What would you recommend?
There are a variety of ways to improve the appearance of your teeth without braces. We offer Invisalign® to help straighten your teeth. In some cases, we may recommend one of our other cosmetic services, such as bonding or porcelain veneers. If you would like to enhance the appearance of your smile, contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Zaidi.
Do you accept referrals?
Yes. We always welcome new patients to our office. As a thank you for your referral you will also receive a thank you gift. Please contact us for details.
I really do not like visiting the dentist. Is there anything you can do to help me relax?
We offer nitrous oxide (also called laughing gas) to make your visit more comfortable. This treatment will require you to discuss your medical history with us. Major concerns would be intolerance to anesthetic, certain medications and pregnancy.
Crowns, veneers, onlays, inlays, and partials…where can I learn more about these procedures?
Dr. Zaidi usually recommends these procedures as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. They are more durable, easy on your mouth, and aesthetically appealing. Our Patient Education System has several articles on these services and you can read more about them there.
If you are curious about any procedure we recommend, we welcome your questions. You can also contact us directly with any concerns.
I brush everyday, but my breath just is not fresh. Is there anything I can do?
There are many reasons your breath might not be fresh. If you want to improve your breath, our dental hygienist will be happy to review your brushing and flossing habits with you and suggest ways to improve your technique. If your breath is still a problem there are other options that are available to you. First we must determine the underlying cause of the problem and then we can prescribe a treatment that works best for you.
My smile is missing teeth. What do you suggest I do?
You'll need to first schedule a consultation with the Dr. Zaidi. He can assess your oral health and discuss options for replacement teeth. In general, you can choose from crown and bridgework, partial or full dentures, or dental implants. As the most natural prosthetic to natural tooth structure, a dental implant offers the most long lasting, comfortable, natural-looking choice.
What's the difference between the bleaching I can do at home with a kit from the store and the bleaching that my dentist does?
Whitening may be carried out in our dental office or Dr. Zaidi may instruct you on how to do the bleaching at home. There is also a wide variety of products for sale in stores. Not all products are the same and not all give you the same results.
Different products, including those used by dentists, may also have different risks and side effects.
Whitening toothpastes with abrasive ingredients are really not bleaching products at all, but work on surface stain only. These products are sold in many stores.
Some whitening toothpastes do contain a chemical ingredient (or "bleach") that causes a chemical reaction to lighten teeth. Generally, they have the lowest amount of "bleach." They may not whiten as well as stronger products, but they have less chance of side effects. These pastes are brushed onto teeth and rinsed off, like regular toothpaste.
Bleaching kits sold in stores stay on your teeth longer than toothpaste and contain stronger “bleach.” These store-bought products do not come with the added safety of having your dentist monitor any side effects. They also come with a one-size-fits-all tray that holds the "bleach" and is more likely to leak the chemical into your mouth.
Dentists may use products with stronger "bleach", but they give patients careful instructions to follow. We are also trained to spot and treat the side effects that patients sometimes report during bleaching. In addition, if a tray is needed to apply the "bleach", we supply custom-made trays. Because products used by dentists are strong, they tend to produce the best results.
How common is gum disease?
Very common. Seven out of ten Canadians will develop gum disease at some time in their lives. It is the most common dental problem, and it can progress quite painlessly until you have a real problem. That's why it is so important to prevent gum disease before it becomes serious.
How does gum disease get started?
Gum disease begins when plaque adheres at and below the visible edge of your gums. If plaque is not removed every day by brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar (also called calculus). Tartar promotes a bacterial infection at the point of attachment. In these early stages, gum disease is called gingivitis.
Your gums may be a bit red, but you may not notice anything. As gingivitis gets more serious, tiny pockets of infection form. Your gums may be puffy and may bleed a little when you brush, but it is not painful. Over time, the infection destroys the gum tissue. Eventually, you may be at risk of losing one or more teeth.
How can I prevent gum disease?
Prevention is the most important factor in the fight against gum disease. It is essential to keep your teeth and gums clean. Brush your teeth properly at least twice a day and floss at least once every 24 hours.
Using proper brushing and flossing techniques is equally important. Be sure to see our office regularly for professional cleaning and a dental exam, so that we can detect any early signs of gum disease, and provide appropriate treatment.
How can I tell if I'm brushing and flossing properly?
Brushing: Brush your teeth gently, paying special attention to the areas where your teeth and gums meet. Clean every surface of every tooth. Use the tip of your brush to clean behind your upper and lower front teeth.
Flossing: Take a piece of floss about 18 inches long and wrap it around your middle fingers. Using a clean section of floss each time, wrap the floss into a C shape around a tooth. Wipe it over the tooth, from base to tip, a couple of times. Repeat on each tooth.
What if I am already in the early stages of gum disease?
If you have gum disease, getting rid of plaque and tartar gives your gums a chance to get better. That's why in the early stages of gum disease, the best treatment is:
Cleaning by a dental hygienist to remove built-up tartar, brushing twice a day to remove plaque and flossing once a day to remove plaque.
When gum disease is more serious, Dr. Zaidi may refer you to a dental specialist called a Periodontist. A Periodontist has a least three years of additional university training in treating gum disease, and in restoring (or regenerating) bone and gum tissue that have been lost because of gum disease.
A periodontist also treats serious forms of gum disease that do not improve with normal dental care. When serious gum disease is found, brushing and flossing become even more important.
What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral found in soil, water (both fresh and salt) and various foods.
How does fluoride prevent tooth decay?
Fluoride has a positive effect on oral health by making teeth more resistant to decay. Fluoride can also prevent or even reverse tooth decay that has started.
Where do I get the fluoride that prevents tooth decay?
For many Canadians, fluoride is in public drinking water, which provides protection to the entire community. Fluoride toothpastes and rinses are available for purchase, and Dr. Zaidi can provide professional fluoride products such as gels and varnish.
Should I be using fluoridated toothpaste with my child?
For children from birth to 3 years of age, the use of fluoridated toothpaste is determined by the level of risk of tooth decay. Parents should consult a health professional to determine whether their child up to 3 years of age is at risk of developing tooth decay. If such a risk exists, the child’s teeth should be brushed by an adult using a minimal amount (a portion the size of a grain of rice) of fluoridated toothpaste. Use of fluoridated toothpaste in a small amount has been determined to achieve a balance between the benefits of fluoride and the risk of developing fluorosis. If the child is not considered to be at risk, the teeth should be brushed by an adult using a toothbrush moistened only with water. For children from 3 to 6 years of age, only a small amount (a portion the size of a green pea) of fluoridated toothpaste should be used. Children in this age group should be assisted by an adult in brushing their teeth.
What is dental fluorosis?
Dental fluorosis is a change in the appearance of teeth. It is caused when higher than optimal amounts of fluoride are ingested in early childhood. In its mildest and most common form, it affects the look of the tooth with small white specks appearing on a child’s teeth.
If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us