What do parents need to watch out for with young children’s dental care?

I’ve seen kids two years old with 20 baby teeth, and 16 of them are crowns or root canals. If you catch the child early and provide dental education for the parents, you can really prevent this. Most people think about getting cavities from eating candy, but the bacteria that causes dental decay can be transmitted by kissing or sharing food and utensils. So educate early and be a good role model: If Mom and Dad brush their teeth regularly, so will the kid.

Dr. Karen Yee-Lo, Pediatric Dentist
Lo Family Dental
7609 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Ste 100, Tacoma, 253-584-3333 lodental.com


Can you really tell if we haven’t flossed every day?

No. Somebody could floss in the morning, then have lunch and come in for their appointment in the afternoon and have stuff all between their teeth. You would think they hadn’t flossed but they did earlier. You can’t really tell.

Dr. Ronald E. Frost, General Dentist
Frost Family Dentistry
16701 Cleveland St, Ste 200, Redmond, 425-883-4099 frostfamilydentistry.com

 

What can you expect from your teeth as you age?

If you take care of your teeth, they should stay healthy and in good shape. If you’re wearing them down from grinding or something like that, that should be addressed. But if a person sees their dentist regularly and does at home every day what we would like them to do, a person should have their teeth for their entire life.

Dr. Lloyd M. Tucker, Periodontist
Renaissance Center for Implants and Perio­dontics
4150 California Ave SW, Seattle, 206-937-8253 drlloydtucker.com

 

What is your ideal patient like?

My ideal patient is one who has excellent oral hygiene and is compliant with everything. The results often depend on patient compliance.

Dr. Isaac C Fu, Orthodontist
Bonney Lake Orthodontics
21155 State Route 410 E, Bonney Lake, 253-862-2929 bonneylakeortho.com

 

What percentage of your patients have a crippling fear of going to the dentist?

I have kind of a lot because I have a pediatric group that refers to me for orthodontia. I would say probably 10 percent, most of whom are kids. The unbelievable thing about orthodontics is that you go to the dentist for lots of appointments. And nothing ever really hurts or is really bad; it’s kind of more positive. And you get to pick colors, you get to see your smile improving, you see such dramatic changes, and you’re not given shots or anything like that. There’s nothing really bad happening. So most of the patients who come in with a really tough phobia, they leave the best dental patients that there are. Ortho really helps you to get over and work through that to build trust and confidence in a dental provider.

Dr. Nadine Egger, Orthodontist
Egger Orthodontics
22530 SE 64th Pl, Ste 130, Issaquah, 425-392-2499 eggerortho.com

 

Does mouthwash actually help?

There are different types of mouthwashes that are sold over the counter. They are an adjunct in facilitating oral health. They are not a substitute for brushing and flossing, which facilitate the mechanical removal of plaque bacteria. But the chemical action of mouthwash can support brushing and flossing. 

Dr. Ariel J. Raigrodski, Prosthodontist
5723 NE Bothell Way, Ste D, Kenmore, 425-487-2227

 

What is the one thing you wish your patients understood about dental care?

How important it is to your overall health, not only systemically with the way you digest food. The amount of bacteria you have in your mouth is related to a lot of different things in your body. And socially and psychologically, what a benefit a beautiful smile is for you personally, in your state of mind and happiness.

Dr. Nadine Egger, Orthodontist
Egger Orthodontics
22530 SE 64th Pl, Ste 130, Issaquah, 425-392-2499 eggerortho.com


Which kind of orthodontia is the fastest, and which gets the best results?

In terms of the fastest, it would depend on the treatment, how difficult the case is, or exactly what needs to be done. For a simple case, where you just have some dental crowding, braces and Invisalign (or clear aligners) are probably about the same in terms of how fast they are. When you get into more difficult cases, I think braces are going to be faster than Invisalign in obtaining good results. In general, for easy cases, the clear aligners have results that are as good as braces—certainly no better—but in more involved cases, braces are far more effective in getting the ideal results.

Dr. Brian Povolny, Orthodontist
Povolny Orthodontics
411 Strander Blvd, Ste 104, Tukwila, 206-575-1515 planetortho.com

 

Is it really possible to get dental implants in a day like the ads claim?

Yes, anything is possible. The question is “How predictable is success?” Being a prosthodontist for over 20 years, I have seen dental successes and failures. Dentistry is as complex as each individual—every person is so different from the next. Also, there are many factors involved in the implant surgical and restorative phases: For example, medical conditions of the patient, presence of activities such as clenching or grinding. Even if an implant in one day were feasible, I would not recommend it for most people. The predictability of success should be a priority instead of being speedy.

Dr. Ann Liou, Prosthodontist
Edmonds Prosthodontics
22815 100th Ave W, Edmonds, 425-776-3166 drannliou.com

 

Thanks to fluoride and improved dental hygiene, tooth decay is a less common problem than it was in the past. What is today’s most common dental problem? 

It is true the disease called caries has a different pattern of expression in today’s society. The problem is still significant in very young susceptible patients and older patients who have less saliva (usually as a consequence of medication). Today, I see more worn teeth, cracked teeth, and muscle and jaw joint pain, which are usually related to bite problems. In addition, I see destroyed tooth enamel, caused primarily by acidic beverages, hard foods, toothpastes that are abrasive, and stomach acids.

Dr. John C. Kois, Prosthodontist
5615 Valley Ave E, Tacoma, 253-922-6056 drkois.com

 

Why do dentists ask questions about my life while my mouth is full of tools?

Great question. I have been guilty of that myself. I try to limit the questions to yes or no answers. And over the years I have become fairly fluent in interpreting the hand-in-mouth speak. Most of the time my questions are “Are you doing okay?” or “Is your jaw getting tired?” You can rest assured that I will never ask what your chief complaint is when your mouth is full of dental tools. We should have established that a long time ago.

Dr. Isaac C Fu, Orthodontist
Bonney Lake Orthodontics
21155 State Route 410 E, Bonney Lake, 253-862-2929 bonneylakeortho.com