“I have a weird question for you…”
This is something dentists hear at every visit.
It might seem like an unusual subject to you, but it’s probably something we’ve heard before.
Sunnyside’s dental health professionals field a lot of inquiries. A lot. Most of these have to do with a patient’s oral healthcare practices, toothaches and pains, or potential dental treatments, but we regularly come across some pretty surprising ones, too.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the more unlikely questions we’ve heard in our Kelowna office, but want to assure you that we’re happy to answer all of your concerns!
Don’t be afraid to ask (but maybe be ready to join in with a smile…).
Are there foods I can eat, like apples or cheese, that will act like a toothbrush?
Although your vet might recommend special “dental bone” treats for your dog, any dentist will tell you that there is no substitute for daily brushing and flossing for human teeth!
That said, there are some foods that are better for your teeth than others. Foods high in fibre like carrots, celery, or leafy greens, and crisp fruits like apples can stimulate saliva production, which rinses bacteria from your mouth. Calcium-rich foods like dairy can deposit protective enzymes that can rebuild enamel and prevent decay. Chewing sugarless (or xylitol) gum after meals can be useful, too; almost like rubbing down your teeth, it can serve to rinse harmful bacteria away. While these snacks can give your oral health a little boost, it’s imperative to avoid sugars and starches, and to make sure to floss and to brush with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day to ensure your continued dental health.
Is dental floss edible? Mine tastes like cinnamon gum.
No! It’s true, they make dental floss in tasty flavours to make the dreaded act of flossing more appealing, but despite the tantalizing flavours of mint, cinnamon, bubblegum, or even bacon (yeah, it’s a thing!), you should never eat your dental floss!
Can you do this procedure without anaesthesia?
Some people are tremendously afraid of needles, others have very high pain tolerances, and still others have allergies to anesthesia. However, dental work can expose sensitive nerves or bruise your gums, and keeping your jaw open for extended periods of time can lead to painful muscle fatigue. We do not recommend undertaking any significant invasive dental treatment without the assistance of anesthesia. However, breakthroughs in pharmaceutical science mean that today’s patients have a wide a variety of numbing options. Our Sunnyside dentists are always happy to discuss your choices before any procedure.
Can you just give me a full set of dentures, now?
It seems like it would be easier to not have to worry about natural teeth -no nerves to protect, materials that thwart decay, always a perfect smile…etc. However, the days are long gone when this sort of drastic measure might be necessary, even in later adulthood. Nowadays, more than 90% of adults over age 65 have their own teeth. Obviously, there are cases where bridgework or dental implants (or even dentures) are the preferred option, but as a cosmetic choice? Probably not. With advancements in restorative dentistry and incredible technology like Invisalign, your Sunnyside dentists can make your smile strong and beautiful. In the long run, you’ll be happier maintaining your own, original body parts for as long as possible!
Can you give my teeth some bling?
Decorating parts of the body with tattoos and piercings are ancient human practices, but there is a relatively recent trend that extends these modifications to the teeth. Most dentists agree that insetting gemstones or grillz, or tattooing through the enamel, is not in any patient’s best interest (such procedures can make your teeth susceptible to disease and decay). Some tooth tattoos can be created on crowns or caps, but they almost always end up just looking like perpetually dirty teeth! At Sunnyside, we suggest you stick to your natural pearly whites.
Can you make me fangs?
The popularity of vampire fantasy and cosplay has increased the request for these cosmetic accessories. There are several online companies that create realistic sets of prosthetic teeth using traditional dental moldmaking and sculpting. However, the team at Sunnyside likes to see our patients in the daylight!
Why can’t I just pull out my own teeth?
Take it from the professionals, pulling your own teeth is not only painful, but dangerous, and can have lasting consequences (like serious infection and broken teeth). To be fair, the patients who come to us after attempting this procedure usually admit to having made this poor decision while under the numbing influence of drugs or alcohol. Even in the dentist’s chair, it’s best to be numb during tooth-removal –but we have the medical expertise, anaesthesia, proper instruments, and (most importantly!) sanitary conditions to perform tooth extractions is a safe, thorough, and relatively painless manner. And if you get it done properly the first time, you won’t need to make an emergency trip to the dentist to fix it, later!
Where does all that saliva go?
Everyone is familiar with the dental suction line: periodically, you’re told to close your lips, experience a sudden vacuum sensation, and hear the disconcerting sound of an untied balloon deflating, while you try to figure out if you will dehydrate because you haven’t swallowed in awhile…
This suction line (along with another, high-volume system used during more intricate work), pull all of the distracting saliva and tooth debris out of your mouth, and into a filtration system that separates out the solids (ew…). The remainder just gets flushed into the office’s normal wastewater system.
Your Sunnyside team wants to stress that we are always eager to answer any questions and you might have about your oral healthcare management. That’s what we’re here for! We strive to make your time in our chair as easy as possible.
The professionals at Sunnyside have a comprehensive knowledge of dental health, and will gladly offer our insights and recommendations regarding all of your concerns.
A visit to the dentist may seem daunting, but sometimes, you come away with more than you anticipated (and we don’t just mean the free toothbrush!).