Can I afford to see the dentist, even if I don’t have dental insurance?
At Seacoast Dentistry we offer affordable dental care to help you get the care you need. We are preferred providers for many insurance plans and participate with most others. We also offer other financial options, including Care Credit.
What should I do during a dental emergency?
Any injury to the teeth or gums can be potentially serious and should not be ignored even if you are not currently experiencing pain. Ignoring a dental problem can increase the risk of permanent damage as well as the need for more extensive (and expensive) treatment later on. If you feel you are in need of urgent assistance please contact our office at (207) 282-6185 immediately and/or visit your closest emergency care facility. If your dental emergency occurs after hours please call our office so you can get in touch with Melissa Hamel, DDS.
How do cavities start and what can I do to prevent them?
Tooth decay causes cavities and destroys tooth structure. It can spread if left unchecked and affect both the tooth enamel and the inner layer of the tooth (dentin). Tooth decay occurs when foods containing sugars and starches are left on the teeth. Bacteria live in the mouth and it causes these foods to turn into acids. The bacteria, acid, food debris, and saliva combine to form bacterial plaque. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that sticks to teeth. The acids in plaque stick to teeth, dissolve the enamel and create holes called cavities. Regular brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing with a can help prevent tooth decay.
The main reason that children are more likely to have new cavities is because their teeth are still developing and are less mineralized (or softer) than adult teeth. A child’s teeth will not be fully developed until their late teenage years. During this period it is important to be sure that the area where the teeth meet the gums is being brushed well enough to remove all plaque and food particles. This will prevent decay from forming at the gum line and maintain healthy gums. Having the child floss every day is an excellent way to form a healthy flossing habit. Sealants can be applied to all the adult back teeth and will help prevent cavities on the chewing surface where food and bacteria can be present in the deeper grooves of the teeth. Melissa Hamel, DDS and Jill, our hygienist, will give you information on a regular fluoride program for your child to help in the fight against tooth decay.
Can a dental problem affect any other areas of my body?
Yes. Clinical studies show a strong relationship between dental infections and other infections in the body. We are learning that we must have good oral health in order to have good overall health. Your mouth is the doorway to your body. This is the ideal area for bacteria and infection to spread into other areas of your body. Studies also show a link between gum disease and heart disease as well as gum disease causing complications with diabetes. Prior to many operations, doctors are now requiring patients to get cleared from their dentist before the surgery is preformed.
What kind of toothpaste should I use?
If you’ve visited the toothpaste aisle in your local store lately you’ll find there is a huge variety of toothpastes available. Many of them are targeting multiple dental issues such as whitening with tarter control or freshening breath with whitening. It is the process of mechanically removing food particles off the surface of the teeth (and flossing between the teeth) that is most important. Allowing food particles to remain on the surface of your teeth is what allows the process of tooth decay to begin. Most commercial toothpastes contain a mild abrasive which helps remove plaque. The easy answer is with regular brushing (and flossing) and a toothpaste that contains fluoride, it is really about taste and personal preference for a general toothpaste choice. If you have sensitive teeth there are also a number of toothpastes available to help alleviate those symptoms.