Frequently Asked Questions
After a procedure that requires numbing, when can I eat or drink?
As much as possible, you should try to wait to eat until your mouth is no longer numb. Chewing while your mouth is numb may cause unintentional damage, if you bite your lip, cheek or tongue. You may drink as soon as you would like. We encourage you to stick to cool water for the first few hours, and using a straw may be easier until the numbness wears off.
When should I start brushing my child’s teeth?
You should always wipe your child’s gums with a warm, damp cloth after feeding. Once your child develops teeth, you should start brushing them twice a day. Use a small, soft bristled toothbrush or continue to use the warm, damp cloth to wipe away plaque.
How often should I visit Dr. Petty’s office?
We recommend visiting our office twice a year. When you visit every six months and receive a thorough examination and cleaning, it is easier to avoid any tooth decay or gum disease, and we are able to accurately screen for certain dental issues that can be more harmful such as bruxism (teeth grinding/clenching), TMJ disorder, and oral cancer.
What should I do, if I lose a tooth?
If you lose an adult tooth, try to retrieve the tooth. Clean it off with warm water handling only the biting surface of the tooth. Clean your mouth of any blood or debris by gently swishing warm water. Do not use mouthwash, toothpaste or any other cleansing agent on your tooth or mouth. Once your tooth and mouth are cleansed, reinsert the tooth into the socket, if possible. If you are not able to reinsert the tooth, hold it between your cheek and gums or place it in a small glass of whole milk to preserve it. Call our office and we will work to schedule an emergency appointment as soon as possible.
My tooth hurts and is sensitive to hot and cold foods, is this cavity?
Cavities can sometimes cause pain and sensitivity in the tooth, but it is also possible that you have an infection in the root of your tooth that has reached the nerve endings. If you ever experience prolonged periods of dental pain or sensitivity, schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible.