Questions You Have
Many patients need to know answers to some common dental questions. Below is a list of some frequently asked questions? If you do not find the answer you seek, feel free to call us for more information.
What makes you different from other dental practices?
We believe in a complete health dentistry, where we will answer and educate you in all aspects of your treatment, your mouth and how it effects your health. Although in Dentistry we primarily treat the mouth and all of its structures, the oral cavity is connected to the rest of the body and acts as the Gateway to many of its organ systems.We often receive comments from patients, both in and out of our dental network, complimenting us on how friendly, warm and inviting our office and staff is. We believe each patient should feel special and well taken care of.
Do you accept new patients?
Yes, we are happy to accept new patients, especially if a new patient is referred to us by one of our existing patients. Check here to make an appointment.
Do you accept my Insurance?
Yes, we accept most insurances including most State Based Insurances. You should check with your insurance if we participate with them or call us to confirm if we accept your insurance. Check here to get more information.
How can I whiten my teeth?
There are many ways to whiten teeth, available both over the counter, and in our office. We have different bleaching options available, depending on your needs and desires, including bleaching gel, and take-home bleaching trays, custom-made to fit your teeth.
Do you see children?
Yes, we love to see children. We find that children are more able to enjoy the first visit at around 6 months to 1 years of age, however, if you have any concerns about your child’s teeth, give us a call.
Should I change my brushing habits?
You may need to change your brushing habits if you are experiencing signs of poor oral hygiene. Examples of common symptoms include bleeding or reddened gums, excessive plaque build-up, decaying teeth and receding gum lines. To find out if you are brushing correctly or if you need to change your brushing habits, make an appointment with your dentist for a full consultation.
What should I expect if I begin brushing my teeth correct?
The benefits of proper tooth brushing techniques may not be experienced immediately, but they are noticeable long-term. Over time, brushing too hard or not brushing enough can produce oral health complications that cannot be reversed and require special treatment. By adopting proper brushing habits, you could avoid expensive dental bills in the future.
Is there anything else I need to do in addition to brushing properly?
Yes. It is important that you also floss daily and use toothpaste that contains fluoride each day. You should also schedule dental exams and professional cleanings in at least twice per year.
Should I be flossing?
Yes. The ADA recommends that everyone floss in order to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Even if you have restorations, such as crowns or veneers, good oral hygiene is essential for prolonging their use and maintaining your oral health.
What types of results should I get from flossing?
You may not experience immediate results from flossing, but over time, your habit will pay off. Flossing can prevent tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss – all of which can be highly inconvenient and expensive to treat. A piece of floss that costs just pennies could save you thousands of dollars later on.
Is there anything else I should be doing in addition to flossing?
Yes. In addition to flossing, you should be adopting proper brushing techniques and visiting your dentist at least twice per year for examinations and professional dental cleanings.
Should I change my eating habits to better my oral health?
Probably. But never start a new diet without first consulting with your physician. If you are on a special diet, be sure to speak with your dentist about the types of foods you should be eating that comply with your diet and can also optimize your oral health.
What types of changes will my dentist recommend?
In addition to avoiding sugary foods, the ADA recommends drinking plenty of water each day and avoiding snacks between meals whenever possible. It is also important to consume nutritious foods from each of the major food groups, including whole grains, vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, and fruits.
Can you help me understand Cavities?
Cavities, also referred to as tooth decay, or dental caries, is the breakdown of the hard tissues of the tooth. This breakdown, or demineralization, is caused by acids produced by the bacteria found in plaque. This damage can lead to the formation of pits or holes (cavities) and will eventually require professional treatment. Your dentist can remove the decay and fill the cavity. Without treatment, tooth decay can destroy your tooth. If you do have tooth decay, your dental team may talk to you about fillings, fluoride, or other treatment choices.
Stages of Tooth Decay
- Stage 1: A white or brown spot on the tooth’s surface may be a sign of early decay. Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing may prevent it from becoming a cavity.
- Stage 2: The decay has gone through the tooth’s hard enamel surface layer.
- Stage 3: Now that the cavity has gone through the enamel to the softer layer of the tooth, it will get destroy the tooth structure more quickly as the layers of tooth beneath the enamel are not as hard.
- Stage 4: If the cavity is not filled, it can cause bigger problems deeper in the tooth. This is why it’s important to see your dental team regularly.
Do I need treatment for my bad breath?
If your bad breath does not improve despite self-care techniques, such as dietary adjustments and thorough tooth brushing, you may need to see a dentist about pursuing professional treatment. Keep in mind that short-term remedies like gum, breath mints, and mouthwash may temporarily freshen breath, but they are not a solution to the underlying problem.
What should I expect my dentist to do about my bad breath?
Your visit will begin with an examination and questions about your daily habits, such as the types of foods you eat and the medications you take. Your dentist may then inspect your mouth for signs of decay, infections or gum disease that could be causing your bad breath. If your chronic bad breath cannot be traced to an oral problem or daily habit, you may be referred to a physician for further evaluation.
Is there anything I can do to maintain better breath?
Yes. If bad breath is a source of embarrassment for you, try to keep breath fresheners on-hand at all times. Sleep with your mouth closed, as this prevents dry mouth and helps tame morning breath. Eliminate odor-causing foods from your diet, such as garlic and onions, and make an effort to brush your teeth and tongue every morning and night. Finally, be sure to visit your dentist for professional cleanings at least twice per year to remove built-up plaque that can cause chronic halitosis.
Which toothbrush should I be using?
You can effectively brush your teeth with either a manual toothbrush or an electric one. However, the rapid movements of motorized versions may be more effective at removing plaque from the teeth and gum line. If you have questions about which toothbrush is best for you, speak with your dentist about it at your next visit. He or she may recommend an electric brush with an oscillating head or a brush that includes a timer to let you know how long to brush.
What types of results should I be getting from by toothbrush?
Regardless of whether you choose an electric brush or a manual brush, it should be easy for you to maneuver in your mouth and behind your back teeth. If the head is too big, it may not be effectively removing plaque from your teeth.
My electric toothbrush was expensive. Do I need to change it as often as a manual brush?
Yes. Your toothbrush should be replaced at least once every three to four months or whenever you notice fraying. However, most electric toothbrushes come with interchangeable heads. In other words, you won’t need to replace the entire device – only the brush itself.
Do I need fluoride treatments?
You may need fluoride treatments if your drinking water is not fluoridated or if you are experiencing certain symptoms, such as receding gums. Fluoride treatments can also provide oral support and prevent decay if you wear orthodontic braces or are taking medications that cause dry mouth.
What should I expect during fluoride treatments?
Fluoride treatments are painless and can be administered at our dentist’s office at your twice-yearly check-ups and cleanings. Your dentist will distribute fluoridated gel, foam or varnish into a tray and place it over your teeth. The treatment takes only a few minutes and are only required between one and four times per year.
Is there anything I can do to supplement my fluoride treatments?
Yes. The ADA recommends supplementing your fluoridated drinking water or our dental fluoride treatments with a fluoridated toothpaste.
Should I talk with my dentist about the questions I have regarding my post-operative care?
Yes. Your post-operative care is contingent on you understanding everything about the recovery process and your responsibilities in caring for your surgical site.
What should I expect when I speak with my dentist?
Your dentist will allocate enough time in your consultation and pre-operative exam to listen to your concerns and answer any questions you may have. You should also be provided a phone number that you can call following your procedure to discuss any questions that may come up at that time.
Is there anything I can do to make the process easier?
Yes. Begin thinking of any questions you may have about your post-operative care, and begin writing them down. You’ll be ready to ask all of your questions when the opportunity arises without missing any important details.
How to Brush Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth is probably a standard part of your daily routine, but chances are you aren’t following the American Dental Association’s guidelines for cleaning your teeth properly. The ADA currently recommends that you brush your teeth at minimum of two times each day – preferably morning and night or anytime you eat foods that contain sugar. When you brush, your toothbrush should be tilted at a 45 degree angle to your gum line. As you brush, be sure to remove debris from every surface of the teeth – including the backs of the teeth, near the gum line, and on chewing surfaces. It is also important to brush your tongue, as bacteria can accumulate there and cause malodorous breath. The type of toothbrush you use makes a difference in your oral health? The ADA recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush with a head that is ergonomically proportioned to the inside of your mouth. Many patients erroneously believe that medium or hard-bristle toothbrushes are more efficient; but these brushes can actually cause abrasions to the teeth and gums, making them more vulnerable to decay. The ADA also recommends replacing your toothbrush about four times yearly or whenever the bristles become frayed.
How to Floss Your Teeth
Flossing is an important part of an oral hygiene routine, but research suggests that fewer than half of Americans do so daily. Flossing is simple and only takes an extra couple of minutes per day. Developing a healthy habit of flossing can prevent tooth decay and gum disease, and it may allow you to keep more of your natural teeth as you age. The American Dental Association recommends using a strand of floss approximately 18 inches in length. It is important to only use clean floss as you move between the teeth. One of the easiest ways of doing this is by looping each end of the floss around your fingers and beginning to floss with the area closest to one end. If you have never flossed, be sure to ask your dentist for a quick in-person tutorial at your next check-up. So what is the most effective means of flossing?
- Pull the floss taught and slide it between two teeth.
- Pull against the side of one tooth, creating a “C-shape” and sliding upwards to remove plaque build-up.
- Pull against the opposite tooth edge using the same technique.
- Repeat this process for each tooth until all inner surfaces have been flossed.
- Don’t forget to floss the backs of your molars!
Dental Health and Your Diet
Your body works hard to convert the foods you eat into energy. You may not think twice about what you are eating – especially when it comes to grabbing an afternoon snack or sipping on a vanilla latte on your next commute. But the food you put in your mouth affects more than just your waistline. The truth is, your diet has a direct effect on your overall dental health. Developing good eating habits can lead to excellent oral health free of decay and gum disease. The American Dental Association recommends avoiding certain foods that can expedite decay, such as foods high in sugar. Eating a slice of pie in the afternoon could be more dangerous to your oral health than eating the same piece of pie as a dessert after dinner? According to the ADA, snacking between meals – especially on sugar-filled foods – can more rapidly lead to decay than eating the same foods with meals. If you must eat the mid-afternoon pie, reach for the toothbrush afterward. Better yet, swap the pie for a nutritious, sugar-free snack like string cheese or some baby carrots.
Having bad breath can be an embarrassing problem – especially if you are regularly face to face with other people. Known professionally as halitosis, bad breath plagues many people every day. Most cases of bad breath can be remedied by efficiently brushing the teeth. However, some types of bad breath are chronic or recurring, which may warrant a visit to the dentist. Bad breath can be caused by something as simple as eating too much garlic, or that it could be a serious symptom of disease? Some of the most common causes of bad breath include dry mouth, certain medications, use of tobacco, poor dental hygiene, and oral infections. In rare cases, bad breath may be a sign of diseases like cancer or gastroesophageal reflux.
Fluoride and Decay Prevention
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that has been shown to help strengthen teeth in children and also prevent decay in people of all ages. Topical fluoride in particular is helpful for promoting oral health. The American Dental Association has publicly endorsed the use of fluoride for the prevention of dental caries, as has the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association. Many communities add fluoride to the public water supply in an effort to promote better dental health. You can find out if there is fluoride in your tap water by contacting your local water utility. Keep in mind that if your primary source of drinking water is bottled, or your local water utility is not adding fluoride to your water, you may not be getting fluoride. If not, speak with your dentist about getting professional fluoride treatments.