We specialize in lifetime care, which means our focus is on helping you keep your teeth and an attractive smile for your whole life. Below are common questions and our answers about lifetime dental care.
COMMON FIRST QUESTIONS:
How often should I visit the dentist?
We recommend that patients see us at least every 6 months for a cleaning and periodic exam. Why? We are able to keep the most difficult areas of your mouth clean that are harder to reach with regular brushing and flossing. When these areas are neglected, they can become homes to bacteria that have a harmful effect on your teeth, your gums, and your overall health. So, you’ll stay healthier and can avoid unnecessary dental and health problems by seeing us every six months or more if recommended.
What makes you different from other dentists?
We take a personal approach with every patient to understand his or her needs and wants. We work to help you understand all the options available to achieve the goals for your health and the appearance of your smile. You are always in the driver’s seat to make the final decision with our total support. We hope you will see us as an important member of your total healthcare team for a lifetime of smiles.
What happens during my first visit?
You can expect a great experience on your first and every visit to our office. The first time you come in, we’ll ask you to fill out some routine paperwork including a medical and dental history so we are up to date on your present situation. You’ll go through our routine dental exam to check for the health of your teeth and gums as well as do our routine oral cancer exam. Our goal for your first visit is your comfort and peace of mind that comes from knowing you are in good hands and have the information you want to make an informed decision about your health and your smile. For more information on your first visit, see “your first visit“
What if I am afraid?
Fear of dental treatment is common and usually comes from a bad experience in the past or fear of the unknown. We do a number of things to make sure your visit to our office is always a pleasant one:
- We work to customize your treatment and your experience. We recognize that everyone is different. We want to know your concerns as well as your likes so we make every appointment as comfortable as your favorite place to visit.
- If you have had a bad experience in the past, we want to know about it so we can put your mind at ease and help you understand the things we have in place to make sure your visit and treatment is always comfortable.
- We take the time to explain and give you as much information as you would like about your treatment. We will never start any treatment until you are comfortable and give us the OK.
- We have a number of sedation options available for those who would like some additional help relaxing during their visit. We’ll be happy to explain the options that are available. You are also welcome to read more about some of the options by going to Sedation Dentistry.
What if I need to cancel my appointment?
We know that your time is one of your most valuable assets. We work with you to find the most convenient time that fits your schedule for your dental appointments. We reserve your appointment time on our calendar the day we set that appointment together and ask you to do the same so that we can stay on track with the goals you have set for your mouth and your health. In the unlikely event that something unavoidable comes up that prevents you from keeping your appointment, please let us know immediately so that other patients will not be inconvenienced and so that we can work together to stay on track with your treatment.
How often should I brush and floss my teeth?
You should brush at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed. You should floss once a day as well.
What is the proper way to brush my teeth?
The following guidelines are important to brushing correctly.
1. Firstly, make sure to use a soft-bristled brush. Hard bristled brushes can wear down the enamel of your teeth.
- Place your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gum line. Bristles should contact both the tooth surface and the gumline.
- Use short back and forth strokes or tiny circular movements to brush your teeth. Each movement should be no bigger than the size of each tooth.
- Make sure to use gentle strokes while brushing. Gentle strokes are effective in removing plaque, while too much pressure can wear down the enamel of your teeth.
- Brush all surfaces of each tooth, including the outer, inner, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- Finally, don’t cut your brushing short! Make sure to brush for at least 2 minutes.
What is the proper way to floss?
The following guidelines are important to flossing correctly.
- Take 18″ of floss and wind it around the middle finger of each hand. You can use these fingers to take up floss as it becomes dirty. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch the floss leaving 1-2 inches in between for cleaning.
- Gently move the floss up and down the spaces of your teeth. Never snap the floss down onto your gums, as it can cause damage.
- As you move the floss down into space between two teeth, slide it up and down against the surface of one tooth. Gently clean at the gumline as well.
- Repeat this process for all of your teeth.
What is plaque?
Plaque is a sticky, clear film that forms every day on teeth from food debris and bacteria. If plaque is not removed, it can lead to gum disease and cavities. Regular dental check-ups, along with brushing and flossing every day, can help prevent plaque buildup on teeth. In addition, avoiding sugary snacks and eating a balanced diet can help control plaque.
GUM DISEASE QUESTIONS
What is periodontal (gum) disease
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the gums and bone that hold your teeth in place. Typically, periodontal disease occurs when plaque builds up on the teeth and hardens, often due to poor brushing habits. The gums can become swollen and red in the early stage of the disease, called gingivitis. As the disease advances, periodontal disease can lead to sore and bleeding gums, pain while chewing, as well as tooth loss.
What are the signs of periodontal disease?
The following are signs of periodontal (gum) disease, and you should contact your dentist if you experience any of these:
- gums that bleed while brushing
- red, swollen or tender gums
- gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- bad breath that doesn’t go away
- pus between your teeth and gums
- loose teeth
- a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- a change in the fit of partial dentures
How can I prevent periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene. This includes brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly. Also, make sure to eat a healthy diet to get the required vitamins and minerals necessary for your teeth.
Why do our teeth turn yellow?
While our teeth start out pearly white, they can discolor through the years as our enamel wears down. The wearing down of enamel allows dentin, a yellow color substance that makes the core of our teeth, to show through. This is what gives our teeth a yellowish tint.
What can I do about bad breath?
Bad breath is caused by a variety of factors, including the types of food you ingest, periodontal disease, dry mouth, and other causes. Going to your dentist will help you determine the cause of your bad breath so that you can take steps to eliminate it.
Regardless of the cause of your bad breath, good oral hygiene, and regular checkups to the dentist will help reduce it. Brushing and flossing will eliminate particles of food stuck between your teeth which emit odors. It will also help prevent or treat periodontal disease (gum disease), caused by plaque buildup on your teeth, which can lead to bad breath. Dentures should be properly cleaned and soaked overnight in an antibacterial solution (unless otherwise advised by your dentist). Finally, make sure to brush your tongue regularly to eliminate any residue.
Just call us or email us. We are happy to respond to any questions you might have.