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    Frequently Asked Questions

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    Do I need to arrive early for my first appointment?

    Yes. Please arrive 10-15 minutes early to fill out any remaining patient forms, and get a tour of our office.

    What should I do if I require premedication?

    If you require premedication for your treatment, please be sure to request a prescription prior to your appointment, or if you are unsure, contact us and we can help.

    What do I need to bring to my first appointment?

    Please bring the following items with you to your appointment:

    • New Patient Forms (download the forms here)
    • Dental Insurance Card (if applicable)
    • Identification such as Driver’s License, Military ID or State ID

    How long will my first appointment last?

    It varies, so call us about your specific case, but in general plan on 1 hour for the first visit.

    Why should I go to the dentist regularly?

    Many people don’t see a dentist regularly, but only when there’s a problem. This is called ‘crisis treatment’ as opposed to ‘preventative treatment. Often these patients feel they are saving money.

    But because many dental problems do not have symptoms until they reach an advanced state, often what could have been fixed with a mere filling 6 months prior now requires a much more costly and painful root canal.

    Why should I floss, isn’t brushing enough?

    Flossing reduces the number of bacteria in your mouth by removing the plaque in which these bacteria live. Flossing can remove plaque that your toothbrush can’t get to. If left, that plaque can harden into tartar, which can only be removed by your dentist.

    Trust us, try flossing. You’ll notice the difference in tartar buildup at your next cleaning appointment.

    How can I get my kids to brush their teeth?

    Try to make it fun, make it into a game, sing songs about brushing, etc. But whatever you do don’t let it be optional.

    Consider that children want to do the things their parents do, so if you’re a good role model they’ll be more likely to be enthusiastic brushers.

    Getting your children to brush starts with getting them to the dentist at an early age. Children should be seen for their first appointment by the sooner of their first birthday, or 6 months after the eruption of the first tooth.

    How can I prevent cavities?

    First, take your time. Spend two to three minutes brushing your teeth. It takes that long to remove the plaque and bacteria that destroy tooth enamel.

    Second, don’t brush too hard. It doesn’t take much pressure to remove plaque and bacteria.

    Third, floss at least once a day.

    Fourth, limit your sugar consumption, and consider brushing after sweets are consumed.

    Fifth, if you can’t brush after a meal, try rinsing with water or chewing sugarless gum.

    Sixth, visit your dentist regularly to identify any issues early.

    Why does the dentist take X-rays?

    Simply put, an x-ray shows us a lot more than an oral examination. It can reveal:

    • Areas of decay between teeth or below existing fillings
    • Bone infections
    • Gum disease
    • Abscesses or cysts
    • Developmental abnormalities or tumors
    • Root growth and health

    We know that many patients are concerned about excessive x-ray exposure which is why we will only take the minimum necessary to ensure good oral and physical health.

    If you have any questions or concerns about x-rays, feel free to discuss it with us at your next appointment.

    What is fluoride and why is it important to dental health?

    Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. Some city water contains additional fluoride as well.

    Fluoride is important to dental health because it helps make your enamel more resistant to acid created from the plaque in your mouth. Additionally, it has been shown to reverse early tooth decay and help prevent osteoporosis.

    If you have additional questions about fluoride, ask your dentist or hygienist about it at your next appointment.

    What are cavity-fighting sealants?

    Sealants are a thin coating painted on the chewing surfaces of your molars and premolars. This coating acts as a barrier that protects your teeth against decay causing bacteria.

    Sealants are typically used as a preventative measure for children, because they are cost effective (as compared to fillings) and effective for preventing cavities.

    If you have questions or would like to know whether sealants are a good option for you or your family, ask us at your next appointment.

    I knocked out a tooth, can it be saved?

    Yes, in some cases. If you have lost a tooth due to an injury, please schedule an emergency appointment immediately and take the following steps:

    • Rinse, but do not scrub, the tooth to remove dirt or debris
    • Place the clean tooth in your mouth between your cheek and gum
    • Do not try to replace the tooth into the socket as this could cause further damage
    • Get to the dentist as fast as possible.
    • If it is not possible to see the dentist right away wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze and immerse it in milk.

    What is periodontal disease?

    Periodontal disease is the inflammation and infection of gum and the supporting bone structure. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth or bone loss. Additionally, untreated periodontal disease has been linked to higher risks of heart disease, stroke, low birth weight babies, and prostate cancer.

    Signs of periodontal disease include: bad breath, red or swollen gums, loose or moving teeth, tooth sensitivity, pus, pain when chewing, and bleeding or tender gums.

    If you have questions or concerns about periodontal disease, please schedule an appointment to come see us.

    How long will the results of teeth whitening last?

    The short answer is that it varies. If you smoke, drink red wine, coffee or other acid containing foods, your white smile will begin to yellow more quickly. In general, however, you can expect teeth whitening to last a few years.

    Ask our team to discuss with you the benefits and options of teeth whitening.

    Do whitening toothpastes work?

    Sometimes. Whitening toothpasts work by removing surface stains, but unlike professional whitening can’t alter the intrinsic color of your teeth. Unfortunately, however, some whitening toothpaste that is effective in removing stains can also destroy protective tooth enamel in the process.

    Before using whitening toothpaste, schedule a consultation with our office to discuss it.

    What should I do about bleeding gums?

    Many time, bleeding gums are a sigh of the onset of periodontal disease or gingivitis. Unfortunately, many patients respond to bleeding gums by stopping brushing, when brushing can help reduce inflammation.

    If you have bleeding gums, schedule a consultation with us to identify the cause and discuss your treatment options.

    Why should I use a mouthguard?

    Mouthguards can prevent injuries to your face and teeth when playing sports. The most effective mouth guards are custom-fitted by your dentist. These are particularly important if you wear braces or have bridgework.

    After using your mouthguard, rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash. To discuss your mouthguard options, contact our offices.

    I have dentures. Is it necessary for me to still see my dentist?

    Yes. Patients with dentures still need to worry about oral cancer screening, gum disease, improperly fitting appliances, mouth sores, and a number of other problems.