Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question that is not answered below? Feel free to give us a call and ask!

1. Do I need to arrive early for my first appointment?

Yes. Please make sure you come to your appointment 10 minutes early. We want to make sure we have all the required paperwork so we can make sure that your visit will be a great experience.

2. What do I need to bring to my appointment?

Please bring your insurance information and any other important documents that we may need.

3. Can my child come to his/her first appointment without a parent or legal guardian?

We prefer that the parent or legal guardian be present at least during the check in.

4. Will I need to pay while in the office?

We do ask that you pay for your portion at the time of service.

5. How long will my appointment last?

Cleanings usually last 1 to 1.5 hours. The average time for other visits will depend on the treatment you are receiving.

6. Is there something for my other children to do while the others are in their appointments?

We do have a play area for children, however we do ask that children not receiving treatment are supervised at all times.

7. What should I do if I require premedication?

Please be sure to request a prescription prior to your appointment, or if you are unsure, contact us and we can help.

8. Why is flossing so important?

Flossing reduces the number of bacteria in your mouth. While brushing your teeth gets rid of some of the bacteria in your mouth, flossing gets rid of the stuff your toothbrush can’t reach. Not flossing allows plaque to remain between your teeth, which eventually hardens into tartar. Plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing, but only a dentist can remove tartar.

9. How do I get my kids to brush their teeth?

Lead by example and make it enjoyable. Children want to do the things their parents do. If your children see you brushing your teeth and displaying good dental habits, they will follow. Another good tip is to start at an early age.

10. What’s the best way to prevent cavities?

Consistently brush and floss daily, watch the amount of sugar you eat, and see your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. It’s that simple.

11. Why are X-rays necessary?

Many diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissues cannot be seen when the dentist examines the mouth. Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save time, money and often unnecessary discomfort. X-rays can detect damage to oral structures not visible during a regular exam. If you have questions or concerns about x-rays they should be discussed with your dentist.

12. What is fluoride and why is it important?

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and in water. Fluoride is important to dental health because it helps prevent tooth decay by making your tooth enamel more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria in your mouth.

13. What are sealants?

The American Dental Association cites sealants as an effective weapon in the arsenal against tooth decay. Sealants are a thin coating painted on chewing surfaces of molars and premolars. Dental sealants act as a barrier, protecting your teeth against decay-causing bacteria.

14. I knocked out one of my teeth, can it be saved?

The short answer is maybe. Follow these tips for a better chance:

  • Rinse, do not scrub, the tooth to remove dirt or debris
  • Place the clean tooth in your mouth between your cheek and gum or under your tongue
  • Do not attempt to replace the tooth into the socket as this could cause further damage
  • Get to the dentist. Successful re-implantation is possible only when treatment is performed promptly
  • If it is not possible to store the tooth in the mouth of the injured person, wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze and immerse it in milk.

15. What causes morning breath?

Saliva is the mouth’s natural mouthwash, which is why most people experience morning breath. Bacteria found on teeth in the crevices and on the taste buds of the tongue, break down the food particles, which produce sulfur compounds. It is actually these sulfur compounds which give our breath a bad odor.

16. What can I do about sensitive teeth?

Try special sensitivity toothpaste, If you do not get relief by brushing gently and using desensitizing toothpaste, see your dentist. There are special compounds that can be applied in-office to the roots of your tooth to reduce – if not eliminate – the sensitivity. High-fluoride home care products may also be recommended.

17. What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is inflammation and infection of the gums and supporting bone structure, which if left untreated, can cause permanent jaw bone destruction and possible tooth loss. Untreated periodontal disease has been linked to increased risk for conditions such as heart disease, stroke, low birth weight babies, pre-term delivery, respiratory disease, and prostate cancer. An advanced stage of periodontal disease exhibits inflamed gums pulling away from your bone and teeth. Basically, it’s bad news.

18. How long will the results of teeth whitening last?

In general, a teeth whitening procedure can last up to a few years. And even though the results can fade, occasional touch-ups can be done to regain luster.

19. Do whitening toothpastes work?

They can, but results vary. Unlike professional whitening, some whitening toothpastes do not alter the intrinsic color of the teeth. Toothpastes that are effective in removing stains can also destroy tooth enamel in the process. These toothpastes use harsh abrasives. With repeated use, harsh abrasives begin to damage tooth enamel and can contribute to increased tooth sensitivity. If you would like to try a whitening toothpaste, consult with your dentist first.

20. What should I do about bleeding gums?

Usually, gums that bleed are a symptom of the onset of periodontal disease or gingivitis. But often, people stop brushing as frequently and effectively because it may be painful or it may cause the gums to bleed again. However, when gums are inflamed, brushing could help reduce the inflammation. More importantly, you should see your dentist to have a periodontal screening and recording performed in order to determine the level of disease present and the best treatment course to pursue. It is important to see your dentist as soon as possible if your gums begin to bleed.

21. Why are my teeth getting darker?

There are certain foods and drinks that actually stain teeth. Hot coffee and tea are especially hazardous to your smile because they change the temperature of teeth. This temperature change – hot and cold cycling – causes the teeth to expand and contract allowing stains to penetrate the teeth. Foods that are slightly acidic are also dangerous to your white smile. These foods open up the pores of the tooth enamel allowing stains to move more easily into the tooth.

22. I just found out I am pregnant. Can this affect my oral health?

Women who are pregnant can experience a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. This condition can be uncomfortable and cause swelling, bleeding, redness or tenderness in the gum tissue. The likely culprit is a labor-inducing chemical found in oral bacteria called prostaglandin. Very high levels of prostaglandin are found in women with severe cases of periodontal disease.

23. I have dentures. Do I still need to see the dentist?

While patients who wear dentures no longer have to worry about dental decay, they may have concerns with ill fitting appliances or mouth sores to name a few things. Annual visits to the dentist (or sooner if soreness is present) is recommended. Regular visits can help you to avoid more complicated problems down the road.