Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I have bad breath?

Various causes contribute to halitosis, or bad breath. Usually it is microbial in nature, meaning it is a build up of microorganisms in the mouth. Besides keeping up good oral hygiene, some foods may affect your breath as well as tobacco use. It is good to take notice of eating and hygiene habits and change any that are not considered healthy. If you are still having issues, please contact our office for a thorough exam.

How often should I brush and floss?

Brushing your teeth twice a day and daily flossing help control the plaque buildup and bacteria accumulation that can cause dental disease. When brushing, you should use an ADA-approved soft bristle brush as well as ADA-approved toothpaste. It is important to rinse your mouth after brushing and after meals if unable to brush to dislodge any loose food.

Are amalgam (silver) fillings safe?

According to the ADA, up to 76% of dentists use silver fillings containing mercury to fill teeth. The ADA has stated that silver fillings are therefore safe and there is no connection between silver containing mercury and any medical disorders.

There are numerous alternatives to silver fillings, including composite (tooth-colored), porcelain and gold fillings.

How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?

General consensus is to have your teeth cleaned and checked by professionals at least twice a year. These visits are essential to keeping up good dental health by checking for cavities, gum disease, plaque buildup and oral cancers.

How can I tell if I have gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)?

80% of people have periodontal disease and don’t even know it! In early stages, the disease is virtually painless, therefore not detected by you. Some signs of gum disease include: red puffy gums, bleeding gums, bad breath, loose teeth, receding gums, tenderness and discomfort in mouth.

Why is it important to use dental floss?

Brushing our teeth, even with an electric toothbrush, cleans all surfaces of our teeth EXCEPT in between our teeth. These areas are highly susceptible to plaque buildup and gum disease. Daily flossing is the best preventative to keep unhealthy bacteria from building up in these areas. You should take 12-16 inches of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers. Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between the teeth using a sawing motion. Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gum line. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.

How can cosmetic dentistry help improve the appearance of my smile?

There are many cosmetic dental procedures available to improve your teeth and enhance your smile. Depending on your needs, these treatments can change your smile dramatically, from restoring a single tooth to having a full mouth make-over. Some cosmetic procedures include: tooth whitening, composite fillings, porcelain veneers, porcelain crowns, dental implants and orthodontics.

What are porcelain veneers and how can they improve my smile?

Porcelain veneers are very thin shells of tooth-shaped porcelain that are individually crafted to cover the fronts of teeth. They may be used to restore the following conditions:

  • Severely discolored teeth
  • Unwanted spaces between teeth
  • Chipped teeth
  • Tooth crowding
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Teeth that are too large or too small
What can I do about stained or discolored teeth?

The most popular way to treat stained teeth these days is teeth whitening. This can be done at home or for best results, in our office. At-home whitening systems can take weeks to see final results, whereas the teeth bleaching done in our office is noticeable immediately. You may experience tooth sensitivity after bleaching, which is not unusual. It is usually temporary and will subside within a few days.