Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to floss?

The American Dental Association recommends flossing once a day, and if you haven't flossed in a while, your gums may bleed while brushing or flossing. These are early signs of gingivitis, which can lead to gum disease. Regular dental cleanings are recommended to help improve the health of your gums.

How should I brush my teeth?

You should brush twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Brush using a gentle, circular motion, making sure you brush your gums as well. Improper brushing, such as using a scrubbing motion, can actually wear away your teeth and gums, especially near the gumline. Which toothpaste to use is often a personal preference, but some people can benefit from toothpaste specifically formulated for sensitive teeth.

How often should I replace my toothbrush?

Be sure your toothbrush is the right size and shape to fit into all corners of your mouth. Your toothbrush should be replaced about every three or four months (sooner if the bristles are worn), and be sure to use an appropriately-sized toothbrush with soft bristles. Children's brushes may need to be replaced even more frequently.

What is going to happen on my first visit?

On your first visit to our office, you will receive a periodontal examination. You should experience little, if any, discomfort during this examination. X-rays will be taken to further evaluate any loss of bone around your teeth and to check for areas of tooth decay. Afterwards, the findings and options for treatment will be thoroughly explained. At that time, we will answer any questions you may have.

What is endodontic treatment?

Endodontic treatment, commonly called "root canal therapy," cleans out infected tissue from the root canal space in the center of the tooth. The nerve of the tooth is removed to eliminate pain, and this treatment is an alternative to extraction of the tooth.

How is periodontal disease treated?

While periodontal disease is not curable, it can be stabilized by a deep cleaning of the area below the gumline (the space between the tooth and gums). These areas, or pockets, require routine and regular cleanings to prevent further damage.

What is a dental implant?

An implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. A thorough examination is necessary to determine if you are a candidate for an implant, including x-rays and models of your teeth.

At what age should orthodontic treatment occur?

Orthodontic treatment can be started at any age, but many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they are detected at an early age (as early as age 7), before jaw growth has slowed. Sometimes this early treatment means a patient can avoid surgery and more serious complications in the future. Because orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, many adults may also benefit from traditional braces or Invisalign.

Would an adult patient benefit from orthodontics?

Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. Everyone wants a beautiful and healthy smile. One quarter to one-third of orthodontic patients today are adults (especially since the introduction of Invisalign appliances).

Do braces hurt?

The placement of bands and brackets on your teeth does not hurt. Once your braces are placed and connected with the archwires, you may feel some soreness of your teeth. This soreness can usually be easily managed with common non-prescription pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil) or Tylenol. Your lips and cheeks may initially need one to two weeks to get used to the braces on your teeth, and soft wax may be used to cover problem areas on your braces.

Will braces interfere with playing sports?

No. It is recommended, however, that patients protect their lips, cheeks, teeth and gums by wearing a special orthodontic mouthguard when participating in any sporting activity. Mouthguards are available and are inexpensive, comfortable, and come in a variety of colors and patterns.

Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?

No. However, there may be an initial period of adjustment when your braces are first placed. After this initial adjustment, most patients find their braces do not interfere with playing musical instruments.

What is a dental bridge?

A bridge is a dental appliance that replaces one or more natural missing teeth, thereby "bridging" the space between two teeth. The missing tooth is replaced by a false tooth fused between two crowns. The crowns are attached to the teeth on each side of the false tooth, and the false tooth is suspended between them, like a bridge.

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If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us through our website or by calling either clinic. We'd love to hear from you!