Many people find dental care to be complex or frustrating, or they have questions about their treatments. We have compiled this list of answers to questions that we hear often to give you a better understanding of your dental treatments and oral health. If you have more questions, or to make your appointment with Dr. Tran Dang or Dr. Blair Whitt, please feel free to contact Forever Teeth today.
How often should I see a dentist?
Our office and the American Dental Association (ADA) both recommend visiting the dentist at least twice a year for a dental exam and cleaning. Depending on your oral health, more frequent visits may be recommended.
What do I do if I have a dental emergency?
Contact Forever Teeth as soon as possible. If your dental emergency occurs during our regular business hours, we will work you into our schedule.
Our Decatur Office: 940-626-4441
Our Azle Office: 817-270-3700
What kind of toothbrush should I use?
Use an ADA-approved toothbrush with soft bristles. Adult toothbrushes should be small- to medium-sized, with soft or medium bristles. The head of the toothbrush should be small enough to brush all areas (especially the back of the mouth) thoroughly. Children should use small toothbrushes with soft bristles.
How often should I replace my toothbrush?
The ADA recommends that you replace your brush every 3-4 months. Children often need to replace their toothbrush more frequently than adults.
Is an electric toothbrush more effective than a manual toothbrush?
No. Electric and manual toothbrushes are equally effective in brushing your teeth. Children, however, may find using an electric toothbrush to be easier and more comfortable, as well as more exciting.
Should I brush or floss first?
We recommend flossing first, as this enables the fluoride in your toothpaste to better reach the areas between the teeth.
Why is flossing important?
Flossing reaches areas of your mouth that brushing alone cannot, such as between the teeth and below the gum line. Flossing helps to remove plaque and food debris from your mouth, and disrupts colonies of harmful bacteria before they can cause damage to your teeth and supporting structures. You should floss daily to help keep your mouth clean and your teeth healthy.
Is one type of toothpaste better than others?
No. However, we do recommend that you use an ADA-approved toothpaste that contains fluoride.
Are dental X-rays safe?
Yes. In fact, dental X-rays produce less radiation than what you are exposed to from the sun in your day-to-day activities! As technology has advanced, X-rays have become faster and more efficient, and they produce even less radiation than before. Additionally, federal law requires that each X-ray machine be checked regularly for safety and effectiveness.
What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are a thin, plastic coating. Our dentists paint your sealants onto the chewing surfaces of your molars and pre-molars to prevent decay and block out harmful bacteria and particles. Dental sealants are usually offered to children as soon as their teeth come in, and they will provide protection through the ages of 6-14. Sealants may also be recommended for adults with deep grooves in the chewing surfaces of their teeth, or who are at greater risk of decay.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
Common causes of gum (periodontal) disease include:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums, or other pain in your mouth
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard foods
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus between your gums and teeth
- Sores in your mouth
- Persistent bad breath (halitosis)
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the fit of dentures or other removable appliances
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by the harmful bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria become trapped in the plaque and calculus that accumulate on your teeth, causing infection and inflammation that gradually eat away at the soft tissues of your mouth. This results in causing your gum attachments to begin separating from the teeth, creating pockets that harbor more bacteria, and continuing to advance the disease. While the earliest stages of gum disease can be treated, more advanced stages can cause irreversible damage. If you believe you have gum disease, meet with your dentist immediately to receive treatment.
Why would I need a root canal?
Root canal therapy is necessary when the pulp (inner tissues and nerves) of your tooth is infected. This infection may occur as a result of deep dental decay, repeated procedures on that tooth, trauma, cracking, or chipping. Symptoms of this infection and inflammation include sensitivity to hot or cold foods, pain when chewing, swelling, and spontaneous waves of discomfort. Please be aware that the alternative to a root canal treatment is tooth extraction. By receiving a root canal, you will increase your chances of keeping your original tooth and preventing the need for further restorative treatments.
When should my child begin visiting the dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children should have a “well-baby” checkup with a pediatric dentist about 6 months after their first tooth erupts, and no later than their first birthday. This initial appointment is intended to make sure your child’s mouth is growing and developing correctly, and to help your child feel comfortable in the dentist’s office. The dentist will discuss any questions you have and make recommendations to help you keep your child’s mouth healthy as he or she grows.
Are payment plans available for my treatment?
Yes. Our office accepts many dental insurances, as well as CareCredit. We also offer a discount payment plan for patients without insurance. For more information, please visit our Financial Options page.
Our experienced dentists and team are proud to provide comprehensive dentistry in Decatur, Texas, and Azle, Texas, and the surrounding areas. We invite you to contact our office today to schedule your consultation and learn more. We look forward to helping you care for your smile!