Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is dentistry?
The diagnosis, treatment and prevention of conditions, disorders and diseases of the teeth, gums, mouth and jaw is dentistry. Oral health can affect the entire body, making complete dental care and checkups a necessity.
What education is required to be a dentist?
A specialist who works to diagnose, treat and prevent oral health problems is a dentist. Dentists must complete at least eight years of school and receive a degree in either DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine). Specializations within dentistry include:
- Pediatric: children from infancy through their teen years
- Endodontics: root canals
- Oral and maxillofacial: including pathology, radiology and surgery
- Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
- Periodontics: gum disease
- Prosthodontics: implants
Why should I visit a dentist?
Consistent dental check ups keep your teeth and mouth healthy, which helps the rest of your body health, as well.
There are many benefits to maintaining good dental care.
- Prevents tooth decay
- Shields against periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to tooth and bone loss
- Neutralizes bad breath
- Provides a healthier smile that increases your self-confidence
- Brightens and prevents stains from food, drinks and tobacco
- Improves your teeth adding longevity to your beautiful smile!
If I don’t have problems with my teeth, should I still see a dentist?
Just because you don’t feel or see any problems with your teeth doesn’t mean they are completely fine. Regular dentist visits are important, as problems can develop without you knowing. A dentist can preserve your smile’s health and keep it looking beautiful.
What should I consider when looking for a dentist?
It is important to find a dentist who makes you feel comfortable. You should visit multiple dentists and find one that your family feels comfortable seeing.
During your visit, ask yourself the following:
- Is the appointment schedule convenient?
- Is the office easy to get to and close by?
- Does the office appear to be clean and orderly?
- Was your medical and dental history recorded and placed in a permanent file?
- Does the dentist explain techniques for good oral health?
- Is information about cost presented to you before treatment is scheduled?
- Is your dentist a member of the ADA (American Dental Association)?
What daily dental care methods should I maintain?
- You should brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss at least once. Your toothpaste should contain fluoride. Your dentist may also recommend a daily fluoride rinse to help prevent cavities.
- Avoid eating foods that contain a lot of sugar. Sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly leading to cavities. Also, tobacco can stain your teeth and result in gum disease and oral cancer.
- Don’t forget to brush your tongue. Brushing your tongue will eliminate food particles and decrease plaque-causing bacteria. It also helps keep your breath fresh.
- Be sure to schedule a routine checkup and cleaning every six months.
When should my child begin to see a dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child’s first dentist visit should be between six months and one year old. At this age, your child will be cutting the first baby teeth and your dentist can examine the initial health of his or her teeth. Parents should then schedule a visit to the dentist for their child every six months.
How often should I see the dentist?
Regular check ups for children, teens and adults should be at least once every six months. Those with a higher risk for developing oral cancer or gum disease should see a dentist more than twice a year. Your dentist can make an appropriate recommendation as to how often you should schedule appointments.
How should I brush my teeth?
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with toothpaste containing fluoride
- Spend at least a minute on each, the top teeth and the bottom teeth.
- Remember to brush your tongue to keep your breath smelling fresh.
When should I change my toothbrush?
Brushing your teeth twice a day for two to three minutes each time can cause your brush to wear out fast.
- Toothbrushes should be changed out every three months.
- Electric toothbrushes may last longer, so be sure to read the directions.
- Patients with gum disease should change their toothbrush every four to six weeks to prevent bacteria from spreading.
To kill germs and keep the bristles clean, rinse your toothbrush with hot water after use. It may be best to change your toothbrush sooner, if you’ve been sick.
Do I still need dental checkups every six months if I have braces?
Patients with braces should definitely visit their dentist. Food is easily trapped in places within your mouth that your toothbrush can’t reach. When bacteria builds up it can lead to cavities, gingivitis and gum disease. Your dentist and your orthodontist will work together to keep your teeth clean and healthy under your braces.
How do I schedule my next dental checkup?
The front desk staff at Broadway Dental Care will be happy to schedule a dental checkup for you at your convenience. If you are a new patient, please let us know so that we can provide you with needed information for your first dental visit.