Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

I want a healthy mouth and smile, but I have a terrible fear of going to the dentist. What do I do?

Rest assured that you are not alone.  Many Americans can identify with your fears, which could have developed for many different reasons.  Our goal here at Smile Care is to treat you in a comfortable and relaxing environment, using the latest technology to provide you with the best and most pain-free care.  When you contact us, let us know your concerns, as we want to listen and reassure you.  Dr. Paul and our team are highly trained, so we will do whatever we can to ease your fears through many methods.  To learn more, visit our Pain and Anxiety Control page.

I never know what toothbrush or toothpaste to buy at the store. What products do you recommend?

Toothbrushes: The brand doesn’t matter, but the size of the head and the type of bristle does. A smaller head allows you to access harder to reach areas of your mouth, so that is recommended. Also, hard bristles can cause damage to your gums by causing irritation or even recession, so find a brush with softer bristles.  For some individuals, we would suggest an electric toothbrush, as studies have shown them to be more effective. Try a WaterpikOral B 3D, or Sonicare electric toothbrush and let us know what you think!.

Toothpaste: Toothpaste is a personal preference. Find one that has the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Approval and one that has fluoride, as fluoride helps decrease the occurrence of tooth decay, also known as cavities. When brushing, only use a small amount, as too much toothpaste can damage the structure of your teeth and gums. There may be a small chance you have a sensitivity to certain chemicals in toothpaste, and if so, let us know and we’ll help you find one that works well for you.

My mouth is full of silver fillings, and I’m wondering if they are safe or if I should have them replaced?

White, tooth-colored composite fillings are mainly used here at Smile Care for a number of reasons.  First, they seem to be requested by our patients for their cosmetic appeal and natural look.  Second, they can strengthen a tooth that has been weakened by decay, as they attach well to the tooth structure.  There is great controversy worldwide about the use of silver, or amalgam, fillings and whether or not they pose a health risk due to the fact that they are made out of mercury.  If you are interested in a more cosmetically appealing look, we would be happy to create a customized treatment plan for you where we would replace the fillings over time. Learn more about fillings here.

My teeth have stains and spots of discoloration. Will a whitening toothpaste help?

Stains and spots on teeth appear for many different reasons.  It could be due to habits, such as coffee or tea drinking.  It could be due to excess fluoridation. It could also be due to age, genetics, or certain medications. Whitening toothpastes contain mild abrasives and gentle polishing or chemical agents to change the surface color of your teeth. While whitening toothpaste may maintain your current tooth color or remove a small portion of the surface stain, it will not dramatically change your tooth color.  If you are looking for a brighter smile, we would recommend you review some of the whitening options we suggest , or even make an appointment for a free cosmetic evaluation to review other options.

I have struggled with bad breath my entire life. What causes it, and what can I do to have a fresher smelling mouth?

Bad breathe, also known as Halitosis, can be caused by many different things.  In healthy people, it is mainly caused by germ (microbial) deposits on the tongue.  Studies have shown that brushing your tongue after brushing your teeth can decrease the odor by up to 70%.  There are also tongue scrapers you can purchase or are also available in our office which help you easily clean your tongue and remove the deposits.  Lastly, practice great oral hygiene by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, and drink a lot of water to continually flush the bacteria out of your mouth.  You will then be on your way to a fresher mouth in no time!

When should my child have his or her first dental appointment?

The first dental appointment is a huge milestone for a child.  The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that a child be seen for their first appointment by their first birthday.  Here at Smile Care, we value the relationships we have with all family members, especially a parent, as a child’s oral health is very dependent upon the involvement and education of the parent.  We work with parents early on to care for their child’s teeth, diet and habit structuring, pacifier and bottle use, etc.  We have found that when a parent takes an invested interest in their child’s oral health, the child will have little to no issues and will be ready for his or her first official cleaning around the age of two or three.  To learn more about Pediatric Dentistry here at Smile Care, click here.