FAQ

Q. How often should I see a dentist?

A. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends visiting a dentist at least twice a year for a check-up and a professional cleaning. Our office also recommends two visits per year for most people. Patients with chronic gum disease may need to be seen more often for cleanings.

Q. What do I do if I have a dental emergency?

A. Please call our office as soon as you determine that you have a dental emergency. If you have a dental emergency during regular business hours, we will be glad to work you into our schedule. After hours, over the weekend and during holidays, please call our office - the voicemail will give you the doctor's emergency contact number.

Q. What kind of toothbrush should I use?

A. Adults should use a small-to-medium size toothbrush with soft bristles. The head of the brush needs to be small enough to brush all areas of the mouth thoroughly, specifically the back of the mouth, which can be hard to reach. Children should use small toothbrushes with soft bristles. People with sensitive teeth can benefit from using gentle, soft bristled toothbrushes.

Q. How often should I replace my toothbrush?

A. The American Dental Association recommends that you replace your brush every 3 to 4 months. With each use, the bristles become worn and cleaning effectiveness decreases. Depending on your oral health, you may need to replace your brush sooner. Typically, children toothbrushes need to be replaced more regularly than adults.

Q. Is a powered toothbrush more effective than a manual toothbrush?

A. Generally, manual toothbrushes are just as effective as powered toothbrushes as long as they are used properly. Children may find brushing with a powered toothbrush more exciting. If you have difficulty using a manual toothbrush, a powered toothbrush may be more comfortable and easier to use.

Q. Should I brush or floss first?

A. As long as you brush and floss thoroughly, it does not matter if you brush then floss or floss then brush.

Q. Is one type of toothpaste better than the others?

A. For the most part, no. We recommend you use a toothpaste that contains fluoride and carries the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which means it has been assessed for safety and effectiveness. Studies consistently show that fluoride helps strengthen and rebuild tooth structure, and helps prevent dental decay. Topical fluoride (that is applied to the teeth and then spit out) has never been linked to any adverse health effects. We generally do not recommend ingested fluoride.

Q. Are payment plans available for my dental treatment?

A. Yes. We offer Care Credit. We also accept most major credit cards and many types of dental insurance. We will process any insurance claims for you.


Common Problems

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, also known as caries or cavities, is preventable. Carbohydrate-rich foods, such as candy, cookies, soft drinks and even fruit juices, leave deposits on your teeth. Those deposits are consumed by the normal bacteria in your mouth and form plaque. The bacteria uses this food to form acids that eat away at tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay.

Sensitive Teeth

Your teeth expand and contract in reaction to changes in temperature. Hot and cold foods and beverages can cause pain or irritation to people with sensitive teeth. Over time, tooth enamel can be worn down, gums may recede or teeth may develop microscopic cracks, exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings. Simply breathing cold air can be painful for those with extremely sensitive teeth.

Often teeth with receded gums have sensitivity. That is because there is no enamel coating to protect the inner nerve from the temperature changes.

Gum Disease

Gum, or periodontal, disease can cause inflammation, tooth loss and bone damage, and common indicators are consistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth. Gums in the early stage of disease, known as gingivitis, can bleed easily and become red and swollen. As the disease progresses to periodontitis, teeth may fall out or need to be removed by a dentist. Gum disease is highly preventable and can usually be avoided through daily brushing and flossing.

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Daily brushing and flossing helps to prevent the build-up of food particles, plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Food particles left in the mouth deteriorate and cause bad breath. While certain foods, such as garlic or anchovies, may create temporary bad breath, consistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease or another dental problem.

Canker Sores

Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are small sores inside the mouth that often recur. They have a white or gray base surrounded by a red border. Generally lasting one or two weeks, the duration of canker sores can be reduced by the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents.

Orthodontic Problems

A bite that does not meet properly (a malocclusion) can be inherited, or some types of improper bites may be acquired. Common causes of malocclusion include missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth, misaligned jaws, injuries/trauma or developmental issues, such as finger or thumb sucking.

Blue Stone Hills Dentistry

  • Blue Stone Hills Dentistry - 2342 Blue Stone Hills Dr., Harrisonburg, VA 22801 Phone: 540-433-3625

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