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Frequently Asked Dental Questions

You have questions for your Boise dentist and we hope to provide you with in-depth, educational answers. We’ve compiled some of our most frequently asked questions, along with factual answers and practical advice.

If you’d like a more detailed explanation of any of these answers, feel free to call or contact us. No question is off limits, no matter how many times we’ve heard it before. When it comes to your dental health, you should have access to as much information as you need.

What will my insurance benefits cover?

The answer to this question varies from patient to patient. At Modern Dental, we have plenty of experience helping our patients with their insurance concerns. We’re more than happy to help you find what your insurance will cover, and we will help you find a treatment plan that fits your budget. Just give us a call.

Why should I make regular dental appointments?

Some people visit the dentist regularly, which falls under the umbrella of “preventive treatment.” They see the value, both monetarily and healthwise, for scheduling regular dental appointments. They understand that preventing dental problems before they happen, saves time and money.

Many people don’t see a dentist until they have a problem, which is referred to as “crisis treatment.” If it doesn’t hurt, there’s no problem, they reason. By the time their tooth hurts, even in a simple cavity situation, they need a root canal and a crown, instead of just a filling.

Regular dental appointments help you avoid costly and painful treatments. Preventive care is always less expensive and less time consuming in the long run and it’s much healthier, too.

Why do I need to floss?

Brushing your teeth is an important part of your everyday oral health routine, but it’s not enough on its own. Flossing your teeth reduces the amount of bacteria living in your mouth. They feed on the little bits of food between your teeth, and in the plaque that flossing removes. Basically, flossing helps combat the bacteria your toothbrush can’t quite reach.

If you neglect to floss, you’re leaving plaque in between your teeth, which attract that bacteria. If plaque goes untended, it turns into tartar and only your dentist can effectively remove tartar.

Basically, flossing cleans the parts of your mouth your toothbrush can’t reach.

How can I prevent cavities?

You can’t always prevent all cavities, but you can greatly minimize them. Brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day, and shoot for three minutes each time. Floss at least once a day, as well.

If you can’t brush after a meal, rinsing your mouth with water or chewing sugarless gum can help. Colgate Wisps are also a good solution.

Minimize your sugar intake, too. Sugar comes in the form of fruit juice, sports drinks, candy, crackers, chips, bread and more. Bacteria loves sugar, even from sources like raisins and peanut butter. When you do indulge in sugary foods or drinks, brush your teeth afterwards.

What is fluoride? Is it healthy?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral. It’s found in both water and food, and is a natural part of brewed tea, canned fish, apples, cooked kale, and skim milk. Many cities use fluoride in their drinking water. If that’s not the case, fluoride supplements are easily found and available.

When you’re not exposed to fluoride, you’re at a greater risk for dental decay. Fluoride helps the enamel on your teeth to be much more resilient to the acids generated by plaque bacteria. The risk of dental decay from lack of fluoride exposure can happen at any age, but medical research shows children who consume fluoride from infancy, experience less dental decay.

Fluoride is healthy, and it protects your teeth from bacterial harm. It can also reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

What can I do about sensitive teeth?

Reducing your intake of highly-acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, tea, and soda can help lessen tooth sensitivity. In addition, sensitivity toothpaste is often helpful. This toothpaste contains strontium chloride or potassium nitrate, and can do wonders for sensitive teeth. Gentle brushing with sensitivity toothpaste, combined with reducing acidic foods, is the best option for most people.

If those methods don’t help your sensitive teeth, see your dentist. Your dental practice can apply compounds that reduce or eliminate sensitivity. More intensive home treatment plans can also be recommended.

How effective are whitening toothpastes?

Some whitening toothpaste works better than others. Most brands of whitening toothpaste work fine as a normal toothpaste, but some are less effective when it comes to their ability to actually whiten teeth.

Whitening toothpastes use a mild, or sometimes harsh, abrasive compound to remove surface stains from your teeth; usually caused by coffee, tea, soda, smoking, etc. In the process, thought, the more effective whitening toothpastes can sometimes erode your tooth enamel.

If you frequently use a whitening toothpaste, it might damage your enamel and result in increasingly sensitive teeth. Talk to your dentist about whitening toothpastes to find a healthy solution that’s right for you.

My gums are bleeding. What should I do?

Bleeding gums are often the result of periodontal disease, and sometimes gingivitis. When your gums are bleeding, you might stop brushing and flossing frequently, simply because it increases the amount of pain you’re experiencing, but, not brushing your teeth won’t help the problem.

Instead, brush as thoroughly as you normally brush. Over the counter medications can provide relief, but are usually a temporary solution. Visit your dentist for a periodontal screening, and find an effective treatment plan.

Bleeding gums are often indicative of bigger problems, so see your dentist as soon as possible.