Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How do I choose the best toothbrush?
A soft toothbrush is the best choice for cleaning your teeth and removing plaque. A Toothbrush with a small head is also preferred as it makes it easier to get to those hard-to-reach back teeth. Otherwise, the choice of toothbrush style, brand or type is up to you. Buy one that is comfortable and easy to use. And don’t forget to replace that toothbrush every 3 months or after an illness.
Question: Why are dental x-rays important?
A dental x-ray gives Dr. Gerber the ability to look inside and in between your teeth. We can also look at the tips of the roots and underneath the gums, areas that are impossible to see any other way. A dental x-ray can detect cavities and infections before they would be visible to the eye. Thanks to our up-to-date technology, at Gerber Dental Care we offer digital x-rays that expose the patient to greatly reduced radiation levels. X-rays are the best way to find small problems before they become big (and expensive) problems.
Question: I’ve heard that I don’t really need to floss. Is that true?
The research on flossing for the prevention of cavities has thus far been inconclusive. However, the research on flossing for the prevention of gum disease has found that those who brush and floss on a regular basis are much less likely to have gum disease. This includes both bleeding gums and gingivitis.
About half of all Americans have gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. That’s a chronic inflammatory disease that shows up when bacteria in plaque (a sticky film that forms on your teeth) below the gum line cause swelling and irritation. Left untreated, it can lead to receding gums and tooth loss.
Flossing removes the debris between teeth that contains the bacteria responsible for gum disease. Gum disease has also been linked to heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, not to mention bad breath.
There are five surfaces on each tooth; three that a brush can clean (the front, back and top or bottom of the tooth), and two that require flossing to clean (the sides of the tooth, that are adjacent to other teeth). Flossing takes less than a minute, and there’s no downside.
Question: How often should I replace my toothbrush?
Answer: Most dentists agree you should change your toothbrush every three months. Studies show that after three months of normal wear and tear, toothbrushes are much less effective at removing plaque from teeth and gums compared to new ones. The bristles break down and loose their effectiveness in getting to all those tricky corners around your teeth.
It is also important to change toothbrushes after you've had a cold, the flu, a mouth infection or a sore throat. That's because germs can hide in toothbrush bristles and lead to reinfection. Even if you haven't been sick, fungus and bacteria can develop in the bristles of your toothbrush which is another reason to change your toothbrush regularly.
To keep your toothbrush and yourself healthy, make sure you let it dry out between uses. Toothbrushes can be breeding grounds for germs. After using your toothbrush, shake it vigorously under tap water and store it in an upright position so that it can air out.
To prevent cold and flu viruses from being passed between brushes, try to keep your toothbrush from touching others when it is stored.
Question: Why Do I need to see the dentist twice a year?
Answer: Prevention is the best treatment for any condition. Regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. Dr. Gerber is able to identify problems early, before they become too serious. This means that the treatment may be easier and less costly for you. During your exam, Dr. Gerber would be happy to answer any questions you may have and discuss possible treatment options.
During your appointment x-rays may be taken to check for cavities that cannot be detected by a visual exam or with a dental explorer. Your gums will be checked to make sure that they are healthy. Kathy, our hygienist, will clean your teeth, remove any plaque or tartar and polish your teeth to remove any surface staining. This is also a great time to ask Kathy any questions that you may have about home care.
Question: Why are straight teeth important to me?
Answer: Straight teeth are more attractive than crooked teeth. Along with straight teeth comes an improved bite. Various bite problems can cause excessive wear of your teeth, possible jaw joint problems and even problems breathing. Crowded crooked teeth are difficult to keep clean and can lead to swollen, red, bleeding gums because it is difficult to brush and floss around them.
Straight teeth are healthier teeth. Straight teeth get fewer cavities and are less likely to have problems with uneven wear and fractures. The gums are healthier and therefore you are less likely to develop gum disease. Straight teeth and healthy gums mean you can chew anything you want. Your teeth are less likely to be sensitive to heat or cold, and you may reduce your risk of painful and expensive dental problems.
At Gerber Dental Care we offer several orthodontic options to give you the straight teeth and beautiful smile that you deserve. In addition to traditional brackets and wires we offer Invisalign®. Invisalign® are clear aligners that are virtually invisible and slowly straighten your teeth.
Question: What kind of floss should I buy?
Answer: When it comes to dental floss, flossing every day is the most important choice you and your family can make. The key is to choose a floss that you will use, whether it’s waxed, unwaxed, flavored, unflavored, woven or tape. Different members of your family may prefer a different type of floss. Keep a variety of floss available for your family, so that each member can find something they like to use.