1. Why is visiting the dentist so important?
  2. My teeth seem fine. Why do I need to see a dentist?
  3. What can I expect at my first visit to your office for a new patient exam?
  4. How can I take care of my teeth in between dental checkups?
  5. At what age should I start taking my child to see the dentist?
  6. How often should I see the dentist?
  7. Do you use digital x-rays?
  8. How often should I brush my teeth?
  9. When should I change my toothbrush?
  10. What is gum disease?
  11. If I am wearing braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?
  12. Do you accept dental insurance?





1. Why is visiting the dentist so important?

It is important to visit the dentist regularly to keep your teeth, mouth, and body healthy. Regular dental care is important because it helps prevents tooth decay and helps protect against gum disease.



2. My teeth don't bother me and seem fine. Why do I need to see a dentist?

Even if your teeth seem to be fine, it is still important to see the dentist for regular check ups because problems can exist without you knowing. For example many times a cavity will not hurt until it's very large.



3. What can I expect at my first visit to your office for a new patient exam?

At your first visit we will meet with you to discuss your concerns. Usually updated x-rays, photographs and a complete examination will be done by Dr. Woodside, Dr. Collins or Dr. Eckart followed by a visit with our hygienist.



4. How can I take care of my teeth in between dental checkups?

We recommend that you brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush or an electric toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste at least two times a day, as well as floss. Our dental hygienist may also recommend other dental cleaning products.



5. At what age should I start taking my child to see the dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children first see a dentist shortly after their first teeth erupt. During this time, your child's baby teeth will be coming in and we can examine the health of your child's first few teeth. We encourage parents to bring their children into the office as young as possible so they can familiarize themselves with the environment. Depending on the age of the child we may do a visual lap dental exam to check teeth as they are erupting. As the child gets older and all of the primary (baby) teeth have erupted, we do a complete exam of his or her teeth, jaw, bite, gums and oral tissue along with a gentle cleaning, fluoride and x-rays. After the first visit, be sure and schedule regular checkups every six months.



6. How often should I see the dentist?

Children, teens, and adults should all see the dentist for a regular checkup at least once every six months. Sometimes we recommend more frequent visits due to gum disease.



7. Do you use digital x-rays?

Yes, we use digital x-rays in our office. Digital x-rays are pictures of the teeth, bones, and surrounding gum tissues used to screen for and help identify problems with the teeth, mouth, and jaw. Digital x-ray pictures can show cavities, cancerous or benign masses, hidden teeth (such as wisdom teeth), and bone loss that cannot be seen during a visual examination. Digital x-rays reduce radiation 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays.



8. How often should I brush my teeth?

According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth at least two times a day. Brushing keeps your teeth clean and healthy by removing food particles and bacteria.



9. When should I change my toothbrush?

Your toothbrush will eventually wear out. We recommend that adults and children should change their toothbrush every three to six months. At your six month check up you will receive a new toothbrush. We also have Sonicare toothbrushes and heads available to purchase at our practice.



10. What is gum disease?

Gum disease is also sometimes called periodontal disease. There can be several causes of gum disease, but usually is cause by plaque and tartar buildup below the gums as well as bacteria. Other causes of periodontal disease include tobacco use, teeth grinding, and genetics. Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease, but it can become worse over time if left untreated and can lead to tooth loss. Some signs of gum disease are bleeding, red and irritated gums, loose teeth, abscessed teeth, gum recession and bad breath.



11. If I am wearing braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?

It is very important to see your dentist for regular checkups even if you are wearing braces. If possible we like to have the wire removed prior to your cleaning so we can clean in areas that regular tooth brushing can sometimes miss. We like to work closely with our patientsí orthodontists.



12. Do you accept dental insurance?

Yes we do accept insurance at our office. Currently, we are preferred providers with Washington Dental Service, Premera, Regence, and United Concordia, but feel free to check with our office about your insurance. Sometimes insurance has another name, but falls under one of these companies.