Whether you’re a new patient or a long-time member of our Valdosta family, you may have some questions about dentistry. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that Dr. Brett Hester and our team hear on a regular basis.

Why do I need regular cleanings if I brush and floss at home?

Brushing and flossing at home is an essential aspect of oral healthcare. While at-home hygiene can keep oral bacteria at bay for a time, it cannot clean the teeth as well as a professional cleaning. Your hygienist can remove plaque and tartar from hard-to-reach areas and provide preventative treatments to protect your teeth from cavities and other potential problems. Most patients find that six-month cleanings are sufficient. However, if you’re prone to decay or gum disease, you might benefit from more frequent visits.

What’s the best way to prevent cavities?

Practicing good oral hygiene and attending regular dental visits can keep your smile healthy and beautiful. We also offer preventative treatments that give your teeth an extra layer of protection against cavity-causing bacteria. Topical fluoride treatments remineralize the tooth enamel and reduce the risk of decay. Dental sealants are like rain jackets for your teeth. They protect the chewing surfaces from bacteria, food particles, and other debris.

How often are dental x-rays required?

The answer to this question depends on the patient and their individual needs. If you are in good oral health, you will likely only need to have x-rays taken annually. However, if you have a specific issue that we are monitoring, you may need x-rays more often. Patient safety is one of our top priorities. Our radiograph unit emits 90 percent less radiation compared to traditional x-rays. We will never take x-rays unless absolutely necessary.

What should I do if my tooth gets knocked out?

Dental emergencies happen from time to time. A knocked-out tooth can be one of the most frightening types of mishaps. If you are involved in an accident that results in a knocked-out tooth, locate the tooth if you can. Hold it by the crown and rinse it off under warm water. If the tooth can be placed back in its socket, do so. If this is not possible, store the tooth in a cup of milk or saline until you can make it to our office. Anytime you sustain a dental emergency, you should call our office immediately for further instruction.

What causes chronic bad breath?

Everyone has bad breath from time to time, particularly after eating certain foods, like garlic and onions. If you have chronic bad breath, however, it’s likely due to periodontal disease. This condition is caused by the accumulation of plaque and bacteria along the gum line. Other causes of bad breath include certain medications and medical conditions.

How can I address tooth sensitivity?

If your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold, try using a toothpaste specially formulated for dental sensitivity. Regular use can decrease tooth sensitivity over time. Sometimes sensitivity is due to exposed teeth roots. If you notice gum recession, talk to your dentist right away. Left untreated, gum recession can lead to more serious oral health issues.

Contact Our Practice for More Information

If you have any questions about your upcoming appointment – or about the field of dentistry in general ­– reach out to one of our knowledgeable team members. Contact us online or give us a call at (229) 247-3400.