Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions that we have seen over the years to help you troubleshoot your dental issues and prepare for your first appointment with us. Contact us today if you are having dental pain or need to set up an appointment!

How often should I visit the dentist?

We recommend that people with healthy mouths have a routine cleaning and checkup twice a year. However, some situations call for 3-4 times a year. This allows most issues to be detected earlier and gives your teeth and gums a deep clean on a regular basis. That being said, if it’s been longer than six months, even if it’s been years, give our office a call and we can set you up with an appointment soon.

How often should I brush and floss my teeth? For how long?

You should be brushing at least twice a day, but some may elect to brush more, especially when certain foods or beverages have been consumed. You should brush your teeth, all over, in multiple directions, for at least two minutes. Flossing should take place at least once a day and helps you reach all of the plaque and debris between your teeth. We recommend doing it before going to bed to ensure there is nothing remaining on your teeth overnight. Mouthwash can be a helpful addition and can supplement your morning dental routine if you desire.

Is there a specific toothbrush you recommend? What about floss? What about mouthwash?

The easiest way to answer these questions is to merely say, the best toothbrushes are the ones you will use! Any toothbrush used on a regular basis will do more good for you than the fanciest toothbrush or the priciest mouthwash used less frequently. That being said, while different patients have different dental needs, most people should use a SOFT bristle in a compact adult size. The plaque that brushing removes is soft enough to be removed with a cotton swab, so hard brushing with stiffer bristles is unnecessary and may even cause damage. When you come in for an appointment, feel free to give us the specifications or things you like about products you’ve used in the past to give us a place to start! We recommend that you change your toothbrush about every 3-4 months or when the bristles become bent.

What is fluoride and why do I need it?

Fluoride is a chemical element found naturally in water and some foods, and as an additive in drinks, tooth products, and elsewhere. When ingested in tiny amounts throughout childhood, it is built into the mineral structure of the teeth while they are forming, making them much more resistant to decay. Water fluoridation has been so effective at reducing cavities and tooth loss that the CDC ranked it as one of the most important health advances of the 20th Century. After the teeth have formed, fluoride can be used to reduce sensitivity and helps prevent, or even halt, tooth decay. While it may be true that we don’t “need” fluoride, most of the tooth-loss of our ancestors was related to tooth decay of the type that fluoride prevents. For our patients in the Bryan/College Station area, our water sources have a moderate amount of naturally occurring fluoride, so additional fluoride is not added to the drinking water. If you have a well or if you have any concerns about whether your children are receiving the proper amount of fluoride, we can arrange for water testing.

What constitutes an emergency call to you?

Our practice is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we want to be available for our patients.
Please use your best judgment in deciding whether to call, but certainly if you or a family member have an injury, severe pain, or bleeding do not hesitate. If you feel you have a true medical emergency, whether it is related to dental needs or not, call 911 immediately.

At what age should I bring my children to the dentist?

Dr. Moore sees children of all ages; start bringing them with you for your own cleanings as soon as you can! The earlier kids see the dentist as a routine part of life, the more comfortable they become with us taking care of their teeth. For the very young or timid, we can start with what we call “happy visits” where your child can sit in the chair and get used to the feel of our hands and instruments near them without the pressure of a full appointment. Dr. Moore feels it is very important to begin with a low-stress experience. From there, we will begin doing exams and proper cleanings. In the meantime, encourage healthy brushing habits by brushing their teeth, gums, and tongue with the same regularity we suggest for adults and let them practice, too! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us.

When you ask me a question or are having a conversation with me mid cleaning, are you actually expecting a response?

Ha! This is a funny question, especially since many of us in the field love to chat and carry on most of the conversation. Feel free to respond and not just because we enjoy trying to interpret what you are saying or miming. We do like to get to know our patients and their families in little bursts when we can!

What can I do if I feel uncomfortable in an exam or with a procedure?

We know that some people have a fear of visiting the dentist or having their mouth worked on. There are several measures we put into place, like talking you through the procedure, answering any questions you may have, promoting a warm and welcoming environment, and by being honest in all we do. In regard to feeling discomfort at any time, simply raise your hand to indicate you need a break or extra help through a portion and we will assist you.

What should I do if I break a tooth?

Breaking a tooth can be an unexpected and painful surprise. Sometimes it is due to a weakness caused by a cavity, other times it is trauma or simple wear and tear. Save the broken piece if you can, especially if it is from a front tooth, and call the office. Some fractures must be addressed quickly, but most can safely wait a few days for a more convenient time.

Do you make sports guards?

Yes! Sports guards are an inexpensive and effective way to help keep your pearly whites out of trouble while you compete in sports. From obvious contact sports, like football, basketball, soccer, wrestling, to ones you might not think about, like baseball, gymnastics, water polo, cheerleading practice and competitions, weight lifting, we have appropriate guards available. We can even do team colors! Please ask about our team discounts.

What are my options for teeth whitening?

The cleanliness of your teeth, your genetics, and the minerals in your teeth are the biggest factors in how white your teeth look. Much of the color of your teeth is determined by the proteins within the tooth that darken with time. Regular cleanings can remove surface staining caused by tea, coffee, wine, and other highly pigmented food and drink. Custom-made, take-home whitening “trays” with moderately strong hydrogen peroxide gel is often the best combination of cost and effectiveness for most people. You control when and how often you do a treatment and can simply purchase more gel when you run out.

Single-visit, in-office whitening, such as Zoom!®, BriteSmile®, Rembrandt®, and other “power” brands, are effective methods, but they are often more difficult and are much more expensive. They usually have the same results as the take-home method and must be repeated when you want to whiten again.

Crest WhiteStrips® and other do-it-yourself options can be effective for people that only need a little change. They are usually much less expensive, but often use a weaker bleaching gel. Please ask us if you would like more information.

Helpful Links

The ADA has wonderful articles about Oral Health Topics broken down by category:

A video on the best way to brush your teeth:

8 Mistakes We Make When Taking Care of Our Dental Hygiene:

South College Station Dental

Office Hours

Monday: 8am-5pm
Tuesday: 7am-3pm
Wednesday: 8am-5pm
Thursday: 7am-3pm
Friday: 8am-3pm
Saturday: 8am-12pm

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