Common Dental Questions

  • What should I bring to my first appointment?
    At your first appointment, please make sure you arrive 15 minutes early so you have time to fill out the necessary paperwork and provide any insurance information. Bring any questions you have for Dr. Lopez.
  • How often should I see a dentist?
    It is recommended that you visit our office every six months to receive a dental cleaning and an exam. An oral exam consists of examining the teeth, removing plaque, having your teeth deep cleaned, and polished. You may also get a dental X-ray.

    If you can't make it in every six months, we'd at least like to see you once a year!
  • What kind of toothbrush should I use?
    A soft bristled brush is recommended in order to do less damage to your gums. You should also make sure that the head of your toothbrush is small enough to fit around each tooth in the back of your mouth.
  • Why is flossing so important?
    Flossing removes plaque between the teeth where your toothbrush can't reach. A major contributing factor to gum disease is a lack of flossing, so make sure you do it at least once or twice a day!
  • What are the symptoms of gum disease?
    Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is painless in its first stages. Many people who have the beginning stages of gum disease are unaware of it, which is one reason why it's so important to have regular dental check-ups. Some symptoms to keep an eye out for include receding gums, red or bleeding gums, consistent bad breath, and loose teeth. If you have any concerns about gum disease, please make an appointment at Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.
  • How effective are over-the-counter whitening products?
    Any toothpaste on the market helps remove surface stains and some whitening toothpastes provide additional stain removal. However, it's important to remember that they remove surface stains only and don't actually contain bleach to whiten teeth. Other whitening products can contain hydrogen peroxide that helps remove stains on the tooth's surface, but there is no home dental product that can even come close to producing the bleaching effect you receive from Family & Cosmetic Dentistry's whitening products. Our products can whiten your teeth a full three shades!
  • Are silver amalgam-type fillings safe?
    There have been some concerns about silver-colored fillings or amalgam fillings because amalgams contain the toxic substance mercury. A number of individuals believe these amalgam fillings are responsible for causing certain diseases, including autism, Alzheimer's disease, and multiple sclerosis.

    The American Dental Association (ADA), the FDA, and numerous public health agencies say amalgams are safe, and that any link between mercury-based fillings and disease is unfounded. However, if amalgam fillings still cause you concern, there are a number of other solutions. Please be sure to let Dr. Lopez know of any concerns you may have and he can provide you with other options.