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Common Dental Questions

Common Dental Questions

How often should I brush and floss my teeth?

Our dental office recommends brushing your teeth twice each day. According to recent research, brushing approximately one hour after a meal is best. Certain foods, such as those with a low PH, can be more abrasive on the enamel if you brush immediately after consuming them.

What kind of toothbrush is best?

Santa Rosa Dental recommends using a soft bristled toothbrush. Ideally, you should switch to a new toothbrush once every three months for best results. To navigate around all of your teeth more effectively while brushing, opt for a toothbrush with a smaller head. Instead of brushing up and down, brush from the gums to the teeth.

Is regular flossing important?

Flossing every day is important. When you floss, you remove plaque and debris from between your teeth, which is a difficult place for your toothbrush to reach. Leaving plaque between the teeth increases your risk of gum disease significantly. Not even a Waterpik can clean as effectively between the teeth as traditional floss.

How often should I have preventative dental care?

Santa Rosa Dental recommends scheduling a dental cleaning and exam every six months. During your cleaning, we will remove plaque from your teeth and polish them. During your oral exam, we will examine your teeth and bite and take digital x-rays.

Keep in mind that patients who are at a higher risk of gum disease or cavities may need to be seen more frequently.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

The majority of people who have gum disease don’t know they have it. In most cases, gum disease begins without causing any pain. For this reason, having regular dental exams is essential. Some of the most common symptoms of gum disease include receding gums, red gums, bleeding gums, bad breath, loose teeth and new spaces between teeth. If you are worried you may have gum disease, please call our office today to make an appointment with the dentist.

How can I remove stains and discolorations from my teeth?

Santa Rosa Dental offers safe options for patients who want to whiten their teeth. We offer a professional teeth whitening treatment in the office that can be combined with a take-home kit that includes a custom whitening tray. Using a take-home whitening kit can help you improve and maintain the color of your teeth on a long-term basis. To learn more about whitening options, please call the office.

Should I replace my silver fillings?

Eventually, you will need to replace your silver amalgam fillings. The overall lifespan of these fillings will vary based on whether you have recurrent decay, as well as their breakdown and leakage. During your preventative exams, we will evaluate your silver fillings and let you know when they need to be replaced. We can restore your tooth with a crown or new filling composed of a white composite material.

In some cases, we may find decay under a failing filling, leading to sensitivity after the procedure. Depending on the extent of the decay, your nerve may heal and the tooth may remineralize. However, if the tooth sensitivity worsens or persists, we may need to perform root canal therapy.

What should I bring to my first appointment?

Before your scheduled appointment, please print and complete our new patient forms. If you have had x-rays taken in the last 12 months, ask your previous dentist to provide you with a copy.

Please be sure to arrive in our office at least 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment time to handle the initial paperwork.

Do you offer same day or emergency dentist appointments?

Santa Rosa Dental sets aside certain appointment times for urgent dental needs each day. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911.

What is your appointment cancellation policy?

If you need to reschedule your appointment, please provide at least two business days’ notice. To keep our wait times to a minimum, we do not double-book our appointments. If you are not going to be able to make it to your appointment, contact us as soon as possible to avoid a charge.

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Gary G.
Gary G.
Patient
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"Kaci was very caring and professional. Every experience that I had with Dr. Rice and his staff was outstanding from the front office to the dental assistants working in the back. Your experience with him and his staff will be a positive one as I have had on each visit including the procedures. ”
 Connie B.
Connie B.
Patient
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"I always appreciate the care with which I am treated for any sort of visit. Watching a BBC video on coral reefs while I had a large filling replaced made the experience much more palatable. I will continue to recommend Dr. Rice and the office staff to everyone."
Craig S.
Craig S.
Patient
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"Dr. Michael Rice is patient, careful, competent and thorough in performing any procedure as well as being a kind, decent human being. His assistants are likewise.”
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