Stanford Dental
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): General Dentistry

How can we help you?

Do you have questions about your oral health or your treatment recommendations? That is excellent, because you should ask questions about your health!

At Stanford Dental, we consider ourselves your partners, and we’re here to help you make the right decisions for your dental needs. We welcome any questions you have, and we’re happy to answer them.

We’ve gathered a list of some of the questions that we hear the most and provided the answers for you here. If you don’t see your question, we encourage you to call our office and talk with one of our knowledgeable staff members.

General Dentistry

This question comes up often during a dental appointment. There is no one answer that fits all. Every patient is different. Your dentist or hygienist can advise you on how often you need to visit based on your oral and general health and your risk factors for tooth decay and gum disease. 

For example, an adult with good oral hygiene and no problems at checkups may need to come in twice a year. Someone with a lot of tartar or cavities may need to come more often. 

You may need to see your dentist more often if:

  • Pregnant. Pregnancy hormones can cause an inflammation of the gums called gingivitis, and other problems.
  • Smoker. Tobacco use is a risk factor for a severe gum disease called periodontitis and for oral cancer.
  • Cancer. Treatment for cancer can cause oral health problems such as dry mouth and infection.
  • Diabetes. People with diabetes have a higher risk of gum disease, fungal infections, and other oral problems.
  • Heart Disease. Dental health is linked to heart health, and frequent dental cleanings may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.


The dentist or hygienist will give you advice about how to care for your child’s early teeth. Most dentists recommend a dental visit every six months to help prevent cavities and other problems. Talk with your child’s dentist about the schedule that is best for your child.

Along with regular checkups, please call your dentist if: 

  • You have tooth or gum pain that does not go away or gets worse
  • Your gums are red, swollen, and bleed easily
  • You have a sore in your mouth that does not heal
  • A tooth becomes sensitive to hot, cold, or pressure
  • You lose a filling
  • You have dry mouth on a daily basis

There are many different toothpaste selection in the market, so it can be confusing on which one is right for you. For the most part, toothpaste is all about marketing and it is usually best to stick with the idea that less is more. It is fairly common to have whitening toothpaste cause sloughing of the gum tissues. This is where is feels like the inside of your cheeks or gum tissues are peeling away. I will always suggest my patients switch toothpaste if this is indeed occurring. Occasionally, a patient just does not react to a certain toothpaste and the sloughing can occur when there is not even a whitening agent added to the paste. Again, I simply tell a patient to discontinue the use of the current toothpaste and try to switch to a toothpaste with fewer ingredients. Aim is often a toothpaste that contains fewer ingredients and could be a good one to try if any sloughing is occurring. 

I do have patients that definitely need to buy a special type of toothpaste that delivers more fluoride into their mouth. We suggest the prescription Prevident that helps patients with sensitivity and when they need the extra amount of fluoride to help protect weakened areas of enamel. This toothpaste has a unique liquid gel formula that contains 5% potassium nitrate and helps with remineralizing weakened areas. 

I explain to my patients that do not need the extra amount of fluoride that when it comes to toothpaste there is not a magic toothpaste that can help fix dental problems. It is more important to mechanically remove the plaque and disturb the bacteria with the use of your brush and floss. Your goal is to remove the plaque and get oxygen into the collection of bacteria with your floss so that you can try to prevent infection from forming. 

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