Please find anwsers to our frequently asked questions below.
Why is visiting the dentist so important?
Visiting our office regularly will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but also help keep the rest of your body healthy.
Dental care is essential because it:
- Helps prevent tooth decay.
- Protects against periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to tooth and bone loss.
- Prevents bad breath by reducing the number of bacteria in your mouth that causes it.
- Gives you a more attractive smile and increases your self-confidence.
- Keeps teeth looking bright by removing stains left by food, drinks, and tobacco.
- Strengthens your teeth so you can enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles for the rest of your life.
My teeth feel fine; do I still need to see a dentist?
Your teeth may feel fine, but it is still essential to have regular checkups because problems can exist—even if you do not feel it or see it.
Also, improving your smile is excellent for your self-esteem. Advances in dental technology mean that you no longer have to settle for stained, chipped, missing or misshapen teeth. Today’s dentists can help you smile with confidence, including:
- Professional teeth whitening
- Fillings that mimic the appearance of natural teeth
- Tooth replacement and full smile makeovers
Do I still need to see my dentist if I have braces?
Yes. It is essential that you visit your dentist regularly during orthodontic treatment. With braces, food may be caught in places your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. We will work with your orthodontist to ensure your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
How often should I see the dentist?
Children, teens, and adults should all see the dentist for a regular dental checkup at least once every six months. Patients who are at a greater risk for oral cancer or gum disease may be required to see the dentist more than twice a year. Your dentist will tell you how often you should visit our office for regular checkups.
How do I find a dentist that I like?
Choosing a dentist near you who is right for you and your family is crucial to your oral health. We recommend making an appointment so you can see what a practice is really like. You should be able to determine whether the dentist and the practice is right for you.
When should I schedule my child’s first dentist appointment?
We usually begin seeing patients on a regular basis, which is every six months, at age three. We examine the health of their teeth and explain at an age-appropriate level the basics of oral healthcare. However, we are happy to see patients at any age. If you have any concerns about your child’s oral health before age three, we welcome you to make an appointment.
How can I protect my oral health between appointments?
Always remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss at least once. Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride and ask our dentists if you need a fluoride rinse. Fluoride will help prevent cavities.
Brush your tongue, too. It removes food particles and reduces the plaque-causing bacteria. Tongue brushing also helps keep your breath fresh.
Avoid foods with a lot of sugar and tobacco. Sugar increases the bacteria that grow in your mouth and cause more plaque, which can lead to potential cavities. Tobacco can stain your teeth, cause gum disease, and lead to oral cancer.
Remember to schedule your routine checkup. It is recommended that you visit our office every six months.
How often should I brush my teeth?
According to Dr. McMahon, Dr. John, and the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth at least two times a day. Brushing keeps your teeth, gums, and mouth clean and healthy by removing bacteria-causing plaque.
We have a few tips about brushing. A soft-bristled toothbrush is best. We also recommend toothpaste that contains fluoride when you brush your teeth. You should spend at least a minute on the top teeth and a minute on the bottom. Also, remember to brush your tongue; it will help keep your breath smelling fresh.
When should I change my toothbrush?
We recommend that adults and children change their toothbrush every three months. If you are using an electric toothbrush, be sure to read the directions because you may not need to change toothbrush heads as frequently.
Patients with gum disease are encouraged to change their toothbrush every four to six weeks to keep bacteria from spreading. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush with hot water to kill germs and keep the bristles clean. If you’ve been sick, be sure to change your toothbrush as soon as possible.
What is a cavity?
A cavity is a small hole that forms inside the tooth because of tooth decay. Cavities form when plaque buildup on the outside of the tooth combines with sugars and starches in the food you eat, producing an acid that eats away the enamel on your tooth. If left untreated, cavities can lead to more serious oral health problems.
Cavities can be prevented by remembering to brush your teeth at least two times a day and to floss between teeth at least once a day.
What is a filling?
A filling is a synthetic material that a dentist uses to fill a cavity after tooth decay has been removed. The area is numbed with anesthetic prior to decay being removed, and then the filling is placed, making this a painless process. Fillings are made from a variety of different materials, including composites, gold, or ceramic.
What is gum disease?
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is caused by plaque and bacteria buildup. Other contributors to periodontal disease include tobacco use, teeth grinding, some medications, and genetics.
Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease, which can be reversed if detected early. Gingivitis left untreated may turn into gum disease. Advanced gum disease is a permanent condition that leads to tooth and bone loss.
Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and visiting our office every six months will help prevent gingivitis and more severe cases of periodontal disease.
What is preventive dentistry?
Preventative Dentistry means stopping problems before they start. We emphasize comprehensive oral health care at our practice to help you maintain the best possible oral health. Visit our Preventive Dentistry page to learn more.
What is restorative dentistry?
When your teeth are injured or damaged by disease, Restorative Dentistry returns them to full function and esthetics. Visit our Restorative Dentistry page to learn more.
What is cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic Dentistry refers to restoring teeth that are visible when you eat, smile, laugh or talk. In other words, this type of dentistry makes your smile look its best! Visit our Cosmetic Dentistry page to learn more.
What is same-day dentistry?
The phrase “Same-Day Dentistry” refers to a new way to get a crown. In the past, dentists had to rely on off-site labs to make dental crowns and other tooth restorations.
However, we have CEREC® technology that allows us to skip the temporary crown and the second appointment. Instead, you get the crown that we design and mill in our office using the CEREC® technology that allows you to leave with your new crown that same day. Hence, the name, Same-Day Dentistry. To learn more about our technology, please visit our Advanced Technology page.
What is 3D imaging?
3D imaging allows your doctor to get a more comprehensive idea of what is going on with your oral health. Using Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT), we can use a scanner that goes around your head to take an image of your teeth, mouth, jaw, and neck. It does not require any additional preparation, but it does require you to stand still. To learn more about 3D Imaging with CBCT technology, please click here.
How do I set up my account on PatientConnect?
Do you accept my dental plan?
We do. We are an unrestricted provider, which means we can work with the majority of dental benefits. We help all of our patients file for their benefits so they can get the maximum reimbursement that is available to them. Bring your dental insurance card when you come visit so we can ensure that you get the most out of your benefits. Call us at 616.457.2710 if you have questions.
What if I do not have dental benefits?
We make it as easy as possible for you to pay for any treatment you need. We take all major credit cards and also have financing for patients who qualify. In addition, we have a special in-house membership to help our self-paying patients, our MFD Membership. To learn more about our payment options, please visit our financial page.
What do I need to bring to my first appointment?
We look forward to seeing you here at McMahon Family Dental. To ensure that your appointment is as efficient as possible, we have made our forms available online for your convenience. Please print, fill these out, and bring them to your first appointment along with your dental insurance card. To access these forms, please click here.