Dental FAQs

How often should I see a dentist?
The American Dental Association recommends visiting a dentist 2 times a year for an exam and professional cleaning.

At what age should I start bringing my child in?
Our office starts seeing children between the age of 3 and 4. If they have older siblings, it is a good idea to have them come and watch. The initial visit is sometimes just a ride in the chair and maybe counting the teeth. We aim for children to like visiting the dentist so we do not force them to have teeth polished until they are comfortable with the procedure.

What can I do for bad breath?
The important thing to do at home are twice daily brushing and flossing. If you have any removable appliances also brush them twice a day. We also recommend regular professional cleaning.

What is gum disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection that affects the tissue and bone that support the teeth. Healthy gum tissue fits like a cuff around each tooth. As the tissues become damaged the sulcus develops into a pocket. the pockets allow harmful bacteria to grow and make it difficult to practice effective oral hygiene. Periodontal disease is generally painless until it so severe that tooth loss is possible.

How do I know if I have gum disease?
These warning signs can signal a problem. If you notice any of the following, please see a dentist:

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Gums that are pulled away from your teeth
  • persistent bad breath
  • Pus between the teeth and gums
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

Do you accept my insurance?
We accept most major dental insurances. See the financial section for more details as to which plans the doctor is a preferred provider for.

Do you whiten teeth?
We offer the take home procedure for tooth whitening. Clear appliances are made for your teeth within a few days and instructions are given. The rest is done at home. We have you back in the office for a quick recheck in about a month after the procedure is started.

Can I have “white” fillings?
Composite or tooth colored fillings can be used in almost all cases. Dr. Peterson will go over your options thoroughly at your exam. We do always recommend checking with your insurance company as to your coverage for composite fillings if placed on posterior teeth.