Dental Health Answers With Dr. Molinari

At Smile at Coconut Grove we take pride in educating our patients about the importance of dental health and proper hygiene. For this reason, we want to take a moment to highlight some of the most frequently asked questions we hear in our office as well as some questions you may be curious about so we can help spread awareness about the importance of routine dental care and maintenance.

Q: Is it OK to go to the dentist once a year?

A: It is recommended to go to the dentist at least twice a year. We typically recommend patients with optimal oral health to schedule appointments every 6 months, but patients with underlying conditions or severe oral health complications may need to be seen more frequently.

Q: What happens if you don’t go to the dentist for 5 years?

A: We understand that life can get busy, and you may have gotten behind on your routine appointments. If you haven’t had a cleaning or examination in awhile, it is important to schedule an oral health examination and thorough cleaning as neglecting routine appointments can put you at a greater risk for various oral health issues. Some of these issues include gum disease, bad breath, cavities, inflammation, infections, and the teeth can become loose.

Q: Do I really need to have my teeth cleaned every 6 months?

A: Yes. Most patients with good oral hygiene habits will require a cleaning every 6 months. However, you may need them even more frequently if you have oral health complications.

Q: How often should teeth be professionally cleaned?

A: At least every 6 months. We will evaluate your oral health during your examination and can help advise you on the frequency of cleanings that you will need for your specific condition.

Q: Is once a year teeth cleaning enough?

A: No. Professional teeth cleaning can only be performed by a dentist or hygienist, and should be done at least every 6 months.

Q: How long can you go without a dental cleaning?

A: The frequency of cleanings is dependent on the amount and quality of bacteria you have in your mouth. For most patients, it is recommended to have at least 2 dental cleanings a year.

Q: How much is the average dental cleaning cost?

A: The average cleaning costs approximately $125, but patients may have varying out-of-pocket costs depending on their insurance provider and coverage. We also always have monthly promotions to help make your dental care as affordable as possible.

Q: How do you remove calculus from teeth without going to the dentist?

A: You cannot remove calculus from you teeth by yourself or with over the counter products. Calculus can only be removed by a licensed dentist or hygienist.

Q: Does apple cider vinegar remove tartar from teeth?

A: No, apple cider vinegar does not remove calculus from your teeth. Apple cider vinegar is actually very acidic and can cause damage to the enamel if used in excess.

Q: Can I scrape plaque off my teeth?

A: When you brush your teeth, you actually remove dental plaque from the surface of your teeth. However, dental plaque always finds areas to inhabit that are harder to reach without a professional cleaning, and over time can get thicker and more dangerous. It is important to maintain routine cleanings so we can effectively remove this hard to reach plaque and preserve your oral health.

Q: Can you scale your own teeth?

A: It is not recommended to attempt to scale your own teeth, as you can hurt your gums and teeth. Only a licensed professional as a dentist or hygienist should scale your teeth.

Q: How do you remove hardened plaque?

A: A trained professional can remove hardened plaque with special instruments that are specifically designed for the areas to be used.

Q: Can you remove tartar yourself?

A: You should not remove tartar yourself because you can hurt your gums and teeth. The instruments needed to remove tartar are sharp and dangerous if you are not properly trained to use them.

Q: What removes tartar from teeth?

A: When you get a dental cleaning, the dentist will remove any tartar from your teeth with ultrasonic and hand instruments. That is the safest, best, and most efficient way to do it!

Q: What is the difference between plaque and tartar?

A: Plaque is a soft deposit of bacteria that can mostly be removed by a tooth brush and floss. Plaque in hard to reach areas will need to be removed with the help of your dentist or hygienist. Tartar on the other hand is a calcified deposit that is hard and can only be removed with special instruments by your dentist or hygienist.

Q: Do you brush your teeth before going to the dentist?

A: You should always brush your teeth before going to the dentist to have the least amount of bacteria in your mouth to get dental treatment. If you happened to forget or your appointment is later in the day, you can ask our front desk associate for a toothbrush and paste. If you are undergoing a procedure, your dentist will most likely do a cleaning before getting started.

Q: What happens if you haven’t been to a dentist in years?

A: If you haven’t been to the dentist in years, you are at risk of having gum disease, cavities, dental problems and even health problems due to the accumulation of bacteria that could get into your body and bloodstream and make you sick. If it’s been awhile since you last visited the dentist, give us a call and we will get you in for a prompt, thorough examination and cleaning.

Learn more why regular checkups are important

We would like to thank Dr. Luciana Molinari for sharing her expertise and insight with us! If you have any additional questions or if you would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today!