What will happen during my regular check-up and cleaning appointments?

X-rays are taken to detect a number of conditions or diseases in the mouth.   They help us diagnose dental decay either between teeth or adjacent to fillings or crowns.   Radiographs can accurately evaluate the bone level around teeth. Radiation, in the amounts used to expose dental X-rays, is very small. The average American actually receives more radiation from sitting in front of the family television for a period of one year then from routine X-rays taken at the dentist's office.

What causes tooth decay?

Plaque that we miss with our tooth brush and floss reacts with foods that leave sugary and starchy deposits on our teeth. This produces acid that can damage the enamel if not removed.

What can I do if I grind my teeth at night?

There is nothing we know of that will make you stop grinding/clenching your teeth at night. This can crack your teeth or cause the enamel to wear off the biting surface. Both of these occurrences can lead to the need for root canal treatment. A nightguard can be made to help protect the teeth and the joints.

Should my child wear a mouth guard while playing sports?

Yes. In fact people of any age are recommended to wear a mouthguard while playing contact sports. It is far easier to prevent an injury than to repair one.

How often should I see my dentist?

It is recommended you visit your dentist a least every six months. Some people with a history of gum disease get their teeth cleaned more frequently. At each visit you are screened for cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer. It is now commonly known that there is a definite link between oral health and our overall systemic health. Our goal is to help you maintain overall good health!

Are x-rays a danger to my health?

We know that too much radiation is not desirable. As health care providers we are sensitive to concerns about radiation. The state-of-the-art technology is digital radiography which greatly reduces the amount of exposure. Dental x-rays can help to diagnose cavities and other signs of disease such as periodontal disease, cysts, tumors, and abscesses that may not be visible through a visual examination.

At what age should my child visit the dentist?

We recommend between 18-24 months. Some may not be comfortable at this age and may need a little more time. However, at any age, if there is an area of concern, the child should be seen by a dentist as soon as possible.

Is it important to fix baby teeth?

The baby teeth maintain the space for the permanent teeth. Therefore, if a baby's tooth decays or is lost too early, the permanent tooth may not have enough space to grow in. Also, if a baby tooth becomes infected, it can damage the permanent tooth.

When should I worry about thumb sucking?

Don’t worry. If the child stops by the age of 5 there is usually no permanent damage. However, if it continues, correction of the changes to teeth and bone can be corrected with orthodontic treatment at a later date.

What causes gum disease?

Bacteria causes gum disease (periodontal disease). The bacteria cause inflammation which is felt by tenderness and redness. Eventually the gums will start to bleed and swell. If not properly cleaned, the inflammation will spread to the bone which will start to dissolve. This can lead to the loss of teeth due to lack of bone support. It is very important to clean your teeth well at home each day with brushing and flossing, and to see your dentist regularly.

What does it mean if my gums bleed?

It means that there is bacteria present which lives in plaque left behind when we brush and floss. This is called gingivitis. Gingivitis can be reversed by proper brushing and flossing. However, if left untreated, it can lead to bone loss and eventual tooth loss


Contact Us

Mary E. Gregory, D.D.S. - Family & Children's Dentistry

4500 Old Dominion Dr Arlington, VA 22207-3312