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FAQ

Dentists

Unless you are having a specific dental problem, it is recommended that you go to the dentist every 6 months for a check-up and cleaning.  Generally, on every other visit (so every 12 months) the dentist will x-ray your teeth to ensure you are in good health with no cavities.
Plaque is a type of bacteria that builds up around the teeth, especially in hard to reach areas like between the teeth.  You can avoid plaque by simply brushing your teeth and flossing at least twice as day as recommended.  Also, during recommended semi-annual visits to the dentist, your dentist will remove tartar which is caused by too much plaque build up.
When plaque builds up, it causes tartar.  If not removed, plaque and tartar can irritate your gums and even lead to gum disease which can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Ordinarily, most dentists say that regular tooth brushes are just as good as vibrating tooth brushes.  However, there are exceptions.  Vibrating tooth brushes do break up plaque a little faster than normal tooth brushes.  So vibrating tooth brushes might be better for children who do not brush as well as they should or for anyone who does not brush as long as recommended. 
A General Dentist provides all your normal and routine dental services such as semi-annual cleanings and exams, x-rays, filling cavities, etc...  A General Dentist can be thought of in the same way you think about your General Doctor or Family Doctor. If you have a dental problem, you should always visit your General Dentist first.  If there is a more serious problem he or she can not remedy, your General Dentist will refer you to a specialist. 

There are various types of Dental Specialists such as Orthodontists, Periodontists, Cosmetic Dentists and Oral Surgeons.  For descriptions of each of these and what they do, see the FAQ about each one.
First and foremost, you should be comfortable with your dentist.  After all, this is a person who will have their hands in your mouth and be working on sensitive areas such as teeth and gums. So you want to trust your dentist and feel comfortable around him or her.

Second, if you have dental insurance, you want to ensure the dentist you choose accepts your dental insurance.  Not all dentists accept all types of insurance.  You do not want to have to pay a dentist personally for something your dental insurance would have covered with another dentist.

Finally, you should consider the location of the dentist office.  While you want a dental office that is convenient to you, keep in mind that you normally only go to the dentist twice a year (barring any emergency dental problems).

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