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Hopewell Family Dentistry
Dr. Patrick Carter

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Preventive Dentistry

How can we help you?

Having questions is a normal part of choosing a dentist, and we encourage your curiosity about your care and dental health in general.

We have listed some of the most common questions we hear, but if yours is not listed, just give us a call!

Our professional and helpful team is here to help you feel confident in choosing Hopewell Family Dentistry for your family's dental needs.

Preventive Dentistry

A comprehensive dental exam at our Anderson, SC dental office is a thorough oral health evaluation that includes checking all areas of the oral cavity, such as all extraoral structures, intraoral structures, and soft tissues. We recommend receiving a comprehensive dental exam every three years.

woman getting comprehensive dental exam in AndersonPersonalized Dental Care in Anderson, SC

During this personalized dental exam, we do the following:

  • Periodontal exam (gums)
  • Dental exam (teeth)
  • Occlusal exam (bite analysis)
  • Radiographic exam (x-rays and scans)
  • Oral cancer screening
  • TMJ exam (jaw joints)
  • Aesthetic exam (appearance of the teeth and gums)

Dr. Patrick Carter and our Hopewell Family Dentistry team perform comprehensive dental exams to ensure we know everything about your oral health and wellness. This type of exam allows us to make the appropriate recommendations for treatment plans, such as:

  • Dental implants to replace missing teeth
  • Replacing worn or damaged dental restorations
  • New oral appliances or dentures 
  • Aesthetic changes to the teeth or gums
  • Medical diagnosis 

Call to Schedule Your Dental Exam and Cleaning

Whether you receive routine exams or it’s been a while since you’ve seen the dentist, Hopewell Family Dentistry welcomes you to our Anderson, SC dental office. 

We offer comprehensive and compassionate dental care, and we are always pleased to welcome new and familiar faces to our practice. Please contact us today to schedule your comprehensive dental exam and teeth cleaning with Dr. Carter. 

We look forward to seeing you smile! 

A cavity is created by a process termed “caries,” which is the destruction of hard tooth structure. During the caries process, the naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths are fed by what we eat, and release acid that breaks down the tooth. To prevent the caries process, there are many areas of our daily routine that can be modified.  Many times, only simple changes in the areas listed below may be enough to stop the caries process and prevent cavities.

woman smiling after dental cleaningYour Diet

Simple carbohydrates are the primary food source for the naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths. The bacteria then use these carbohydrates to produce acid, which is what damages our teeth. The bacteria can continue to feed for approximately 30 minutes after consuming any food or drink items containing carbohydrates.  Recommendations for diet modifications are listed below:

Problems: Soda, sweet tea, processed foods high in carbohydrates (such as bread, crackers, and chips), hard and soft candies

Solutions: Raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, meats, yogurt, cheese, water, and calorie-free drinks

Problem: Bacteria using food to produce acid for 30 minutes after consumption

Solutions: Minimize snacks between meals, eating xylitol gum immediately after meal to neutralize acid

Oral Hygiene

The American Dental Association recommends brushing for 2 minutes twice daily and flossing at least once daily. When you are finished brushing your teeth, they should feel slick and smooth to the tongue like they feel after a professional cleaning. If there is an area on the surface of any teeth that still feels “furry” then plaque is still present and should be brushed off. The tongue should also be cleaned every time the teeth are brushed.

Problem: Inadequate cleaning of teeth

Solutions: Electric toothbrush*, glide-type floss**, more frequent professional cleanings***

*Teeth are typically much cleaner after brushing for the same amount of time with an electric toothbrush compared to a manual toothbrush.

**Many people have complaints of flossing being uncomfortable, difficult, or even painful. Newer glide types of floss make flossing a much better experience than traditional floss that is prone to shredding.

***Professional cleanings are recommended at least every 6 months for the average person

Environment of Mouth

Occasionally caries are still a problem even with proper hygiene and diet. This can be caused by environmental factors including “bad” bacteria in the mouth, low flow of saliva, or low pH (high acidity) of saliva.

Problem: “Bad” bacteria

Solutions: Bacteria modification through probiotics, such as OralBiotic Blis or Evoraplus, and/or mouth rinse prescribed by your dentist

Problem: Low salivary flow caused by older age or medication

Solution: Xylitol (sugar-free) gum or hard candy to promote saliva flow

Problem: Low salivary pH (high acidity)

Solution: Fluoride toothpaste or gel trays prescribed by your dentist to promote remineralization.

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