Our 50 Most Frequently Asked Dental Questions


Yes, you can schedule an appointment on our website through our online appointment booking system, or you can call our office to schedule an appointment over the phone.

Yes, if you haven’t filled out our First Visit patient forms, please arrive 10-15 minutes early to do so. 

If you require pre-medication before dental treatment due to a medical condition, please inform us when scheduling your appointment. We will provide you with specific instructions based on your individual needs.

Please bring any dental insurance information, a list of medications you are currently taking, and any previous dental records or X-rays if available.

The duration of your first appointment may vary depending on the nature of the visit and the treatments needed. Generally, a comprehensive initial examination and consultation can last between 60 to 90 minutes.


We recommend using fluoride toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). Fluoride toothpaste helps prevent tooth decay and strengthens enamel.

Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. It produces acids that can erode tooth enamel, leading to cavities and gum disease if not removed through regular brushing and flossing.

We recommend flossing at least once a day to remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and along the gumline, where toothbrush bristles cannot reach.

Electric toothbrushes can be more effective at removing plaque and reducing gingivitis compared to manual brushes, especially for those with limited dexterity or orthodontic appliances.

Bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by various factors, including poor oral hygiene, certain foods, dry mouth, gum disease, and underlying medical conditions. Maintaining good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups can help address bad breath.

If it’s been a while since your last dental visit, we recommend scheduling a comprehensive dental examination and cleaning to assess your oral health and address any issues that may have arisen during your absence.

We generally recommend having a professional dental cleaning every six months to remove plaque and tartar buildup, prevent gum disease, and maintain optimal oral health.


Most children get their first tooth between the ages of 6 and 12 months, but the timing can vary. Some babies may get their first tooth as early as 3 months, while others may not get one until after their first birthday.

We recommend scheduling your child’s first dental check-up by their first birthday or within six months after their first tooth erupts, whichever comes first. Early dental visits help establish good oral hygiene habits and detect any potential issues early.

Yes, cavities in baby teeth should be treated to prevent further decay and maintain the health of the primary teeth. Untreated cavities can lead to pain, infection, and premature loss of baby teeth, which can affect the development of permanent teeth.

Dental sealants are thin, protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars to prevent decay. They create a barrier that seals out plaque and food particles, reducing the risk of cavities in these vulnerable areas of the teeth.

Dental problems during pregnancy, such as gum disease and tooth decay, can potentially affect both the mother and the baby’s health. It’s essential for pregnant women to maintain good oral hygiene and seek prompt dental care if any issues arise. Routine dental cleanings and necessary treatments can be safely performed during pregnancy.


Tooth decay can progress without causing noticeable symptoms, especially in the early stages. By the time a cavity starts causing pain, it may have already reached a more advanced stage. Treating cavities early with fillings can prevent further damage and the need for more extensive treatment.

A root canal is a dental procedure used to treat infected or damaged tooth pulp, the soft tissue inside the tooth. During a root canal, the infected pulp is removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned, disinfected, and sealed to prevent further infection.

Amalgam fillings are made of a mixture of metals, including silver, mercury, tin, and copper. Despite concerns about mercury exposure, numerous scientific studies have shown that dental amalgam fillings are safe and effective for restoring decayed teeth.

Traditional dental x-rays emit a low level of radiation and are considered safe when performed as recommended by dental professionals. Digital x-rays use up to 90% less radiation than traditional x-rays and offer numerous advantages, including faster image processing, enhanced image quality, and reduced environmental impact.


Depending on your specific needs and goals, options for changing the shape of your teeth may include dental bonding, porcelain veneers, dental crowns, orthodontic treatment, or a combination of these techniques. Schedule a consultation with our cosmetic dentist to discuss your options and develop a personalized treatment plan.

Treatment for a cracked tooth depends on the severity of the crack and its location. Options may include dental bonding, a dental crown, a root canal, or tooth extraction if the crack is extensive. Schedule an appointment with our dentist for an evaluation and appropriate treatment recommendations.

We offer professional teeth whitening treatments that are safe, effective, and customized to your individual needs. Options may include in-office whitening treatments for immediate results or take-home whitening kits for gradual whitening in the comfort of your own home.


If a tooth is knocked out, it’s essential to act quickly. Rinse the tooth gently with water, being careful not to remove any attached tissue. Try to place the tooth back into its socket if possible, or store it in milk  or saliva to keep it moist. Seek emergency dental care immediately for the best chance of saving the tooth.

If you have a dental emergency outside of regular office hours and cannot reach your dentist, seek emergency dental care at the nearest emergency room or urgent care center. They can provide temporary relief and stabilize your condition until you can see your dentist.

Depending on your preferences, budget, and oral health, options for replacing a missing tooth may include dental implants, dental bridges, or removable dentures. Schedule a consultation with our dentist to discuss your options and determine the best treatment plan for restoring your smile.


Tooth decay is primarily caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. When plaque combines with sugars and starches from food and drinks, it produces acids that erode tooth enamel, leading to decay.

Gum bleeding is often a sign of gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. It is caused by the buildup of plaque along the gumline, leading to inflammation and bleeding. Proper oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings, can help reverse gingivitis and prevent more severe gum disease.

Tooth sensitivity to cold temperatures can be caused by various factors, including enamel erosion, exposed tooth roots due to gum recession, tooth decay, or a cracked tooth. Schedule a dental examination to determine the underlying cause of your tooth sensitivity and receive appropriate treatment recommendations.

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, can be caused by various factors, including medications, medical conditions, or lifestyle habits. To alleviate dry mouth symptoms, drink plenty of water, avoid tobacco and alcohol, chew sugar-free gum, and use saliva substitutes or oral moisturizers as needed.

Yes, diabetes can increase the risk of various dental problems, including gum disease, tooth decay, fungal infections, dry mouth, and delayed wound healing. It’s essential for individuals with diabetes to maintain good oral hygiene, monitor blood sugar levels, and schedule regular dental check-ups to prevent and manage these dental complications.


We recommend replacing your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles become frayed or worn. A worn toothbrush may not effectively remove plaque and bacteria, compromising your oral hygiene.

Sugar-free chewing gum can help stimulate saliva production, which helps neutralize acids, wash away food particles, and remineralize tooth enamel. However, excessive chewing gum containing sugar can increase the risk of tooth decay.

To maintain healthy teeth, limit your consumption of sugary and acidic foods and beverages, including candy, soda, fruit juices, and sports drinks. Instead, opt for a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and dairy products.

To prevent tooth sensitivity, practice good oral hygiene, including brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and using a fluoride mouthwash. Avoid abrasive toothpaste and excessive brushing, as they can contribute to enamel erosion and tooth sensitivity.

Yes, stress can affect your dental health by increasing the risk of teeth grinding (bruxism), temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, gum disease, and canker sores. Managing stress through relaxation techniques, regular exercise, and seeking support can help reduce its impact on your dental health.


Orthodontic treatment with braces can be initiated at any age, but it is commonly recommended for children and teenagers when their permanent teeth have erupted and their jawbone is still growing. However, adults can also benefit from orthodontic treatment to correct misaligned teeth and bite issues.

Yes, alternatives to traditional metal braces include clear aligners (such as Invisalign), ceramic braces, lingual braces (placed on the back of the teeth), and self-ligating braces. Schedule a consultation with our orthodontist to discuss which option is best suited to your needs and preferences.

The duration of orthodontic treatment with braces varies depending on the complexity of the case and the desired outcome. On average, treatment with traditional braces typically takes 18 to 24 months, but it can be shorter or longer based on individual factors.

Invisalign is a clear aligner system that uses removable plastic trays to gradually straighten teeth without the need for metal brackets and wires. Traditional braces, on the other hand, use metal brackets and wires to move teeth into the desired position. Both options have their advantages and are effective for orthodontic treatment.

Proper oral hygiene is essential when wearing braces to prevent plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease. Brush your teeth after every meal using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, floss daily with special orthodontic floss threaders or interdental brushes, and use an antimicrobial mouthwash to keep your mouth clean and healthy.


A wisdom tooth extraction is a surgical procedure to remove one or more impacted or problematic wisdom teeth (third molars) from the back of the mouth. Wisdom tooth extraction may be recommended to prevent or address issues such as impaction, crowding, infection, or cyst formation.

Signs that you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed include pain, swelling, infection, tooth decay, gum disease, crowding or shifting of teeth, and the presence of cysts or tumors around the wisdom teeth. Schedule a consultation with our oral surgeon for an evaluation if you experience any of these symptoms.

Wisdom tooth removal is performed under local anesthesia to numb the area and minimize discomfort during the procedure. Some patients may experience mild discomfort, swelling, and bruising after the extraction, but this can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medication and ice packs.

The recovery process after wisdom tooth extraction typically involves swelling, bruising, and discomfort for a few days following the procedure. It’s essential to follow post-operative instructions provided by our oral surgeon, including rest, proper oral hygiene, avoiding certain foods, and taking prescribed medications as directed.

While wisdom tooth extraction is a common and generally safe procedure, potential complications may include dry socket (alveolar osteitis), infection, nerve injury, sinus complications, and prolonged bleeding. Our oral surgeon takes precautions to minimize the risk of complications and provides thorough post-operative care instructions to promote healing.


We accept most dental insurance plans and will work with you to maximize your insurance benefits. Contact our office with your insurance information, and our team will verify coverage and explain your benefits before your appointment.

We offer various payment options to accommodate our patients’ financial needs, including cash, credit cards, dental financing plans, and flexible payment arrangements. Our team will work with you to find a payment solution that fits your budget.

Yes, we offer dental financing options such as CareCredit, a healthcare credit card that allows you to finance dental treatments with convenient monthly payments and special financing options. Our team can assist you in applying for CareCredit or exploring other financing options for your dental care needs.

At Care Dental in Tysons Corner, we strive to provide comprehensive dental care and address all your oral health concerns. If you have any further questions or need to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Your smile is our priority!