Frequently Asked Dental Questions – Washington, DC

We Can Help Answer All of Your Dental-Related Questions

Do you have questions about at-home oral hygiene, treatments that we offer, or anything else that’s related to dentistry? Our team is here to help you get the information you need to take the best possible care of your smile. Below, you can find a list of some of the most common questions that we receive from our patients.

Do you recommend particular types of toothbrushes or toothpastes?

Yes. We like electric toothbrushes more than manual toothbrushes because we think they do a better job of cleaning your teeth and around your gums. Of course, you still need to floss every day! Any toothpaste is better than not brushing. Our dental office staff can help select a toothpaste for your needs. We may recommend toothpastes such as Sensodyne or Crest Sensitivity Protection for patients with sensitive teeth, or toothpastes designed especially for infants or toddlers.

I’m interested in having my teeth look whiter. What can you tell me about bleaching?

When done under the supervision of a dentist, bleaching or teeth whitening is a safe and effective way of giving your smile a bright new look. Over-the-counter (OTC) whitening products may not give you the results you’re looking for and may actually cause problems. For example, the trays used by some OTC products may not fit your mouth properly and could allow your gums to be damaged by the bleaching gel. We provide two types of bleaching:

If you’re willing to wait a few weeks for maximum whitening, you may prefer the convenience of take-home whitening trays. We custom-fit trays to your mouth to use with prescription-strength bleaching gel. You’ll then wear these trays at home for a few hours each day.

We will be glad to discuss your questions about bleaching and help you decide which option is best for you.

Do you recommend replacing silver fillings with tooth-colored fillings?

There are several reasons we recommend replacing silver-colored fillings with newer, natural tooth-colored composite fillings. Silver (mercury amalgam) fillings don’t seal your teeth as well, meaning that there are often areas of decay that grow underneath. Composite fillings, on the other hand, actually bond directly to your enamel, meaning there’s no space for decay to grow.

Teeth restored with silver fillings are more likely to crack. In our experience, a large majority of emergency tooth fractures involve a broken tooth with a silver filling. Composite fillings make your teeth stronger because of the way they bond.

Finally, there are aesthetic considerations. What would you rather see when you smile—a mouth full of silver or natural looking, white teeth?

Do you see children?

We’re glad to treat every member of your family—from young children (we recommend a first visit around age three to the oldest family members.

Why are implants considered the most advanced restorations?

When you’ve lost a tooth or teeth, dental implants are the closest thing possible to getting those teeth back. The implant is a post that is surgically placed into your jaw; the bone actually grows around it, giving you a firm anchor for a crown, a bridge, or even dentures. People who have had implants can’t believe how natural and strong the implants feel—they can eat any food and can speak clearly.

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Featured Video FAQ

If you have questions that you’d like to have answered by a professional, try browsing our featured video FAQ library. Dr. Obholz answer common questions about dental implants, oral hygiene, and other treatments on-video, so you can know that you’re receiving the most up-to-date and reliable facts.

Why should I visit a dentist every six months?

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