What is dentistry?
Dentistry ensures healthcare for the oral cavity (the teeth and gums) through prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions, disorders, and diseases of the teeth, gums, mouth, and jaw. Here at Whitley Family Dentistry, we offer dental care that meets the needs of our patients through one-on-one personalized care and customized treatment options.
What is a dentist?
A dentist, like Dr. Whitley, is a specialist who works to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health problems. Your dentist has completed at least eight years of schooling, and received either a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree, or a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree. Dr. Whitley received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from Texas A&M’s Baylor College of Dentistry.
What should patients look for when choosing a dentist? Most patients want a doctor who will spend the time explaining things to them and clinicians that will not rush the appointment.
Why is visiting the dentist so important?
It is vital that you work to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. If you maintain regular visits with Dr. Whitley at our Dallas dental office, then you are less likely to be high risk for cavities or costly dental treatments. Preventive care at Whitley Family Dental:
- Helps prevent tooth decay
- Protects against periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to tooth and bone loss
- Prevents bad breath – brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist regularly will help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath
- Gives you a more attractive smile and increases your self-confidence
- Helps keep teeth looking bright by preventing them from becoming stained by food, drinks, and tobacco
- Strengthens your teeth so that you can enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles for the rest of your life!
What should I look for when choosing the right dentist for me?
Choosing a dentist who “clicks” with you and your family is important. Here at Whitley Family Dental, you can take advantage of our private practice setting where we treat patients like family and take a conservative approach to care. Because of our emphasis on preventive care, most of our patients only need to visit our Dallas dental office every six months for hygiene visits.
How can I take care of my teeth between dental checkups?
- Practice good home care by brushing twice daily and flossing a minimum of once daily.
- Use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask Dr. Whitley or your hygienist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities.
- Avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth causing more plaque and possibly cavities) and avoid tobacco (this can stain your teeth, cause gum disease, and eventually lead to oral cancer).
- Don't be afraid to brush your tongue! By brushing your tongue, you will remove food particles and reduce the amount of plaque-causing bacteria. Tongue brushing also helps keep your breath fresh.
- Be sure to schedule your routine checkup and cleaning at Whitley Family Dental every six months.
What services do you provide?
Whitley Family Dental offers comprehensive family dentistry, including:
- Hygiene care
- Scaling and root planing
- Removable partials and dentures
- Fixed partials
- Implant restorations
At what age should I start taking my child to see the dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children first see a dentist as early as six months of age and no later than one year of age. During this time, your child's baby teeth will be coming in and Dr. Whitley can examine the health of your child's first few teeth. After the first visit, be sure to schedule regular checkups every six months.
When should I change my toothbrush?
Your toothbrush will eventually wear out, especially if you are brushing your teeth twice a day for two to three minutes each time. Dr. Whitley recommends that adults and children change their toothbrush every three months. If you are using an electric toothbrush, be sure to read the directions because you may not need to change toothbrush heads as frequently. Patients with gum disease are encouraged to change their toothbrush every four to six weeks to keep any bacteria from spreading. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush with hot water to kill germs and keep the bristles clean. If you've been sick, be sure to change your toothbrush as soon as possible.
If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?
Yes! In fact, it's even more vital to visit Dr. Whitley regularly when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can't reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Dr. Whitley will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
What’s involved in my first visit?
While each patient appointment is different based on their individual needs, most of our new patient appointments consist of a complete exam, full mouth set of X-rays, and prophylaxis (cleaning). To schedule an appointment, simply contact our Dallas dental office! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next dental checkup at your convenience.