Caring for You & Your Smile
Whether you’re a new patient or a returning patient, here is where you’ll find the information you need to get the most out of your visit. To us, being a dentist in Orpington means being a pillar of health in the community. To achieve that, we want to be as clear as possible about what you can expect & what we provide. Every patient is different, so this is by no means an exhaustive list of what you might want to know when visiting our office, but it’s a start. Please feel free to call us if you have questions about these topics or anything else.
Please view the pages below to see what sets us apart from any other dentist in Orpington. We look forward to your visit & showing you the difference that caring & compassionate dental care can make in your life.
Dentistry for you!
We don’t want there to be any obstacles between you & your family & great dental care. We have great hours & we are proud to offer our patients convenient appointments that fit even the busiest schedules. We understand that many of our patients work or go to school full time. Our friendly staff always strives to provide appointment times that don’t require time off or missing class. To help you stay on top of your preventive care, we will pre-appoint you for your next appointment at each teeth cleaning visit. Reminders are sent ahead of your appointment so you don’t miss it!
Appointments to Fit Your Schedule
At SmileMaker Dental Care, we provide your family with the dental care you need without having to take time off from work or school for your dentist appointment. We understand that you, our valued patients, lead busy lives & it can be difficult to put aside an hour out of your busy day for a teeth cleaning. That is why we do all we can to open our schedule to allow you to come in when it doesn’t interfere with your day-to-day responsibilities—It’s just another way we show our patients how much we care.
It seems like our patients are busier & busier lately. With all the running around that comes with modern life, it’s easy to let your obligation to your smile fall through the cracks. That’s why we’re committed to making dental care as convenient & accessible as possible by being a dentist that’s open at weekends.
We believe that dentists that are open at weekends offer better access to preventive care, such as cleanings & exams. Better access to preventive care means fewer big dental problems in the future, which means less discomfort, pain & expense. We don’t want you to have to choose between work or school & keeping your smile healthy.
At SmileMaker Dental Care, we want you to be an active participant in your own health. We take the time to listen to your concerns & explain different options, so you can make informed decisions about your dental care & stay involved. We encourage an open dialogue between our dental professionals & our patients. Like any health professionals, we are prone to doctor-speak, but we always strive to speak plainly & avoid jargon! If we ever say a word you don’t understand, please ask us to explain. We believe that the more our patients understand their care, the healthier their smiles will be.
Here are some frequently asked questions about dental care. Please take a look & feel free to contact us if you want more information on any topic.
Why do I need to see the dentist twice a year?
Our mouths are constantly changing depending on what we eat & drink, our habits & our age. Seeing a dentist regularly is the best way to catch a potential problem before it becomes a big deal. Not to alarm you, but lots of dental conditions don’t necessarily have obvious symptoms that you can rely on to spot something early. Dentists have the expertise & advanced tools to properly examine your oral health in a way that patients simply can’t do for themselves.
Remind me, how often do I need to brush & floss?
You should be brushing your teeth twice a day & flossing at least once a day. Most people brush in the morning when they wake up & brush & floss at night before bed. If you want to brush after lunch too, we highly approve. When you brush your teeth it should be for a full two minutes. Make sure you get the back & front sides of your upper & lower teeth & their biting surfaces. Floss with about an arm span’s worth of floss, using a clean two inches for each tooth to prevent cross-contamination from one tooth to another. If you’d like the dentist or hygienist to demonstrate proper brushing & flossing technique, please just ask during your visit!
I’ve heard I don’t really need to floss. Is that true?
Don’t believe everything your hear in the news. It’s true that more studies are needed to solidify the connection between flossing & various effects on your oral health. But that doesn’t mean flossing is ineffective, it just means we need to know more. To us, the idea of not ever cleaning plaque & food out from between your teeth is scary, not to mention gross! Why would you want all that nasty stuff hiding away somewhere in your mouth, feeding bacteria & causing bad breath? You still need to floss every day!
I brush my teeth & floss thoroughly every day. Do I still need to see a hygienist for a cleaning?
Yes! There is some stubborn tooth gunk that even the best brushing & flossing can’t get off. This is especially true of tartar, which is the hard substance that plaque can turn into if not cleaned off in time. Getting a professional scaling & polishing (the technical term for a teeth cleaning) by a hygienist can actually improve the appearance of your smile by removing stains. Polished teeth are also smoother & harder for bacteria to stick to, which will make your at-home brushing & polishing efforts more effective.
What causes cavities?
As children, we’re taught that eating too much candy causes cavities, so it must be sugar that causes tooth decay, right? Actually, that’s an overly simple way of explaining the process. Sugar is more like the fuel for decay & it doesn’t just come from sweet foods. When you eat, chemicals called enzymes in your saliva break down carbohydrates into sugars. These sugars—plus the sugar compounds that occurs naturally in fruit & foods sweetened with refined sugar or corn syrup—are then eaten by the bacteria in your mouth. Unless you brush or floss them away, these bacteria hang out in your mouth, consuming the sugar & excreting a waste product in the form of acid. This acid is what eats holes in your tooth enamel & the softer dentin layer underneath, causing cavities & tooth decay.
At what age should children first visit a dentist?
Children should see the dentist when their first tooth comes in or by age 1, whichever comes first. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be caring for your baby’s oral health before then. After feeding, you can clean your baby’s gums by rubbing them gently with a damp washcloth. For more advice about caring for your baby’s mouth, please feel free to ask your pediatrician or us.
I’m very nervous about visiting the dentist. What should I do?
Tell us! The last thing we want is for you to be uncomfortable in silence. Being nervous at the dentist is not uncommon so don’t be embarrassed about it. Knowing that you are a nervous patient helps us prepare properly for your appointment. There are steps we can take to make you more comfortable during your visit. We may be able to provide music, movies, or TV to distract you during your visit. We can take things slower & explain more about what we’re doing at each step. We can work with you to develop a communication system so you can tell us clearly when something is bothering you or you need to take a break. Sedation is also an option in some cases & we’d be happy to discuss it.