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"Terra Vista Dental Care is a wonderful place to have all your dental work done! They are a caring, efficient and they have a professional office. I had an amazing experience. Pansy was so helpful and informative, she not only explained all aspects of our insurance and the care, but she ensured all paperwork was taken care of and they worked with us on the non-insurance covered portion. Dr. Patel was gentle, caring and he walked me through every procedure step by step. I was so happy with this office, so I took my son and my husband. They appreciate the professionalism and the efficiency in which they could get their appointments and care done. We highly recommend Terra Vista Dental Care to anyone who is looking for the best dental care, a professional and caring office and best of all, a beautiful smile! I know I have one!"

- Gloria Rodriguez, Thomas Rodriguez, Sebastian Rodriguez

Browse through some important frequently asked questions for any doubts about dental procedures and dental services. Talk to our team if you have any more questions on dental care.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What can I do to fight bad breath?

We understand that bad breath (halitosis) can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition. Most of us don’t realize that we have breath but everyone had it at some time, especially in the early mornings. There are different parameters that lead to bad breath. In healthy people, the major cause is microbial deposits on the tongue. Some studies have demonstrated that simply by brushing the tongue, you can reduce bad breath by as much as 70%.


Q: What are the many causes of bad breath?

• Morning – The flow of saliva almost stops during sleep thereby reducing its cleaning power and allowing bacteria to grow, leading to bad breath.

• Foods – There are certain foods like garlic, onions, etc. that contain special odor-causing compounds that enter the blood stream and are transferred to the lungs, where they are exhaled causing bad breath.

• Bad oral hygiene habits – Some food particles that remain stored in the mouth promote bacterial growth.

• Periodontal (gum) disease – Some colonies of bacteria and food debris reside under inflamed gums causing bad breath.

• Dental cavities and unsuitably fitted dental appliances

• Dry mouth (Xerostomia) – Such a condition may be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous mouth breathing.

• Tobacco products – These products dry the mouth, causing bad breath.

• Dieting – There are certain chemicals called ketones that are released in the breath as the body burns fat.

• Dehydration, hunger, and missed meals

• Medical conditions and illnesses – Certain medical conditions like diabetes, liver and kidney problems, chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia contribute to bad breath.


Q: What can be done to prevent bad breath?

• Good oral hygiene – You should brush at least twice a day with an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste and toothbrush and also floss daily to remove food debris and plaque from in between the teeth and under the gumline. It is important to brush or use a tongue scraper to clean the tongue and reach the back areas. Also, replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months. If you are wearing dentures or removable bridges, you should clean them thoroughly and place them back in your mouth in the morning.

• Make regular dentist appointments – Schedule a check-up and teeth cleaning appointment at least twice a year.  If you are suffering from periodontal disease or have any such history of the disease, more frequent dental visits may be required.

• Give up cigarettes and tobacco.

• Increase water intake – Drinking water will help keep your mouth moist and wash away bacteria.

• Get mouthwash / rinses – Let your dentist suggest antiseptic rinses that alleviate bad breath and kill the germs causing such problems.

Q: What number of times should I brush and floss?

It is said that brushing and flossing helps control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental diseases. Plaque is a film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums. If it is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar) which further begins to destroy the gums and bone, causing periodontal (gum) disease. Such kind of plaque formation and growth is continuous and can only be avoided with regular brushing, flossing, and the use of other dental aids.

• Use of toothbrush – Brush your teeth at least twice a day, specifically once before going to bed at night with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste. You should brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums gently in a small, circular motion, making sure to brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth. You can use the tip of the brush head to clean the inside front teeth. Keep in mind to brush your tongue to remove bacteria.

• Importance of flossing and rinsing – Daily flossing is the perfect way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Rinsing your mouth with water after brushing and after meals also helps reduce bad breath.


Q: When should I schedule my dental exam and cleaning?

Get your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year and more if your dentists recommends. It is important to prevent dental problems and maintain the overall health of your teeth and gums. Your dentist will clean and check your teeth for any cavities. Apart from regular cleaning, dental appointments also help in reviewing your overall dental health and determine any decays, cysts, oral cancer cells, gum diseases, etc. with radiographic x-rays. These appointments may also trigger the removal of calculus and plaque. The doctor may also teach you how to remove stain and plaque with teeth polishing while giving you oral health recommendations.


Q: What are the symptoms of gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)?

It is possible that you are suffering from periodontal disease and there are no noticeable symptoms. Therefore it is important to schedule regular dental check-ups and periodontal examinations. Such a disease begins when plaque, a sticky, colorless, film of bacteria, food debris, and saliva, is left on the teeth and gums. These bacteria produce toxins that further cause inflammation in the gums and slowly destroy the bone. There are several factors that increase the risk of developing periodontal disease like tobacco, defective teeth fillings, steroids and drugs, pregnancy, oral contraceptives, systemic diseases, and also genetics.

Some signs and symptoms include red, puffy, and bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, new spacing between teeth, loose teeth, pus around teeth and gums, receding gums, etc.


Q: What is the importance of dental floss?

The technique of daily flossing helps clean between the teeth and under the gumline where brushes can’t reach. These prevent decay and periodontal diseases by eliminating plaque colonies. It is important to floss correctly by following these steps: using a 12-16 inch (30-40cm) dental floss, wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands, and then insert the floss between the teeth in a sawing motion using your thumbs and forefingers. To clean under the gum line, you need to curve the floss into a “C” shape  and move it up and down around each tooth under the gumline. You can also use floss holders for easy flossing.

Q: What is the role of cosmetic dentistry in improving the appearance of my smile?

Cosmetic dental treatments go a long way to give you a more beautiful, confident smile. There are many cosmetic dental procedures available to improve your teeth and enhance your smile. Per your needs, cosmetic dental treatments can change your smile dramatically; we can restore a single tooth to a full mouth. Different cosmetic procedures include

• Teeth Whitening: It is a process of bleaching that lightens teeth which have been stained or discolored by age, food, drink, and smoking.  

• Composite (tooth-colored) fillings:  It is also known as “bonding”; composite fillings are used instead of amalgam (silver) fillings to repair teeth with cavities, replace old, defective fillings, and repair chipped, broken, or discolored teeth. It helps in filling gaps and also protects sensitive and exposed root surfaces that are caused by gum recession.

• Porcelain veneers: The veneers are thin custom-made, tooth-colored shells that are bonded onto the fronts of teeth to create a gorgeous smile. It helps to restore or camouflage damaged, discolored, poorly shaped, or misaligned teeth.  

• Porcelain crowns (caps): The crowns are tooth-colored, custom-made covering that encase the entire tooth surface thereby restoring it to its original shape and size.  They protect and strengthen teeth that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations and are ideal for teeth that have large, fractured or broken fillings and that are badly decayed.

• Dental implants: These are artificial roots that are surgically placed into the jaw to replace one or more missing teeth. Dentists can also fit and attach porcelain crowns, bridges, and dentures to provide a strong, stable, and durable solution to removable dental appliances.

• Orthodontics: These are less visible and more effective brackets and wires that makes straightening teeth with orthodontics much more appealing to adult patients. Dentists can also straighten crooked teeth with custom-made, clear, removable aligners in place of braces.


Q: What are porcelain veneers and what is their role in improving my smile?

A: Porcelain veneers are very thin shells of tooth-shaped porcelain that are individually crafted to cover the fronts of teeth. These veneers are very durable and will not stain. Porcelain veneers are used to correct severely discolored or stained teeth, unwanted spaces, worn or chipped teeth, slight tooth crowding, misshapen teeth, and too large or too small teeth. You can get veneers done in two dental visits.


Q: How can I prevent stained or discolored teeth?

A: You can prevent stained teeth with teeth whitening treatments. Professional teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment that is used to change the color of natural tooth enamel. You will also find over-the-counter products; however, they are much less effective than professional treatments and might not be approved by the American Dental Association (ADA).

Get your teeth evaluated by your dentist to determine if you’re a good candidate for bleaching. Sometimes, tetracycline and fluorosis stains are difficult to bleach and your dentist may provide other options, such as veneers or crowns to cover up such stains. Also, since teeth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is also important to evaluate any old fillings, crowns, etc. before bleaching begins. Once the bleaching is done, your dentist can match the new restorations to the shade of the newly whitened teeth.

Teeth whitening is not permanent and a touch-up may be needed every several years to keep your smile looking bright. You will find both home teeth whitening systems and in-office teeth whitening systems in our clinic.

American Dental Association

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