Frequently Asked Questions

  • What should I do if I have bad breath?

    According to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association forty million Americans suffer from halitosis (bad breath). Fortunately, there are simple and effective ways to freshen your breath: Brush and Floss regularly, scrape your tongue and rinse your mouth with mouthwash. If problem continues or worsen seek the advice of a dental expert in Raleigh NC.

  • How often should I brush and floss?

    Dr. Ryan Galligan recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night). Daily flossing after your last meal is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gum line.

  • How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?

    Adults and children should get a dental cleaning and a regular check up at least every six months. Individuals with a history of tobacco and alcohol use, diabetes, periodontal and gum disease, poor oral hygiene and certain medical conditions should have dental check ups more often. If you feel pain discomfort or constant bad breath, make an appointment with your dentist today?

  • How can I tell if I have gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)?

    Visible Symptoms include swollen gums, Soft gums, Receding gums, bleeding gums (blood on toothbrush). To minimize the risk of developing gum disease, it is important to practice good oral hygiene, eat well, and schedule regular dental checkups.

  • Why is it important to use dental floss?

    Correctly brushing your teeth removes plaque and food particles from tooth surfaces. However sometimes it can’t properly clean the hard-to-reach areas between them. Leaving these areas highly susceptible to decay and gum disease. Flossing daily can clean between the teeth and under the gum line, stopping the build up of plaque and helping to prevent damage to your mouth.

  • How can cosmetic dentistry help improve the appearance of my smile?

    Depending on your particular necessities, cosmetic dental treatments in Raleigh NC can change your smile radically, from repairing a single tooth to having a full mouth make-over.  Ask your dentist what cosmetic dentistry method can improve the health and beauty of your smile.

  • Do I need Orthodontic treatment?

    Only a dental expert determines if a patient needs Orthodontic treatment. There are systems that have been used to quantify the severity of malocclusions and orthodontic best known being the index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN).

  • What is Invisalign?

    Invisalign is a series of clear aligners that snap over your teeth to move them over a period of time.  They apply pressure to create movement and place the teeth in a desired position.  Each individualized aligner works for a 15-day period and then replaced with a new one to continue the necessary adjustments.  They are to be worn 24-hour a day and can be taken out for eating and brushing. Ask your Dentist about Invisalign in Raleigh.

  • Will my insurance cover cosmetic dental care?

    Usually, most dental insurance plans do not cover cosmetic dentistry procedures done only to enhance the appearance of your smile. However, if your procedure also serves to improve the functionality of your teeth, it could be covered, depending on your coverage.
    We will be happy to work with your insurance plan to see if certain cosmetic restorations are an option.

  • What causes tooth decay?

    Four things are necessary for cavities to form -a tooth, bacteria, sugars or other carbohydrates and time. Dental plaque is a thin, sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that constantly forms on everyone’s teeth. When you eat, the sugars in your food cause the bacteria in plaque to produce acids that attack the tooth enamel. With time and repeated acid attacks, the enamel breaks down and a cavity forms.

  • I just found out I am pregnant, how can this affect my mouth?

    Pregnancy affects nearly every aspect of a woman’s life, including her oral health. Taking care of your mouth and teeth is important during pregnancy. During your pregnancy, the second trimester is the best time to receive routine dental care. If possible, avoid major dental procedures, reconstruction and surgery until after the baby is born. Ask your dentist on what measures you should take while pregnant.

  • How should I clean my baby’s teeth?

    Find a toothbrush designed for infants, with soft bristles and a small head. Brushing at least once a day, at bedtime, will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay.

  • At What Age Should I Start Taking My Child to See the Dentist?

    The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children first see a dentist as between six-months-old and one-year-old. During this period your kid’s baby teeth will be coming in letting the dentist examine their oral health. After the first visit, schedule regular checkups every 6 months.

  • What is the best way to get kids to brush?

    Make it fun! If you are enthusiastic about brushing your teeth, your children will also be enthusiastic. If your children see you brushing your teeth and displaying good dental habits, they will follow. Ask your dentist for creative ways to get children to brush their teeth.

  • What is fluoride and why is it important to dental health in children and adults?

    Fluoride, the 13th most abundant element on the earth’s crust. Fluoride is extremely useful in preventing cavities and making teeth stronger. However, it is much less effective if a cavity has already formed. According to the National Health Service, fluoride disrupts the process of tooth decay by:
    – Strengthening the developing enamel so that it is more resistant to acid attack. These structural changes occur as a child’s enamel develops before he/she is seven years old.
    – Reduces the bacteria’s ability to produce acid, a major cause of tooth decay

  • Why should I use a mouth guard?

    According to the American Dental Association, wearing a mouth guard not only protects your teeth but can also protect against injuries to the jaw, face, tongue and lips. Mouth guards are most commonly used in contact sports, such as football, boxing, hockey, and wrestling. However, evidence has shown that even in non-contact sports mouth guards help prevent mouth and jaw injuries. Mouth guards cushion impact that may otherwise cause broken teeth, jaw injuries, or cuts to the lip, tongue or face.

  • Am I a good candidate for teeth whitening?

    Patients who experience the most benefit from having their teeth whitened: Are in good dental health Maintain good dental health (i.e. brush three times a day, floss, receive regular dental checkups every six months, etc.) If you suffer from slightly discolored, or yellow, teeth and Wish to improve the look of their smile for aesthetic purposes.

  • If I Have Braces, do I Still Need Dental Checkups Every Six Months?

    Yes! It’s more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. Food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t reach causing bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease.

  • How should I Schedule My Next Checkup?

    Simply call Galligan Family Dentistry at 919-977-1870 or go to our Contact us page.