Frequently Asked Questions at Dartford Road Dental Centre

29th July 2023

These FAQs are the most commonly asked questions put to our team over the last year.

Asking questions to your dental professional is an important part of your long-term healthcare and we are more than happy to answer and enhance your dental health knowledge.

Read on for Frequently Asked Questions at Dartford Road Dental Centre.

How often should I get a dental Check-up?

Dental health varies from person to person. Adults (over 18 years of age) as a rule, visit every 6 months, twice a year. The dentist may want to see you sooner than 6 months if you have a high-sugar diet and the risk of decay is increased. The dentist will check for decay and any problems, they will also complete a full oral cancer screening check which is very important if you consume alcohol/smoke.

Routine dental check-ups are a key factor in preventive dental care. Preventative dentistry helps you maintain good oral health. It’s critical to keeping your mouth healthy.

A simple visit to your Kent-based dentist could save you a lot of money and hassle or complications in the future.

What Are the Best Ways to Practice Good Oral Hygiene at Home?

It is advised to brush with fluoride toothpaste twice daily, usually in the morning and last thing at night. Take your oral hygiene to the next level by following a few steps to good dental health. These include using products that contain fluoride such as toothpaste as mentioned and fluoride mouthwash at another time during the day. Limit your snacks, especially those high in sugar to mealtimes only, and eat a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables. Avoiding tobacco in any form is important for your oral health and preventing gum disease. Introduce interdental cleaning daily.


How do I clean in between my teeth?

Interdental cleaning is the method of using a dental aid such as floss, to clean in-between areas your toothbrush can’t reach. Dental floss is a thin, soft thread that slides in between the sides of the tooth. You can also try dental tape, which is thicker or flossettes which are harp-shaped and can be easier to hold and manoeuvre.

Flossing Tips

Break off about 40-50cm of floss and wind some around 1 finger of each hand.

Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers, with about 2-3cm of floss between them, leaving no slack.

Use a gentle “rocking” motion to guide the floss between your teeth. Do not snap the floss into the gums.

When the floss reaches your gumline, curve it into a C-shape against a tooth until you feel resistance.

Hold the floss against the tooth. Gently scrape the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum. Repeat on the other side of the gap, along the side of the next tooth (Do not forget the back of your last tooth)

When flossing, work systematically and keep to a regular pattern. Start at the top and work from left to right, then move to the bottom and again work from left to right. This way you’re less likely to miss any teeth.

I have sensitive teeth, what can I do?

Tooth sensitivity is a common problem that affects many patients in Dartford, Kent. You can try using toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth, such as the brand Sensodyne. Brush your teeth as normal using your sensitive toothpaste and then rub a little into the sensitive area after brushing. This helps protect the surface.

Try to avoid strongly acidic foods and drinks and wait at least 45 minutes to an hour after eating before brushing as this could cause even more sensitivity. Grinding your teeth can also increase sensitivity and a mouth guard may be advised by your Dartford dentist.

Can I see the hygienist only?

Yes, you can. Our hygienists at Dartford Road Dental Centre offer direct access, meaning you can visit them for a scale and polish without being referred by your dentist. But do remember to keep seeing your dentist for regular check-ups!

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How can I prevent cavities?

Tooth decay is often caused by having too much sugary food and drink and not thoroughly cleaning your teeth and gums. Early diagnosis and dental treatment will prevent cavities from getting bigger. This is why check-ups are so important to attend.

Tooth decay (cavities) are associated with a variety of factors, including your dietary choices and dental hygiene routine. Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes and flossing daily are the most effective ways to remove plaque build-up from between the teeth and below the gum line.

Maintaining a well-balanced low-sugar diet and avoiding acidic food and beverages can prevent caries from forming.

Why does the dentist need to take X-rays?

X-rays allow your dentist to look for oral health issues that may be difficult to identify with a visual examination alone. X-rays identify potential problems such as infections, bone loss, tooth decay, and impacted teeth.


Are taking X-rays harmful?

The radiation dose received from dental X-rays is measured in microsieverts. To help you relate the following numbers to your life, the background radiation that we encounter per day is around 9 microsieverts. A small routine dental X-ray equates to around 10 microsieverts. Equivalent to the radiation from a flight from London to Spain! Your dentist will only take X-rays if clinically necessary.

How can I get a whiter smile?

Firstly, if you smoke, quit today! Nicotine darkens and stains the tooth enamel surface. Coffee, red wine and certain curries with turmeric can also darken and stain the tooth surface. An air polish with our hygienist can remove these stubborn surface stains.

If the staining is deep within the enamel, your dentist may recommend in-practice teeth whitening or customised take-home whitening trays to brighten your teeth by several shades.

Visit for further information on achieving a whiter smile. We’re always happy to talk with you about all cosmetic treatments to give you confidence in your smile.

Should I be using mouthwash?

While mouthwash is not a substitute for flossing or brushing, it can be a great addition to your oral health routine. Using a fluoride mouthwash at another time during the day other than when you brush, can help prevent tooth decay by killing bacteria that live on the surfaces of your tongue and teeth.

Using a mouthwash immediately after brushing, will rinse all the fluoride toothpaste off of your teeth. You should also spit not rinse!

Why is fluoride important for your dental health?

Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally present in many foods and water. Fluoride plays an important role in fighting tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to acid-producing bacteria. Over time, plaque and bacteria can contribute to the erosion of tooth enamel. By drinking fluoridated tap water, using toothpaste with fluoride, or rinsing with fluoridated mouthwash, you can protect your teeth against cavities.

At What Age Should My Child First See a Dentist?

Studies have shown children can develop their first cavities from one to two years old, so we recommend booking your child in for an exam once their first baby tooth appears, or at the latest, their first birthday.

As well as checking your child’s teeth, your dentist can also provide you with oral health advice and discuss any concerns you may have.

The earlier you bring in your child, the more positive the experience will become at each 6-month check-up. Children especially love to ‘have a ride’ in our dental chair!

What is periodontal (gum) disease?

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that can cause tooth loss and other health problems if left untreated. It occurs when plaque builds up on the teeth, leading to inflammation of the gum line. This can cause bleeding, redness, tenderness, swelling and receding gums. Regular appointments and treatment with our hygienist are recommended for patients with periodontal disease.

Can I spread the cost of my treatment?

Yes, as well as offering pay-as-you-go at our practice, we offer Interest-free finance for up to 18 months and ‘7.9% finance for up to 3 years for your treatment plan.

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How do I book an appointment at the practice?

We have an amazing team of dentists and hygienists at our Kent-based practice to cater to all your oral hygiene and cosmetic needs.

Booking has never been easier!

Call our reception team on 01322 223 927 to book an examination or if you have any more questions for our fantastic reception team!

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Get in touch

We are happy to help if you have any questions or concerns - get in touch today with our easy to use contact form. Our friendly team is waiting to hear from you!

Visit the Practice

39 Dartford Rd, Dartford, Kent DA1 3EG

When to visit

We have early opening hours!
Mon - Thurs 8:15am - 5:30pm
Friday 8:15am - 1:45pm
Saturday 9:00am - 1:45pm (appointment only)

By Bus: Bus numbers 96 and 428 stop directly outside the practice.
By Car: There is ample street parking nearby.