Below is a list of some of the questions we get asked most frequently from our patients. If you have a question that isn't answered below, feel free to give us a call and our team at Wilkes Public Health Dental Clinic will be happy to assist you.
How do I become a patient?

If you want to become a patient, you may call us or stop by to find out how.


Patients will need to arrive promptly for their first appointment to allow time to review our paperwork, policies, and procedures.  Our friendly front office team will gladly answer any questions you may have.

Who can become a patient?

Anyone can become a patient at Wilkes Public Health Dental Clinic!  We are truly a public clinic dedicated to serving the diverse needs of our community.  We are dedicated to serving the unserved and underserved. We are accepting new patients and we accept NC Medicaid. We do accept private insurance and self-pay patients, and you need not be low-income to qualify.  Contact us to find out about our new patient appointment availability.

I'm pregnant; can I still receive dental care?
Yes! However, at the end of your pregnancy when we may choose to delay treatment for the safety of both you and your child, but keeping your mouth healthy is actually important to the health of your entire body (and to your growing baby!)  If possible, please do not wait to seek treatment.  Every patient is different, so call our office to find out what may be best for you during this special time. 
Also, we ask you to bring a letter from your doctor about any limitations, medications and treatments.
Do I need to bring a letter from my doctor? Why?
Many health conditions have complex effects throughout your body.  The medications you take to control these conditions and the medications we use during dental treatment may react with each other in complex ways.  It is important to know as much information about you and your health, in order to provide you with the best care possible!
Conditions for which we may require a letter from your doctor before dental treatment include:
  • uncontrolled diabetes
  • uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • previous radiation therapy
  • certain heart problems
  • certain medications.
A form to take to your medical doctor is available on this website under "Required Documents," labelled as "Medical Information Form for At-Risk Patients."
I have a dental emergency, can you see me?
We will try to work with you to resolve your dental emergency; please call our office to find out how. 
Our office holds "Emergency Clinic" hours each Thursday morning from 7:50 am to 11:00 am for uninsured individuals who do not have a dental home with dental emergencies.  Appointments are first-come, first-served, and the first four individuals are accepted and treated as time permits.  Occasionally, there is not sufficient time to treat all individuals;  in these cases, our staff will make you an appointment for the soonest time our schedule permits.
Being seen during the Emergency Clinic does not qualify someone as a patient of record; for complete dental treatment (including cleanings and non-emergency fillings), individuals should look under "How do I become a patient?"
My child was seen on the mobile clinic and has a dental emergency or unfinished treatment. What should I do?
The mobile clinic can see your child year round and wants to support your child for dental emergencies.  Call the mobile clinic office at 336-903-7303 from 8 am to 5 pm Monday thru Friday.  It may be necessary to leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
If your child has had a head or face trauma, and you are not contacted by us within 10 minutes, or if you are calling outside normal mobile business hours, please call 336-903-9399.
Taking Care of Your Teeth and Gums
How often should I visit the dentist?

You should visit the dentist at least twice a year. A dental exam can reveal early signs of decay and disease that you may not see or feel. Catching these conditions early can help control them before them get worse and harder to treat. Additionally, getting a cleaning by a trained professional will remove plaque in areas you may have missed or cannot reach.

How often should I brush and floss my teeth?

You should brush at least twice a day for 2 minutes, once in the morning and once before going to bed. You should floss once a day as well.

What is the proper way to brush my teeth?

The following guidelines are important to brushing correctly.

1. Make sure to use a soft bristled brush. Hard bristled brushes can wear down the enamel of          your teeth.

2. Place your brush at a 45 degree angle to your gumline. Bristles should contact both the tooth        surface and the gumline.

3. Use short back and forth strokes or tiny circular movements to brush your teeth. Each                  movement should be no bigger than the size of each tooth.

4. Make sure to use gentle strokes while brushing. Gentle strokes are effective in removing              plaque, while too much pressure can wear down the enamel of your teeth.

5. Brush all surfaces of each tooth, including the outer, inner, and the chewing surfaces of the          teeth.

6. Finally, don't cut your brushing short! Make sure to brush for at least 2 minutes.

What is the proper way to floss?

The following guidelines are important to flossing correctly.

1. Take 18" of floss and wind it around the middle finger of each hand .You can use these fingers      to take up floss as it becomes dirty. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch the floss leaving 1-      2 inches in between for cleaning.

2. Gently move the floss up and down the spaces of your teeth. Never snap the floss down onto      your gums, as it can cause damage.

3. As you move the floss down into the space between two teeth, slide it up and down against          the surface of one tooth. Gently clean at the gumline as well. Repeat this for the other tooth.

4. Repeat this process for all of your teeth.

What is plaque?
Plaque is a sticky, clear film which forms every day on teeth from food debris and bacteria. If plaque is not removed, it can lead to gum disease and cavities. Regular dental check ups, along with brushing and flossing every day, can help prevent plaque buildup on teeth. In addition, avoiding sugary snacks and eating a balanced diet can help control plaque.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
What is periodontal (gum) disease?
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the gums and bone that hold your teeth in place. Typically, periodontal disease occures when plaque builds up on the teeth and hardens, often due to poor brushing habits. The gums can become swollen and red in the early stage of the disease, called gingivitis. As the disease advances, periodontal disease can lead to sore and bleeding gums, pain while chewing, as well as tooth loss.
What are the signs of periodontal disease?
The following are signs of periodontal (gum) disease, and you should contact your dentist if you experience any of these:

  • gums that bleed while brushing
  • red, swollen or tender gums
  • gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • bad breath that doesn't go away
  • pus between your teeth and gums
  • loose teeth
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • a change in the fit of partial dentures
How can I prevent periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene. This includes brushing, flossing, and visiting you dentist regularly. Also make sure to eat a healthy diet to get the required vitamins and minerals necessary for your teeth.
Teeth Whitening
Why do our teeth turn yellow?
While our teeth start out pearly white, they can discolor through the years as our enamel wears down. The wearing down of enamel allows dentin, a yellow color substance that makes the core of our teeth, to show through. This is what gives our teeth a yellowish tint.
What are the different types of teeth whitening options?

Below are the two most popular teeth whitening options available today.

Professionally Dispensed Take-Home Whitening Kits
These whitening kits are purchased from your doctor for use at home. Usually the trays are worn a couple hours a day or overnight for a few days or weeks depending on the product.

Over the counter whitening
Over the counter teeth whitening kits are store-bought and use a lower concentration of gel than both in-office whitening and take-home kits purchased from your doctor. While they are cheaper, they typically are less effective than methods that can be performed by your dentist because of the low concentration gel. Additionally, over the counter trays are not custom fit for your teeth, which can result in irritation to your gums while wearing the trays.

How long does teeth whitening last?
Teeth whitening usually lasts from one to three years before darkening of the teeth is noticed. Additionally, once your teeth have been initially whitened, typically only "touch ups" are required to maintain the whiteness.
Other Common Questions
What can I do about bad breath?
Bad breath is caused by a variety of factors, including the types of food you ingest, periodontal disease, dry mouth, and other causes. Going to your dentist will help you determine the cause of your bad breath, so that you can take steps to eliminate it.

Regardless of the cause of your bad breath, good oral hygiene and regular checkups to the dentist will help reduce it. Brushing and flossing will eliminate particles of food stuck between your teeth which emit odors. It will also help prevent or treat periodontal disease (gum disease), caused by plaque buildup on your teeth, which can lead to bad breath. Dentures should be properly cleaned and soaked overnight in antibacterial solution (unless otherwise advised by your dentist). Finally, make sure to brush your tongue regularly to eliminate any residue.
What age do you begin dental treatment?
The earlier the better. If the child only has a few teeth we can still get them used to the environment and just do a "look see". This would be a low stress "happy visit" for them and hopefully encourage them to return every 6 months. We recommend at least by age 1.
Is the dental clinic making replacements for existing denture wearers?

Yes, we are. We have highly skilled dentists available to make dentures and partials.

Who can bring my child to the dentist?

Parents and guardians may bring their child to their dental appointments or designate in writing specific individuals who may escort their child to the clinic.  Some limitations on treatment may apply or require additional parent/guardian signatures.  When escorting their child, designated adults must provide picture identification, such as a driver's license, in order for the child to be treated.  We are striving to keep our patients safe and their parents/guardians informed and responsible for their treatment.

Appointment request
Need an appointment with a dentist in North Wilkesboro ? Requesting an appointment at our North Wilkesboro, NC family and cosmetic dental office is now easier than ever. Fill out the form below and we'll contact you to find a time that fits your schedule. Start your journey towards a beautiful smile with us today!
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