Ask Dr. VanderHeide Your Dental Question >>

How can I improve the whiteness of my teeth?

There are several ways that you can "whiten" or "bleach" your teeth. There are two procedures that we offer: in-office bleaching which is a one-time whitening procedure performed at our office or a custom-made bleaching tray which is a take-home tray that you use periodically to whiten. Contact us to see which teeth whitening system works best for you.

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At what age should I first bring my child to the dentist?

According to recommendations from the ADA, you should plan for your child to have their first visit to the dentist by their first birthday. The first visit at age 1 is used primarily to educate parents on proper oral care. Here at your West Michigan Dentist, families usually begin a regular regimen of dental visits and cleanings at the age of 3. If you have a concern, regardless of age, please contact our office.

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What is a root canal and do I need one?

A root canal is an Endodontic treatment procedure in which the diseased nerve (also called the pulp or inside core) of a heavily decayed or damaged tooth is removed and the central pulp space of the tooth is filled and sealed with dental cement. It will take an examination by your dentist to determine if a root canal is necessary. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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Do I need my silver fillings replaced?

Typically amalgams (silver fillings) are replaced only if you are concerned about aesthetics or the look they present. If you are concerned with the look of silver fillings, you can request tooth-colored restorations in replacement. Replacement is possible if there are no signs of decay and the filling appears to be intact and functioning within normal limits.

If mercury content in amalgams is your primary concern, please schedule an appointment to address your situation and concerns.

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I have good hygiene. Why do I keep getting cavities?

There are several variables that can lead to tooth decay. Daily brushing and flossing are a great start, but there may be other factors in which you may not be aware, such as dry mouth, diabetes/health conditions, acid reflux, diet and the frequency of eating bacteria-causing foods. When you eat foods that are high in sugar and other carbohydrates, the bacteria that occurs naturally in your mouth will flourish. Failing to brush your teeth and avoiding regular trips to the dentist encourage bacteria growth, which eventually will destroy your tooth enamel and can cause your teeth to decay.

The reason we recommend you limit sugar, especially sugary drinks, is because these bacteria LOVE sugar, and encourage more plaque to form. Frequency of sugar really plays a role in cavity formation. If you had one can of soda in a half-hour and brushed afterwards, you are less likely to get cavities than if you sipped that same one can of soda throughout the day and brushed several times throughout the day.

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My gums are bleeding. Do I have gum disease?

Gum disease sounds pretty scary, and it can be serious. If you're starting to see a little bleeding while brushing, this is the first sign that your probably need to start taking a good look at how well you're caring for your gums. Read on >>

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How do I take care of my teeth during pregnancy?

Taking good care of yourself while you're pregnant is important, and your teeth are no exception. During pregnancy, your teeth and gums may be extra sensitive. So how do you care for your teeth during pregnancy? Read on >>

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Do you accept my insurance?

Our office is a non-restricted dental practice, meaning we bill to all insurance companies except MEDICAID. Many of our patients have dental insurance, and we pride ourselves in helping them maximize their benefits. If your dental plan requires you to go to a contracted dentist, please contact us to inquire. In many cases, we can contact your insurance for you to find out what services are covered.. Read on >>

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How do I get to your office?

West Michigan Dentist is conveniently located one mile south of M-6 on Broadmoor Avenue in Caledonia. Get Map >>

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Don't hesitate to call our office with any further questions. We would love to help.

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