Patient Education & FAQs


At Diablo Hills Dental Excellence, Dr. Palano & his team pride themselves on listening to patients. From our conversations & a thorough exam, a report of the clinical finding will be made. Our office will give individual & different treatment options to solve the problem, along with the costs & timeline. It is up to the patient to choose which treatment they want to pursue & when to get started.

Why do I need to see the dentist twice a year?

Evidence-based studies have repeatedly shown that cleaning visits twice a year are the standard of care for keeping the gums healthy. Couple these with an oral exam & any dental problems can be detected early. This leads to easy, quick & less costly solutions. This interval is solely based on individual needs & can be adjusted to be longer or shorter for optimum health.

Remind me, how often do I need to brush & floss?

You should be brushing your teeth twice a day & flossing at least once a day. Most people brush in the morning when they wake up & brush & floss at night before bed. If you want to brush after lunch too, we highly approve. When you brush your teeth it should be for a full two minutes. Make sure you get the back & front sides of your upper and lower teeth & their biting surfaces. Floss with about an arm span’s worth of floss, using a clean two inches for each tooth to prevent cross-contamination from one tooth to another. If you’d like the dentist or hygienist to demonstrate proper brushing & flossing technique, please just ask during your visit!

Why is prevention so important?

Both tooth decay & gum disease are bacterial infections. Only the mechanical action of a brush & floss (or brushing between the teeth) can remove these germs from the surface of the tooth. These germs are constantly present in our mouths & regrow on the teeth daily. The gold standard for oral health is brushing twice per day & cleaning between the teeth once per day. Improve your efficiency by using a good quality electric toothbrush.

I brush my teeth & floss thoroughly every day. Do I still need to see a hygienist for a cleaning?

Cleanings with the hygienist are recommended because plaque (the bacteria on the teeth) calcifies & can no longer be removed by brushing & flossing. These hard deposits can cause gum disease. The hygienist will remove these gently with our instruments. The teeth are also polished to remove stains & brighten the smile.

What causes cavities?

Tooth decay involves three factors: The tooth, the plaque (the germs or bacteria) & the presence of sugars in our mouth. Each one provides an area for prevention. Keep the tooth strong by utilizing the protection of fluoride. Brush the plaque off the teeth daily. Remember that it grows back on a daily basis. Decrease the ingestion of sugars & refined carbohydrates. Lastly, since bacteria cause tooth decay, it is imperative that you take care of tooth decay within your whole family. One family member with cavities can share these germs with the rest of the family.

At what age should children first visit a dentist?

A child should be introduced to the dental office around age 3. By this time, all the primary teeth have come in. The first visit (called a Happy Visit) consists of sitting in the parent’s lap & getting used to the setting, the professionals with gloves & masks, & the dental mirror. At the second visit six months later, we will proceed with the standard appointment. This will all be tailored to your child’s individual needs & development. Please ask us about your child’s oral hygiene regimen at your visit.

I’m very nervous about visiting the dentist. What should I do?

The most important thing to do is to communicate your concerns to us. Everybody feels that they are unique in their anxiety & fear, when in actuality significant portions of our new patients have fear. First, let’s discuss your individual concerns. Then, realize that we have been treating patients with these fears successfully for over 40 years. We employ nitrous oxide & pre-appointment relaxation medication. We will ensure that you are comfortable in our operatory. We deliver quick & pain-free dentistry designed to feel good, look great & serve you for many years.