Serve Your Smile & It Will Serve You

Our general and family dentistry services are the fundamentals to keeping your mouth healthy and able to perform everyday functions like speaking, eating, and expressing joy through smiles. Building a strong defense against oral infection and disease may feel like a chore, but the benefits are numerous. Your smile is more likely to be bright if you’re keeping plaque from hardening to tartar, and you’re less prone to tooth decay if you’re removing debris and bacteria that cause acid erosion. And, with your mouth being the gateway to the rest of your body, optimal oral health is a big contributor to overall wellness.

Cleaning & Prevention

Oral Hygiene - Floss, Brush, RinseTwo visits to the dentist per year is the recommended minimum. If you’re fighting gum disease and require deep cleanings (also called root scaling and planing), that number will probably increase. If you’ve got extensive tooth decay, you might need multiple appointments for removal of the decay and placement of fillings. If the decay has taken a large portion of one or more of your teeth, extractions might be called for. There are many variances, but what remains the same is the importance of home care. For the other 360+ days of the year, your smile will rely on your diligence.

Is your oral hygiene regimen keeping bad bacteria at a minimum? If you’re unsure, read along for expert advice!

  • First, you’ll want to be sure your toothbrush has soft bristles. Firm, inflexible bristles are not only unnecessary, but can cause your gums to recede (pull away from your crown and eventually expose your root).
  • Brush for two minutes at least twice a day and wait at least 30 minutes before eating or drinking anything (with the exception of water). Acids from food and beverages combined with your toothpaste can cause enamel erosion.
  • Floss once daily. If you’re using the traditional string, curve the floss around each tooth in a c-shape, making sure not to snap the floss up and down or use the same section twice. If you can’t stand floss, we can recommend alternatives.
  • For extra breath-freshening and bacteria disruption, rinse with mouthwash. Avoid mouthwash that contains alcohol, which will inhibit your saliva production, which is important for tooth decay prevention.
  • Use water to swish and spit after eating when out and about without a toothbrush and floss. This helps reduce plaque formation and acid buildup.

Sealants Illustration


We can add a layer of protection from tooth decay with dental sealants. The process involves brushing a light, plastic coating on the chewing surfaces of your thoroughly cleaned molars and premolars, then using light to harden it. Once they’ve sealed, they should last for at least a few years. Dental sealants are a quick, painless part of treatment plans for adults at an increased risk of tooth decay and children still developing their brushing and flossing habits. They work by preventing bacteria and acids from attacking your enamel, but you’ll need to keep up on your hygiene routine to ensure their longevity.

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Oral Cancer Screenings

We screen for oral cancer during each examination because your peace of mind is important to us. Oral cancer rates are unfortunately on the rise—in fact, it’s responsible for one death per hour each day in America. One of the biggest reasons it claims so many lives is because it’s often diagnosed in late stages. You might find that strange because you see your mouth every day as you floss and brush, but are you really examining every part of your tongue, lips, cheeks, tongue, gums, and throat?

Signs of Oral Cancer*

  • Swelling, thickening, lumps, rough spots, crusting, or erosion
  • Velvety white, red, or speckled patches
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Numbness or loss of feeling
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Persistent sores
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Chronic sore throat, changes in voice
  • Ear pain

*Can be found on any surface in and outside of the mouth

Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

  • Smoking – Smokers are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-smokers
  • Chewing – Patients who dip, snuff, or chew are 50 times more likely to develop oral cancer
  • Alcohol – Oral cancer is six times more common in drinkers than non-drinkers
  • Family history of cancer
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • HPV – the CDC reports that up to 80% of Americans will have HPV infections in their lifetime

Oral Cancer Facts & Statistics

  • 25% of oral cancer patients have no risk factors
  • Men are 2x more likely to develop oral cancer than women – oral cancer is the 8th most common cancer among men
  • 8,000 people die from oral cancer every year
  • 40% of oral cancer patients die within 5 years of diagnosis
  • Early diagnosis can double your chance of survival
  • 65% of oral cancers are linked to HPV

We want you to have the information necessary to catch anything that’s out of the ordinary for you. We’re your trusted professionals, and our intraoral cameras help us keep an accurate record of your mouth’s health and appearance from appointment to appointment.

Outside of your appointments, we highly recommend taking preventive measures such as giving up tobacco products and limiting your exposure to the sun without SPF sunscreen. Small changes can make big differences, and we’re here to support you making the best decisions for your health!

Oral Cancer Infographic

Click the image above to expand

Clear Aligner

Mouthguards & Nightguards

If you or any of your family members play contact sports, we hope you’ll take our advice and wear mouthguards. Up to 39% of all dental injuries are sports-related, and the majority of them could have been prevented by wearing a mouthguard. While you can find stock boil-and-bite mouthguards at nearly any sporting goods store, we recommend choosing us to create the most comfortable, durable, and protective custom-fitted mouthguards for each member of your family.

We also provide made-to-order nightguards for protection from nighttime teeth grinding and clenching. These habits can lead to excessive wear of your teeth that results in a need for restorative dentistry, but the side effects don’t stop there. If this habit persists without intervention, your jaw joint can become inflamed and cause a world of pain in the form of chronic headaches, difficulty opening and closing your mouth (this can make speaking and eating painful), and frequent earaches.


Extractions Illustration

Are you wondering how extractions could be a preventive method? The truth is, we only recommend and perform them when we think it’s the best call for your oral health. In rare cases we recommend them before orthodontic treatment, but they tend to be a way to save your smile after it’s suffered excessive decay, cracks, breakage, or severe infection. Our office will extract wisdom teeth in the case of an emergency, but we generally refer wisdom teeth extractions to a trusted specialist. Whatever the case, you can count on us to make the process as comfortable as possible if it’s necessary for you.

Get in Touch with Us!

If you have any questions about our general dentistry services or you’re ready to schedule a consultation with your Louisville general dentist, Dr. Hernández at Hernández Dental Care, give us a call today or request an appointment online. We look forward to helping you create your perfect smile!

Office Hours

Monday 8:00am-6:00pm
Tuesday 8:00am-5:00pm
Wednesday 8:00am-6:00pm
Thursday* 8:00am-5:00pm
Friday* 8:00am-5:00pm
*Every other week
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