Teeth Cleaning and Dental Hygiene
Philadelphia, Main Line, and Ardmore, Pennsylvania Cosmetic Dentistry
General Dentistry Expertise
Without a solid, healthy foundation, no smile can be beautiful in the long term. In order to keep your teeth clean and healthy, Dr. Lindsey Marshall offers many comfortable dentistry services to patients throughout the Main Line area.
Our comfort dentistry treatments are designed to augment your at-home care. To find out more about how we can help you care for your teeth, gums, and entire mouth, please call (610) 649-0696 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Marshall – proudly serves patients from Philadelphia, Ardmore, and other parts of the Main Line.
How Often Should I See My Dentist?
Most people can maintain good oral health with daily habits and checkups and cleanings at six-month intervals. However, people facing dental problems or who are more prone to problems like cavities and gum disease may need to see the dentist more frequently until their oral health is more manageable with less frequent visits.
Our Comfort Dentistry Services
Dr. Marshall emphasizes the importance of preventative dental care to all of her patients. Patients who take an active approach to caring for their teeth and preventing issues before they begin tend to be healthier and spend much less time and money on major dental work.
Ideal prevention will involve keeping a biannual appointment with Dr. Marshall for regular maintenance and thorough cleaning of your teeth. During these scheduled visits, Dr. Marshall will assess the following:
Condition of your teeth: Our DIAGNOdent tool will pick up tiny areas of decay the eye cannot see.
Condition of your gums: Dr. Marshall and her staff will measure the little pockets between gum tissue and the teeth, as well as check for early signs of gum disease.
Condition of your jaw: Digital X-rays will display the structure of your jaw bone and show issues potentially limiting its function.
In addition to a full review of your oral health, your regular checkup will also involve comprehensive teeth cleaning session. After one of our team members scrapes away built-up plaque, removes stains, and polishes your teeth, your smile will look and feel refreshed.
How Often Should I Get Dental X-Rays?
Dental x-rays are necessary to observe potential disease in teeth, surrounding tissue, and in the roots and bone beneath the gums. Common problems that are detectable on x-ray films include:
- Decay in hidden places such as in between teeth
- Decay beneath a dental filling
- Infection in the root canal
- An abscess (infection in between the gums and a tooth or at the tip of a tooth root)
- Bone loss caused by gum disease
- In children, x-rays also show the development of new teeth, including wisdom teeth, and developmental abnormalities.
The frequency of dental x-rays can differ from one person to another. Some people may need this screening every six months while others may only need x-rays every couple of years. Dentists generally perform x-rays on new patients to become a part of their dental record.
Those who may need more frequent x-rays include:
- Children whose jaws and teeth are still developing.
- Adults who have had extensive restorative work and have several fillings or other dental work.
- People with gum disease.
- People with a condition such as dry mouth.
- Smokers may need frequent x-rays due to the increased risk of periodontal disease and bone loss.
What Our Patients Have to Say
“Dr. Marshall is so knowledgeable and kind. She made me feel so comfortable and confident about the work she will do. I’m trusting her with my smile and I know I’ll be very happy with the result!” -Susanne R.
Effective Teeth Cleaning at Home
Good dental hygiene at home is essential throughout life. Incorporating the following activities into your daily routine should keep bacteria buildup to a minimum and remove food particles that could lead to stains, tooth decay, and bad breath:
- Brushing at least twice daily
- Flossing every day
- Eating fresh foods and maintaining a balanced diet
- Avoiding sugary snacks
- Using dental products containing fluoride, such as a toothpaste or rinse
Through proper oral hygiene at home and regular professional checkups, you should be able to reduce the time spent at the dentist office, as well as the risk of needing treatment with a dental crown or bridge. Healthy teeth and gums also reduce the risk of complications if you’d like to enhance your smile with cosmetic dentistry.
What Type of Toothbrush Should I Use?
- A consistent brushing and flossing routine is more important than choosing the perfect toothbrush; both powered and manual toothbrushes can be advantageous. When choosing a toothbrush, it is necessary to keep a few things in mind, including:
- Size. Toothbrush heads may be small, mid-sized, or large. A toothbrush head should fit comfortably in the mouth and be easy to maneuver in areas that are harder to reach, such as the backs of molars. Many adults are comfortable with a mid-sized toothbrush head that measures about one-half inch by one inch.
- Bristles. Toothbrushes are generally labeled soft, medium, and firm. Dentists generally recommend softer bristles to those that are firm and rigid. This is because firm bristles can abrade enamel and delicate gum tissue, leading to inflammation and gum recession.
- Recommendation certification. Not all toothbrushes pass the rigorous control testing that proves safety and efficacy. When choosing a toothbrush, look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. This ensures that bristle-tips are safe and will not fall out under typical usage and that the toothbrush can effectively reduce plaque buildup.
How Often Should I Floss?
The American Dental Association advises consumers to clean the interdental areas between teeth every day. This can be done with floss or another type of interdental cleaner. Flossing helps prevent the buildup of plaque, a sticky biofilm, in between teeth. Plaque that sits on teeth can harden into tartar, a rough substance that cannot be removed with general brushing and flossing. Both plaque and tartar harbor bacteria that increase the acidity of the mouth, which leads to gum disease and cavities.
What Happens If I Have Bad Dental Hygiene?
Several studies demonstrate the dangers of bad oral hygiene. We know that failing to maintain consistent brushing and flossing habits can lead to bad breath, cavities, gum disease, and root canal infections. However, the Mayo Clinic and other organizations have reported that poor dental health is a contributing factor in the development of:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Respiratory infections
- Diabetic complications
- Immune system problems
- Low birth weight babies born to mothers with poor dental health