We’ve compiled a list of some of the questions most frequently asked about dental care. For additional information on these topics, or on topics not covered here, please see our resources section or email us.

How often should I brush and floss?

To prevent tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath you should brush your teeth at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste and soft bristled toothbrush. Brushing removes the food particles and bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. You should floss once a day to clean between your teeth where brushing doesn’t reach.

Are mouthwashes helpful in preventing cavities?

Fluoride mouthwashes have been proven to help prevent and reduce tooth decay. Anti-bacterial rinses help kill bacteria that are not removed by brushing and flossing, so using them will help prevent gum disease.

How often should I visit York Dental Group?

Most people should have their teeth cleaned and examined every six months. Sometimes health conditions or previous dental work (such as implants) may require more frequent check-ups.

Regular appointments allow us to:

  • Review your medical history for conditions that my impact your oral health.
  • Check for tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Check for signs of oral cancer.
  • Examine fillings, crowns, and other previous dental work.
  • Remove tartar and plaque to prevent tooth decay and leave your teeth clean.
  • Polish your teeth to remove stains.
  • Answer questions about oral hygiene.

Will amalgam (silver) fillings make me sick?

Amalgam is the familiar silver-colored material used to fill dental cavities which contains silver, tin, copper, zinc and mercury. Reviews of hundreds of studies have found that amalgam is safe and the only illness linked to its use has been caused by a rare allergic reaction. The American Dental Association, Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Public Health Service, World Health Organization and others believe amalgam fillings are safe and effective for patients of all ages.

What are the signs of gum disease?

Gum disease is an infection which attacks below the gum line and causes damage to the tissue that holds teeth in place. In its early (and reversible) stages, gum disease is called gingivitis. Gingivitis can be painless and cause no easily noticeable symptoms. However, regular check-ups will allow us to examine your gums and determine if you have the beginnings of gum disease.

Some warning signs of advancing gum disease include:

Red, swollen and tender gums.
Gums that bleed easily.
Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.
Loose permanent teeth or teeth that are separating.

Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis and needs immediate treatment. Use of tobacco products; diseases including diabetes; certain medications; ill-fitting or defective dental work; crooked teeth; and pregnancy or use of birth control pills may increase the risk of gum disease.

Does bad breath mean I have gum disease?

Bad breath can be a symptom of gum disease, however, there are many other causes including food choices, tobacco use and dehydration. An office visit can determine if bad breath is being caused by dental problems such as poor oral hygiene, gum disease, or cavities.

How can I get whiter teeth?

Over time, teeth become stained by food and beverages, as well as tobacco products and some medications. In many cases, stains can be removed through bleaching. Other stains may not respond well to bleaching. A visit to our office will allow us to evaluate whether bleaching is likely to work or whether veneers may be a better alternative. Professional bleaching provides better, longer lasting whitening than products you can purchase at the store. Professional whitening can be done either in our office or at home. Office whitening sessions last a half hour to an hour and provide immediate results. Home whitening requires the use of a custom-fitted mouth try which is filled with a whitening gel and worn either twice a day or overnight for several weeks. Either way, additional sessions may be needed every few years to maintain your whiter smile.