What Happens at Dental Checkups: A Comprehensive Guide to Maintain Your Oral Health

What Happens at Dental Checkups: A Comprehensive Guide to Maintain Your Oral Health

Regular dental checkups are vital for maintaining optimal oral health. During these routine visits, your dentist performs various procedures and assessments to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore what happens during dental checkups, the importance of each procedure, and how it contributes to your overall oral health. Whether you’re a new patient or seeking to refresh your knowledge, this blog will provide valuable insights into the world of dental checkups.

What Happens at Dental Checkups: A Comprehensive Guide to Maintain Your Oral Health

The Importance of Regular Dental Checkups

Regular dental checkups are essential for several reasons. First, they allow dentists to monitor your oral health and identify any early signs of dental problems. By detecting issues early on, such as cavities or gum disease, dentists can intervene promptly and prevent them from worsening. Second, regular checkups help in maintaining optimal oral hygiene practices. Dentists can provide guidance on proper brushing and flossing techniques, as well as recommend specific oral care products tailored to your needs. Lastly, routine checkups allow dentists to perform oral cancer screenings, which can detect the disease in its early stages when it is most treatable.


During a dental checkup, an oral examination and dental history review are conducted to gather important information about your oral health. The dentist will ask questions about your dental habits, any discomfort or pain you may be experiencing, and your medical history. This information helps the dentist understand your unique dental needs and tailor the treatment plan accordingly. Additionally, the dentist will examine your teeth, gums, and other oral tissues to assess their health. This examination involves visually inspecting your mouth, using dental instruments to check for any signs of decay or damage, and evaluating the condition of your gums.


Oral Examination and Dental History Review

In some cases, dental X-rays and other diagnostic tests may be necessary during a dental checkup. Dental X-rays provide a detailed view of your teeth, roots, and supporting structures that are not visible during a visual examination. These X-rays help dentists detect hidden dental issues, such as cavities between teeth, impacted teeth, or signs of bone loss. By identifying these problems, dentists can provide appropriate treatments and prevent further complications. Other diagnostic tests, such as periodontal probing and salivary tests, may also be performed to assess the health of your gums and detect any signs of gum disease or other oral conditions.


Dental X-Rays and Diagnostic Tests

In some cases, dental X-rays and other diagnostic tests may be necessary during a dental checkup. Dental X-rays provide a detailed view of your teeth, roots, and supporting structures that are not visible during a visual examination. These X-rays help dentists detect hidden dental issues, such as cavities between teeth, impacted teeth, or signs of bone loss. By identifying these problems, dentists can provide appropriate treatments and prevent further complications. Other diagnostic tests, such as periodontal probing and salivary tests, may also be performed to assess the health of your gums and detect any signs of gum disease or other oral conditions.

Professional Teeth Cleaning

One of the key components of a dental checkup is professional teeth cleaning. This process, also known as dental prophylaxis, involves the removal of plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth. Dental hygienists use specialized tools to scrape off the hardened plaque and tartar that cannot be removed through regular brushing and flossing. They also perform tooth polishing to remove surface stains and make your teeth look brighter and cleaner. Professional teeth cleaning not only improves the appearance of your smile but also helps in preventing gum disease and tooth decay.


Gum Health Assessment

Assessing the health of your gums is an important part of a dental checkup. Dentists use various techniques to evaluate the condition of your gums and check for signs of gum disease. They will measure the depth of the spaces between your gums and teeth, known as periodontal pockets, using a periodontal probe. Healthy gums have shallow pockets, while deeper pockets may indicate the presence of gum disease. The dentist will also check for signs of gum inflammation, bleeding, or recession. Based on the assessment, the dentist can determine the extent of gum disease, if present, and recommend appropriate treatments or preventive measures.


Dental Restorations and Treatment Planning

During a dental checkup, the dentist will assess the condition of your teeth and any existing dental restorations, such as fillings or crowns. They will check for signs of wear, cracks, or decay in these restorations and determine if any repairs or replacements are necessary. The dentist will also evaluate the need for additional dental treatments, such as dental sealants, fluoride application, or orthodontic procedures. Based on the findings, a customized treatment plan will be created to address your specific dental needs. The treatment plan may include scheduling future appointments for necessary treatments, such as fillings, root canals, or periodontal therapy.


Oral Hygiene Education and Home Care Tips

Another vital aspect of a dental checkup is oral hygiene education and home care tips. Dentists and dental hygienists play a crucial role in educating patients about proper oral hygiene practices. They will provide guidance on the correct brushing and flossing techniques, the use of interdental cleaners or mouthwash, and the importance of regular oral care habits. They may also recommend specific oral care products, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, or mouth rinses, tailored to your oral health needs. By educating patients on proper oral care, dentists empower individuals to take an active role in maintaining their oral health and preventing dental problems.


Addressing Patient Concerns and Questions

During a dental checkup, patients are encouraged to ask questions and share any concerns they may have about their oral health. Dentists are committed to addressing these concerns and providing explanations or recommendations based on their expertise. Whether it’s discussing dental procedures, treatment options, or oral health-related topics, open communication between patients and dentists is essential for ensuring patient satisfaction and understanding. Dentists strive to create a comfortable and welcoming environment where patients feel empowered to voice their concerns and actively participate in their oral care journey.



Regular dental checkups are essential for maintaining good oral health and preventing dental issues. By understanding what happens during dental checkups, you can approach your appointments with confidence and actively participate in your oral care. Remember, preventive care is key to a healthy smile. Schedule your next dental checkup today and reap the benefits of a lifetime of good oral health.

Provide tips on how to prepare for a dental checkup, such as gathering dental records and preparing a list of concerns

Encourage patients to share any changes in their oral health or medical history with their dentist


Looking for a Dentist in Philadelphia? 

At Dentists on Washington, we are committed to delivering exceptional dental care tailored to your individual needs. Our team of highly skilled and compassionate dental professionals offers a comprehensive range of services, from routine checkups and cleanings to advanced treatments and cosmetic procedures. With state-of-the-art technology and a focus on patient education, we provide accurate diagnoses, effective treatments, and valuable oral hygiene tips. Your oral health is our top priority, and we strive to create a comfortable and welcoming environment for every patient. Schedule your appointment today and experience the exceptional dental care we offer at Dentists on Washington.


Interested? If you want to reap all the benefits of dental health, make an appointment now!

How Oral Health Impacts Overall Health

How Oral Health Impacts Overall Health

Oral health impacts so much more than most people think! One of the most common and important habits in our daily lives is brushing and flossing. While this is an optimal way to achieve a white and beautiful smile and prevent tooth decay, these aren’t the only reasons to take care of your oral health. In fact, health in the mouth is closely related to health in the body. 

Research has shown that oral health is closely related to the health of a variety of anatomical structures including gums, muscles, bones, glands, ligaments, and nerves. How? Read on, as we’ll discuss some of these relationships below.  

How Oral Health Impacts Overall Health

Gum Health & Heart Disease 

You may not be aware that the bacteria in plaque that forms on your teeth may adversely impact other organs in the body, including the heart and lungs. Bacterial endocarditis, a potentially fatal disease that affects the inner lining of the heart and heart valves, has been linked to plaque, as has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 

A recent study by the American Academy of Periodontology found that the risk of developing heart disease is nearly twice as high in people with periodontal gum disease. Additionally, Boston University’s Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine reported in 2006 that people with missing teeth have a higher risk of stroke. 

Bleeding gums, bad breath, blisters, and receding gums are the first signs of gum disease. Plaque can be prevented by brushing and flossing twice a day and visiting the dentist regularly.

Dental Health & Alzheimer 

 UIC College of Dentistry researchers have uncovered some of the secrets behind Alzheimer’s disease that will allow them to develop new treatments and bridge the “gap” between the medical and dental professions. The researchers hope these findings will help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and diabetes. An estimated one in ten adults over 65 suffers from Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The consequences are dementia, memory loss, and a steadily declining ability to function independently. About 5% of AD cases are familial (early onset), while over 95% of AD cases are sporadic (late onset). In most cases, the early onset of AD is due to mutations in genes involved in amyloid or senile plaque formation. In sporadic onset AD, the etiology and molecular mechanisms are still largely unknown (60-65 years old).

Recent studies indicate that mice exposed to periodontitis bacteria (gum disease) developed neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration, and senile plaques similar to AD in humans. These pathologies did not occur in control animals. The brains of the experimental mice’ contained a periodontal pathogen/product.

The presence of chronic oral bacteria or bacterial products in the brain may influence the development of senile plaques, suggesting that chronic bacterial infection may be a contributing factor to sporadic Alzheimer’s disease.

Gum Disease & Pregnancy

The association between gum disease and preterm birth and low birth weight has also been demonstrated in recent studies. Pregnant women with periodontal disease could be seven times more likely to have a preterm birth. 

Low birth weight babies are more likely to have respiratory problems, anemia, jaundice, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, and congestive heart failure. A chemical called prostaglandin, found in oral bacteria, is likely responsible. A woman with severe periodontitis has elevated prostaglandin levels.

In the second to eighth month of pregnancy, gingivitis often occurs, which manifests as red, swollen, or tender gums that bleed when brushed. An increase in the level of progesterone in the body causes these problems. 

A regular dental checkup is therefore imperative when you have a baby on the way. To avoid potential problems, your dentist may recommend that you go for more frequent dental cleanings during pregnancy. Oral health problems are not limited to pregnancy. Women can also be more susceptible to plaque and bacteria during puberty, menstruation, and menopause due to increased hormone levels.

Oral Health & Pneumonia

Tooth decay increases the risk of pneumonia, an infection of the lungs caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Researchers have reported that bacteria from the mouth can probably aspirate into the upper respiratory tract and the lungs, leading to pneumonia. To clarify the mechanism, research has shown that a lack of oral health contributes to bacteria becoming trapped in the lungs and causing respiratory infections.

Periodontal Disease & Pre-Diabetes

Your gums are at risk if you have diabetes because it reduces your body’s ability to resist infection. People with diabetes seem to experience gum disease more often and more severely. Several studies have shown that people who have gum disease have a lower ability to control their blood sugar levels than those without gum disease. With regular periodontal care, diabetes can be better controlled.

A 2023 study found a link between oral health and diabetes; researchers emphasized that many dental diseases are chronic inflammatory and often have far-reaching systemic effects, particularly on type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease.

Oral Health & Osteoporosis

Oral and bone health seem to be directly correlated. The disease osteoporosis weakens bones and increases the risk of fractures. Decreased bone mass and the breakdown of bone tissue cause bones to become brittle. 

Hip, spine, and wrist fractures in particular can result from this disease. In addition, studies suggest that bone loss in the jaw is related to osteoporosis. Those with osteoporosis may lose their teeth because the jawbone that supports the teeth becomes less dense, meaning the teeth no longer have a strong foundation.

The weakening of the jaw due to osteoporosis can lower a person’s defenses against bacteria that damage the gums, which can lead to periodontal disease. But don’t worry, because in most cases osteoporosis can be prevented. All people, especially women, should take care of their oral health by maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly.

Bottom Line

Regular dental checkups not only help keep your teeth and gums healthy but also allow your dentist to detect diseases that may occur in the future, such as oral cancer. Do not hesitate to tell your dentist about any changes in your oral health, including recent illnesses or chronic conditions, even if you think they are unprecedented. 

Make sure your doctor is familiar with all of your medications, including prescription and over-the-counter medications. Last but not least, follow your dentist’s recommendations, including any home care instructions. Don’t forget to schedule an appointment today.

Are Electric Toothbrushes Better Than Manual Brushes

Are Electric Toothbrushes Better Than Manual Brushes?

With so many dental care products on the market, it’s hard to make the right choice; even for toothbrushes. And although both electric and manual toothbrushes are very efficient in dissolving plaque that causes cavities and infections, the question remains which is better

The results of recent studies may provide some answers. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of manual and electric toothbrushes, and to find out which one ultimately works best.

Electric Toothbrushes Pros

Are Electric Toothbrushes Better Than Manual Brushes

Research has shown that electric toothbrushes are better at keeping your teeth healthy than manual toothbrushes.

The bristles of an electric toothbrush vibrate or rotate to remove plaque from your teeth. Each time you brush your teeth, you make more micro-movements thanks to the vibration. Brushes with rotating brush heads or oscillating heads are especially good at removing plaque.

Electric toothbrushes offer a whole range of benefits, including:

It Is Easier For People With Limited Mobility

It’s easy to brush your teeth with electric toothbrushes since they do most of the work for you. Therefore, they can be helpful for anyone with limited mobility, including

  • Carpal tunnel
  • Arthritis
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Parkinson’s

Have Built-in Timers

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), it is recommended that you brush your teeth for two minutes in the morning and two minutes in the evening. While you are free to brush more often if you wish, the 2/2 rule is the minimum for healthy teeth and gums. If you brush your teeth with an electric toothbrush, the timer can ensure that you brush long enough to remove plaque.

May Cause Less Waste

Usually, with an electric toothbrush, you only have to replace the head when it’s time, and that’s less wasteful than throwing the whole thing away.

A disposable common manual toothbrush, on the other hand, must be disposed of completely when it’s time to replace it.

Its Best For People With Orthodontic Appliances

For people with orthodontic appliances, such as braces, electric toothbrushes are particularly helpful because they make brushing teeth much easier. A manual toothbrush cannot get into all the little nooks and crannies with braces.

Fun For Kids

Every child is different when it comes to brushing their teeth. However, it may be easier for your child to brush their teeth and develop lasting healthy oral habits if an electric toothbrush is more appealing to them.

Better For Seniors

Older people benefit from electric toothbrushes because they are easier to grip. They are also easier to use thanks to vibrations that reduce the need for vigorous arm and hand movements. Electric toothbrushes are especially beneficial for people with arthritis.

Safe For Your Gums

A recent study found that those who use electric toothbrushes have better gum health. There is a direct correlation between gum conditions and cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and more. The bacteria in gum pockets enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation and bleeding in the gums can be significantly reduced with an electric toothbrush, as these tools are more efficient.

Brushing Customizability

Electric toothbrushes have a variety of settings and modes that allow you to customize your brushing experience. With their different modes, they allow you to brush at your own pace. Your electric toothbrush may have a gentler mode if you have sensitive teeth. You do not have this option with manual toothbrushes.

Electric Toothbrushes Cons

Electric toothbrushes are safe to use. Nevertheless, electric toothbrushes, like everything else, have some drawbacks, including

Cost More Than Manual

Compared to manual toothbrushes, they are more expensive. Electric toothbrushes range in price from $15 to $250. In addition, replaceable brush heads typically cost between $10 and $45 and come in multiple packs. Single-use electric toothbrushes cost between $5 and $8, plus batteries.

Also, not all stores carry the right replacement brush heads, and you may not find the right brand at your local store. Shopping online may be convenient for some, but it’s not the best choice if you need a new head right away. Buying in bulk will allow you to have enough to last a year or more, but the price will rise.

Not Suitable After Dental Surgery

As with any rule, there are some exceptions. For a few weeks after dental surgery, you may need a special toothbrush. According to a new study published in Scientific World Journal, using a soft manual toothbrush is the most comfortable way to recover from dental surgical treatments.

Manual Toothbrushes Pros

Are Electric Toothbrushes Better Than Manual Brushes

Manual toothbrushes have been around for a long time. You can use them to prevent gum disease and clean your teeth, even though they don’t have all the bells and whistles that electric toothbrushes offer. Here’s what manual toothbrushes have to offer:


You can buy a manual toothbrush almost anywhere, including grocery stores, gas stations, dollar stores, and pharmacies. Also, manual toothbrushes do not need to be charged, so you can use them anytime, anywhere.


Compared to electric toothbrushes, manual toothbrushes are less expensive. The price of a manual toothbrush ranges from $1 to $3, depending on the brand. Moreover, there is no additional cost to you as manual toothbrushes do not require batteries or power supplies.

Manual Toothbrush Cons

In addition to the limited but reliable advantages offered by this old-fashioned tool, there are also some drawbacks, including:

Hard To Use

One study found that people who use a manual toothbrush tend to brush too hard compared to an electric device. This can hurt your gums and teeth. Also, since manual toothbrushes don’t have a built-in timer, it can be difficult to determine if you’re brushing long enough.

Miss The Hard-to-reach Spots

When you buy a manual toothbrush, you should choose a compact brush head to make sure you brush your teeth well. Compared to electric ones, manual toothbrushes overlook hard-to-reach areas. Remember that a good technique, regardless of the choice of device, wouldn’t be complete without flossing.

Are Electric Toothbrushes Better?

Now that we have learned all essentials about electric and manual toothbrushes, it is time to answer the million-dollar question: Is one better than the other?

According to some studies, people who use electric toothbrushes have healthier gums, less tooth damage, and keep their teeth longer than those who use manual toothbrushes. A beautiful smile can be ensured by choosing the right electric toothbrush!

Bottom Line

For centuries, people have been brushing their teeth in one way or another. Toothbrushes with nylon bristles were first introduced to the market in 1938, while electric toothbrushes were invented decades later. Do electric toothbrushes work better than manual toothbrushes? In a word, yes! However, many factors come into play when choosing the right dental care plan. To find out which toothbrush and dental care plan is right for you, schedule an appointment or contact us, here at Dentists on Washington today!  It’s never too late to start taking care of your teeth.

What To Expect When Getting Your Wisdom Tooth Removed

What To Expect When Getting Your Wisdom Tooth Removed

Wisdom teeth are the lower and upper third molars; located at the back of the teeth and usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 21, which can be painful. Wisdom teeth can grow at the wrong angle and become lodged in the gums, causing radiating pain in adjacent teeth. An impacted tooth can cause pain not only in the gums, but also in the jaw, ear, and head. Usually, crowded teeth are the main cause.

According to the American Dental Association, wisdom tooth extraction may be necessary if you notice changes in these areas of your mouth. Repeated infections of the soft tissue behind the last tooth and fluid-filled sacs (cysts) can also be reasons for a wisdom tooth removal.

We call them wisdom teeth because they erupt at a more mature age. When they erupt properly, they help you chew. It is normal to feel uncomfortable when they appear. The problem starts when you experience acute pain.

Read on to learn what to do if you experience pain or consider having your wisdom tooth removed.

Signs & Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth 

Your Wisdom Tooth Removed

Below are some symptoms that indicate you should make an appointment with your dentist.


Infections of wisdom teeth are common. Pericoronitis is the medical term for an infection or inflammation of a wisdom tooth. According to a 2016 study, pericoronitis is the cause of tooth pain in 81% of 20-to 29-year-olds.

Jaw Pain

When wisdom teeth erupt, they can push against surrounding teeth and move or displace them. The movement causes discomfort in the jaw. Symptoms of this movement include pain, swelling, and stiffness that make it difficult to open the jaw or breathe.

Ear Pain 

When the gum or another tooth blocks the path of a wisdom tooth, it grows at an angle that causes damage to your gums and jaw. This situation causes ear pain, swelling, tenderness, or pain in the gums.

Neck pain 

The increased tension in the jawbone can sometimes spread to the neck, causing neck pain. Therefore, headache and neck pain are other symptoms of an infected wisdom tooth that you should remove.

Bad Breath 

An infected wisdom tooth can sometimes trap food, plaque, and other debris in the soft tissue around it. In this case, swelling, tender gums, tooth decay, or bad breath may occur.


Your dentist may advise you to remove your wisdom tooth without symptoms as a preventive measure. This may help reduce the risk of future problems such as swelling and tooth decay.

When you have wisdom tooth pain, your jaw feels stiff, hurts, and is difficult to open. You may also experience swelling in the back of your mouth or on the side of your jaw. The pain is hard to bear and is a symptom that you should have your wisdom tooth removed.

Preparing For A Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure

Wisdom teeth removal is an outpatient procedure, which means you can go home after the surgery. You may still want to take the day off from work before the procedure. After you confirm your appointment at the clinic, you will usually receive instructions on what to do before and during the surgery day. 

It is a good idea to ask the staff if you can go home without help or if you need someone to take you home.

Medical History

Another essential task is to discuss with the medical staff any medications you’re currently taking and your medical history. If you’re going to have your wisdom teeth removed, the information you give your dentist will help the doctor decide on the type of procedure and anesthesia you’ll receive.


Since the area is anesthetized, you should not feel any pain during wisdom teeth removal. If you feel pain during the procedure, you can ask your dentist to give you more pain relievers.

Surgery Time 

Depending on the type of wisdom teeth, removal can take different amounts of time. There are one-rooted, two-rooted, three-rooted, and four-rooted wisdom teeth. Sometimes the wisdom teeth are hooked. In other cases, they grow at an angle or horizontally under the gum tissue. If your wisdom teeth have decayed, food debris may remain between the teeth. Thus, pressure on an adjacent tooth or gum disease is inevitable.

Best Timing for Wisdom Teeth Removal 

If your dentist advises you to have your wisdom teeth removed, the younger you are, the better. Why? Because the roots of the teeth become fully formed as you age, making removal more difficult. Susan Sanders, D.D.S., and author of Blabber Mouth! 77 Secrets Only Your Mouth Can Tell You to Live a Healthier, Happier, Sexier Life, explains that after a certain age, the vessels in the jaw diminish, making healing even longer. She believes that even if one out of four [wisdom teeth] comes through in your lifetime, you be happier if you had them removed sooner.

What to Expect After The Surgery & How To Take Care Of Yourself

Swelling and discomfort are something everyone experiences after surgery. Healing and full recovery can take several weeks.

Bleeding: Bleeding may occur after you have your wisdom tooth removed. Do not spit excessively. Replace the gauze as instructed by your dentist or oral surgeon.

Pain: Pain medications prescribed by your surgeon will help a lot. Some over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, ibuprofen, and others) can also relieve pain.

Swelling and bruising: Putting an ice pack on your jaw may help relieve the pain. It may take a few days for the swelling to go down. It takes longer for bruising to subside.

Post-surgery activities: After wisdom tooth removal, you should take it easy for the rest of the day. Do not engage in heavy activities that may move the blood clot out of the alveolus.

Drinks: You should drink plenty of water after surgery. However, alcoholic, caffeinated, hot, or carbonated beverages are off-limits for 24 hours.

Food: When you have your wisdom tooth removed, it is best to start with soft foods such as soup, yogurt, applesauce, or rice. After that, you can continue with semi-soft foods. Spicy and hot foods can irritate the wound. Hard or chewy foods can get stuck in the socket and slow wound healing. 

Clean your mouth: To prevent infection, it’s important to take good care of your mouth after wisdom tooth removal. Your dentist may advise you not to brush or rinse your teeth, floss, or use mouthwash for the next 24 hours. You can rinse your mouth with warm salt water every two hours or after meals to keep the wound clean. You can continue to do this for the next week. Do not spit out the water when you rinse.

Smoking: Smoking and tobacco use can delay healing and cause further complications.

Bottom Line

There are numerous procedures and precautions to follow before having your wisdom tooth removed. To avoid further complications and problems that could affect your life forever, it is better to work with a professional team. You can contact us anytime to make an appointment for professional help.


A Routine Dental Check-Up in philly

Why Should You Go To A Routine Dental Check-Up?

A routine dental check-up is one of the best protective measures against tooth and gum disease. By identifying potential problems, your dentist can help you maintain good oral health. If dental issues are left untreated, they can lead to pain, and tooth loss, and make future treatment more difficult.

You should see your dentist every six months, but that does not necessarily apply to everyone. The time between dental check-ups can range from three months to two years, depending on the state of your oral health and the likelihood that you will experience complications in the future.

What Kinds of Risks to One’s Health Are Associated With Oral Disease?

In the dentistry literature, there is a growing body of research suggesting that diseased gums can be a precursor to numerous health issues, including the following:

1. Cancer

It’s crucial to know that although gum disease and periodontitis are not direct causes of oral cancer, they can increase the risk of developing this disease. This is one of the main reasons why regular dental check-ups and good cleanliness are essential.

Over the past decade, the number of people diagnosed with oral cancer has increased. The disease can affect the lips, tongue, cheeks, and throat. A regular dental check-up can help detect the early signs of mouth cancer.

2. Risk of Dementia

Poor oral health and loss of teeth can increase your risk of suffering from memory loss at an earlier age. If you have an infection that causes inflammation of your gums, this can also trigger inflammation in your brain, which can lead to the loss of certain brain cells.

Previous research has demonstrated that certain risk factors, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and a poor diet, can increase the likelihood of developing dementia. On the other hand, research on the link between poor dental health and the onset of dementia has been rather limited until recently.

A recent meta-analysis pooled the results of several other studies to examine the potential impact of oral health on cognitive decline and dementia. Periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease, was found to increase the risk of dementia later in life.

3. Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke

People who suffer from periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, have a higher risk of developing heart disease. This is due to bacteria entering the bloodstream through the gums and mouths of people who suffer from periodontal disease. These bacteria contribute to plaque formation in the arteries and problems with the blood flow in them.

4. Disorders of the Respiratory System

The bacteria that cause periodontal disease can make their way through your bloodstream and into your lungs, where they can affect your respiratory system.

What to Expect at Your Routine Dental Check-Up

Why Should You Go To A Routine Dental Check-Up

During your routine dental check-up, you will be asked some general health questions. Your dentist will ask you how your teeth have been since your last visit and if you have suffered from any recent toothaches or discomfort. They will also want to know whether you are taking any new or changed medications.

Your dentist should then take a look inside your mouth and carefully examine your mouth, teeth, and gums.

Your dentist will give you advice about oral care and adjusting your lifestyle habits (such as quitting smoking or changing your diet). If there are signs of dental issues. These habits lead to problems in the future, they will explain the risks and related treatments and costs that may be needed.

If you have developed calcified plaque, also known as tartar build-up, polishing and scaling will be required. This involves removing the plaque and tartar below the gum line.

Your dentist will advise you on the next steps if they discover other problems. It may be necessary to treat gum disease, restore decayed or broken teeth with fillings, or perform other tests to support the diagnosis. This may take the form of a written treatment plan.

If no treatment is needed, your dentist will tell you when to come in for your next check-up. Depending on your needs, this may be anywhere from 3 months to 2 years.

Taking X-rays

Dentists may occasionally take x-rays during your dental check-up. They not only allow your dentist to detect existing problems that may not be visible during a routine exam, but also those that may occur in the future.

In adults, x-rays can reveal cavities, impacted teeth, cysts, tumors, and abscesses. In children, x-rays can help the dentist see where adult teeth will erupt.

Your dentist may choose the type of x-ray you need and explain why you need one. The x-ray machine is set up by your dentist or dental assistant, who usually leaves the room before taking the x-ray. This is done to protect them from being exposed to too much radiation.

Your dentist will only take x-rays when necessary. The dentist should only take an x-ray of a pregnant woman in an emergency.

Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety is the fear or stress associated with a dental visit,  If you put off or skip dental treatment altogether, it may be due to dental anxiety. Putting off going to the dentist may result in worsening oral disease. It can increase the need for emergency care or more complicated treatment. As adults, we often hide our dental anxiety with elegance, but children have it on display.

An uncomfortable experience at the dentist or other health care setting, or the perception that the mouth is a private space and that access to the mouth is an invasion of personal territory, can all contribute to dental anxiety.

People who suffer from dental anxiety or phobia can be helped with a variety of different methods. If you experience dental anxiety, it is important that you tell the dentist. An open conversation with the dentist can help you both overcome the challenge together.

Psychological coping tactics include deep breathing, meditation, learning to distract yourself with music, and progressive muscle relaxation. There is also the option of conscious sedation.

Last Word

Routine Dental Check-Up is essential, even if you brush and floss thoroughly and frequently. We can examine the overall condition of your teeth and gums to look for early signs of oral health problems. Conditions such as tooth decay, gum disease, and cancer. At Dentists on Washington, we are proud to offer the best dental check-up to you in the area with a green, environment-friendly approach.

bread is bad for your teeth

5 Common Foods That Are Bad For Your Teeth

Do you believe “you are what you eat”? Well, you are, especially when it comes to your teeth. There are many common foods that cause plaque buildup, which can have serious health effects on your teeth.

Plaque is a bacteria-filled sticky film that contributes to gum disease and tooth decay. After you eat a sugary snack or meal, the sugars cause the bacteria to release acids that attack tooth enamel. Plus, plaque that’s left on your teeth for a long time can harden into tartar and lead to gum disease, a leading cause of tooth loss. Here are some common foods that are bad for your oral health:  


Bread is bad for your teeth 

bread is bad for your teeth

Yes, bread can be bad for your teeth. Think twice as you walk down the supermarket bread aisle. Bread is a starch – a carbohydrate – and when you chew bread, your saliva breaks down the starches into sugar.  When the bread becomes a gummy paste-like substance in your mouth, it sticks between your teeth. So, that can cause cavities. 

You don’t have to give up on bread completely, instead, choose bread that is less refined and better for your teeth. For example whole wheat bread or bread made from a variety of grains. They’ll contain less added sugar and won’t break down as easily as soft white bread.


Ice is bad for your teeth 

Ice is bad for your teeth

Ice is just water so you would think it’s all good right, but it’s not healthy to chew on ice. Chewing on a hard substance can damage enamel and make you susceptible to dental emergencies such as chipped, cracked, or broken teeth, or loose crowns. Ice doesn’t have any sugar, acid, or gummy plaque to worry about. However, ice is for keeping things cool, not for eating.

Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, but chewing ice can still cause damage. Tooth enamel is the first line of defense against cavities, and helps protect teeth from sugar and acid attacks. If tooth enamel is damaged by chewing ice, it can leave a tooth more vulnerable to acid attacks and tooth decay. 


Sour candy is bad for your teeth 

sour candy is bad for your oral health

Most people know candy is unhealthy and bad for your teeth. However, sour candy contains more and different kinds of acids that are tougher on your teeth. Sour candies are very acidic – some with a pH level close to the level of battery acid. Some sour candy is so acidic it can actually burn gums and cheeks. Sour candies might have less sugar than most sweet candies but are among the worst things you can eat in terms of oral health.

Plus, because they’re chewy, they stick to your teeth for a longer time, so they’re more likely to cause decay. If you crave sweets, grab a square of chocolate instead, which you can chew quickly and wash away easily. 


Potato chips are bad for your teeth 

potato chips are bad for your teeth

Potato chips are so satisfying to eat but it has a lot of starch. The starch becomes sugar that gets trapped on and between the teeth. Potato chips are often coated with sugary spice blends for flavoring which adds to the bacteria in the plaque. Potato chips get stuck in the crevices of our teeth, and bacteria love that, too. Since we often rarely have just one, the acid production from the chips lingers and lasts a while. 


Dried fruit is bad for your teeth

 dried fruit is bad for your teeth

Dried fruits are generally considered healthy foods, but they can be very harmful to teeth. Dried fruit is simply fruit that has had its water removed to some extent, leaving a shriveled, smaller version of its original form. Compared to fresh fruit, it’s more shelf-stable. However, some forms of dried fruit have sugar added to improve taste or texture. And some dried fruit is encrusted with sugar crystals or chocolate.

Because dried fruits are sticky, it can be hard to remove them from the grooves and pits of teeth. If bits of dried fruit are trapped in for too long, they decay and the sugar turns to acid. This acid feeds bacteria and helps destroy teeth.


Dentists On Washington has been named one of the best dentists in Philadelphia by multiple platforms. We take pride in our 5 Star Google Rating. We’re full-service dentistry providing Oral Care, Cosmetic Implants, Root Canals, Tooth Extraction, Invisalign Treatment, and much more in Philadelphia. We handle emergencies as well! Schedule Your Appointment.

What Are Those Tools At The Dentist?

What Are Those Tools At The Dentist?

When visiting your dentist, do you ever wonder what those tools did?  – Or when you walk into Your dentist’s office, the whirr of a drill or the sharp hook of a device you can’t even describe can send chills down your spine. Patients of all ages come to their regular dental checkups with a bit of fear in their eyes. By knowing what each tool does, you might be less anxious every time the dentist goes near your mouth. Here’s a brief guide to help you understand essential dental tools.


Mouth Mirror

Mouth Mirror - dentist tools

This harmless round mirror is used by dentists to reach the back of your mouth in order to see teeth that are hard to reach. It is also used to reflect light on a particular surface or soft tissue, allowing the dentist to better decide the best course of treatment for you.  This makes it easier to find tooth decay or other potential oral problems that would otherwise go undetected. Second, it gives the dentist an easy way to move your tongue or push on the inside of your cheek without doing so with their hands.


Dental Drill

Dental Drill - dentist tools

Now the dental drill might be the most feared of all tools. The sound of it is enough to make someone very uncomfortable or even scared. However, you will not necessarily suffer pain when we use this tool. It’s the most effective way to remove tooth decay before filling a cavity. This electric drill spins at over 250,000 rpm while shooting water into your mouth.  If the drill didn’t administer water, it would get hot enough to damage the tooth. Therefore, the amount of pain you suffer depends on the procedure rather than the use of this tool.



Scalers - dentist tools

Scalers are the hooked instruments that your hygienist uses to scrape plaque and tartar off your teeth.  Most patients who require scaling have more significant issues with periodontal disease, but everyone experiences some form of plaque buildup. When you eat or drink, tiny particles such as sugars and acids stick to your teeth, and bacteria forms. This harmful bacteria eventually cause tooth decay, and while brushing and flossing help remove most of this plaque, additional removal is sometimes required. It makes what many think is a very unpleasant scraping sound. While temporarily uncomfortable, you may quickly feel the difference between not having your teeth scaled compared to having them scaled!


Saliva Ejector or Suction Device

Saliva Ejector or Suction Device - dentist tools

What’s that little vacuum that sucks up your spit during a treatment? That’s the saliva ejector, which dries your mouth so the dentist can better perform their work. When a dentist is exploring your mouth, they often need a dry surface. A suction device is a long tube attached to a vacuum that removes saliva from your mouth. You may hear some vacuum sounds and feel the ejector stick to your cheek or tongue, but it’s nothing that should startle you. During treatments that involve the use of water, you may be regularly instructed to close your mouth in order to help the device clear the accumulated water.


Dental Syringe

Dental Syringe - dentist tools

Local anesthesia is injected into your gum lines through a dental syringe. They’re a bit longer than a typical needle or syringe so the dentist can hit the correct spot when administering the anesthetic. You may feel a slight pinch at first, but that is about it. After that, the local anesthesia will numb the nerves of your tooth and gums so that you won’t feel discomfort during your procedure.  If you’re a bit squeamish around needles, it’s probably in your best interest not to look at them, but it happens so quickly that it’s nothing you should fear.


Now you know the tools your dentists use. So the next time you visit the dentist, don’t be frightened by the different instruments that your dentist uses. Here at Dentist On Washington, we will make sure to make you comfortable and answer any questions to ease your fear! 


Dentists On Washington has been named one of the best dentists in Philadelphia by multiple platforms. We take pride in our 5 Star Google Rating. We’re full-service dentistry providing Oral Care, Cosmetic Implants, Root Canals, Tooth Extraction, Invisalign Treatment, and much more in Philadelphia. We handle emergencies as well! Schedule Your Appointment.

How Do I Get Rid Of Bad Breath?

How Do I Get Rid Of Bad Breath?

Bad breath, also called halitosis, can result from poor dental health habits, and be made worse by the types of foods you eat, and other unhealthy lifestyle habits. It can be embarrassing and in some cases may even cause anxiety. It’s no wonder that store shelves are overflowing with gum, mints, mouthwashes, and other products designed to fight bad breath. But many of these products are only temporary measures because they don’t address the cause of the problem.


Bad breath odors vary, depending on the source or the underlying cause. Some people worry too much about their breath even though they have little or no mouth odor, while others have bad breath and don’t know it. Because it’s difficult to assess how your own breath smells, ask a close friend or relative to confirm your bad-breath questions.


How Can Food Cause Bad Breath?

How Can Food Cause Bad Breath?

The food you eat begins to break down in your mouth and is absorbed into your bloodstream and move to the lungs, affecting the air you exhale.  If you eat foods with strong odors (such as garlic or onions), brushing and flossing — even mouthwash — merely covers up the odor temporarily. The odor will not go away completely until the foods have passed through your body. Other common foods that can cause bad breath include:


  • Cheese
  • Peanut Butter
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Pastrami
  • Certain spices
  • Orange juice or soda
  • Alcohol etc.

Surprisingly, being hungry can also contribute to the development of bad breath, as not eating for long periods can reduce the amount of saliva your mouth produces. This can lead to dry mouth. When your mouth becomes dry, bacteria that contribute to causing unpleasant smells have an easier time multiplying. Being hungry also causes changes in the bacteria and enzymes your mouth produces, which can occasionally cause weird smells to develop.


Treatments To Getting Rid Of Bad Breath

Treatments To Getting Rid Of Bad Breath

To reduce bad breath, help avoid cavities and lower your risk of gum disease, consistently practice good oral hygiene. Further treatment for bad breath can vary, depending on the cause. If your bad breath is thought to be caused by an underlying health condition, your dentist will likely refer you to your primary care provider. Also, for causes related to oral health, your dentist will work with you to help you better control that condition. Dental measures may include:


Mouth rinses and toothpaste. If your bad breath is due to a buildup of bacteria (plaque) on your teeth, your dentist may recommend a mouth rinse that kills the bacteria. Your dentist may also recommend a toothpaste that contains an antibacterial agent to kill the bacteria that cause plaque buildup.


Scrape your tongue. The coating that normally forms on your tongue can be a host for smelly bacteria. To get rid of them, gently brush your tongue with your toothbrush. If your brush is too big to comfortably reach the back of your tongue, try a scraper. It will apply even pressure across the surface of the tongue area. This removes bacteria, food debris, and dead cells.


Moisten your mouth. You can get tooth decay and bad breath if you don’t make enough saliva. If your mouth is dry, drink plenty of water during the day. Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugar-free hard candy. Also, try a humidifier at night to moisten the air in your house.


Treatment of dental disease. If you have gum disease, you may be referred to a gum specialist (periodontist). Gum disease can cause gums to pull away from your teeth, leaving deep pockets that fill with odor-causing bacteria. Sometimes only professional cleaning removes these bacteria. Your dentist might also recommend replacing faulty tooth restorations, a breeding ground for bacteria.


See your doctor. If your bad breath continues despite your best efforts, make an appointment with your doctor. They’ll check to see if your problems are related to a medical condition.


Dentists On Washington has been named one of the best dentists in Philadelphia by multiple platforms. We take pride in our 5 Star Google Rating. We’re full-service dentistry providing Oral Care, Cosmetic Implants, Root Canals, Tooth Extraction, Invisalign Treatment, and much more in Philadelphia. We handle emergencies as well! Schedule Your Appointment.


Smiling Improves Your Mood

How Smiling Affects Overall Health

There are many benefits to showing your pearly whites. Smiling can help relieve stress, and boost your mood. While smiling can improve your mental health, it might also impact the health of your teeth and gums. If you’re not confident about your smile, Dentists On Washington offers a variety of dentistry services like teeth whitening, veneers, and other services that can help give you the smile you want.

When you smile, your brain releases tiny molecules called neuropeptides to help fight off stress. Then other neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins come into play too. The endorphins act as a mild pain reliever, whereas the serotonin is an antidepressant. 


Smiling is a natural pain reliever


When you smile, your neurons tell your body you’re happy or excited and your body releases dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin – the neurotransmitters that make you feel great. There are many benefits to having those endorphins released, but one is that it’s a natural pain reliever. And the even better news? There are no negative side effects with this pain reliever.


It’s not just smiling that affects your mood. Some studies show that limiting frowning relieved depression in 27% of the patients studied. So, swap that frown for a smile and watch the mood-altering effects. 


Furthermore, smiling can boost your immune system. When you’re more relaxed, your immune system functions more effectively. A stronger immune system can protect you from dental health issues like infections and inflammation.


Lowers Blood Pressure

Smiling Lowers Blood Pressure

Laughter increases heart rate followed by muscle relaxation. This is followed by lowering the heart rate and blood pressure which reduces the risk of developing heart disease and prevents the buildup of fat and cholesterol. It was noted that this was followed by a period of muscle relaxation, lower heart rate, and lower blood pressure. 


When we are stressed, our heart rate increases and our blood pressure rises. Just like smiling through a worrying situation can help lower stress levels, smiling can also help lower blood pressure. According to Chris Norris, “smiling and laughing initially increases heart rate, then relaxes the muscle, and eventually decreases the heart rate and blood pressure.” Smiling isn’t just an expression you can wear, but a way to improve your overall health. More laughter could help reduce someone’s risk of developing heart disease!


Improves Your Mood

Smiling is a natural pain reliever

Smiling and laughing cause a number of physiological changes in your brain without you being consciously aware of it. For example, your brain releases endorphins, which will help you feel happier and be more positive. One study found that facial expressions, such as smiling, will improve your mood and increase positive thoughts. A study conducted by psychological scientists at the University of Kansas found that “smiling during brief stressors can help to reduce the intensity of the body’s stress response, regardless of whether a person actually feels happy.”


Smiling portrays confidence. The more you smile and the happier you are, the more self-confident you become. Smiling helps you seem more attractive, successful, and self-assured to others.


The health benefits of smiling are clearly well worth it!

It’s going to improve your well-being, give you a more positive feeling in life, and reduce the physical symptoms of stress. And you just need to flex a few facial muscles to reap the benefits. 

So try to spend time with friends who make you laugh, go to a comedy club, watch a funny movie or try laughter yoga! Spontaneous laughter is best but even if it’s forced at first you will still enjoy better health.

If missing teeth are preventing you from smiling then why not consider dental implants. They look and feel like real teeth making them an excellent solution to replace any missing teeth. 


Dentists On Washington has been named one of the best dentists in Philadelphia by multiple platforms. We take pride in our 5 Star Google Rating. We’re full-service dentistry providing Oral Care, Cosmetic Implants, Root Canals, Tooth Extraction, Invisalign Treatment, and much more in Philadelphia. We handle emergencies as well! Schedule Your Appointment.

Tooth Decay

How Sugar Destroys Your Teeth 

It’s common knowledge that sugar is bad for your teeth – sugar destroys your teeth and causes tooth decay. Proper dental health positively contributes to your mental, physical and social well-being, allowing you to enjoy all of life’s potential. Specifically, it allows you to eat, speak and socialize free of discomfort, pain, and embarrassment, the Canadian Dental Association says.


The Dangers of Sugar for Your Teeth

Your mouth is full of bacteria — many are beneficial, while others are harmful. The harmful bacteria feed on the sugar you consume and create acids that attack and damage your tooth enamel, the protective, shiny outer layer of your teeth. The acids from a bacterial infection could lead to cavities and cause holes in your teeth. Left untreated, cavities can advance past your enamel into your tooth’s deeper layers, leading to potential tooth loss and pain.


Fortunately, while the acids frequently attack your teeth, your mouth continually reverses the damage. Your mouth is in a constant state of demineralization, where acids are leeching the minerals from your tooth enamel. However, the natural remineralization process restores and strengthens your teeth once again. Your saliva plays a crucial role in this process — it contains essential minerals like phosphates and calcium, which are influential in repairing your teeth.


Sugar Attracts Bad Bacteria and Lowers Your Mouth’s pH

Sugar is like a magnet for bad bacteria. The two destructive bacteria found in the mouth are Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sorbrinus. Both of them feed on the sugar you eat and form dental plaque, which is a sticky, colorless film that forms on the surface of the teeth. If the plaque is not washed away by saliva or brushing, the environment in the mouth becomes more acidic and cavities may start to form.


The pH scale measures how acidic or basic a solution is, with 7 being neutral. When the pH of plaque drops below normal, or less than 5.5, the acidity starts to dissolve minerals and destroy the tooth’s enamel. In the process, small holes or erosions will form. Over time, they will become larger, until one large hole or cavity appears.

Tooth Decay

Tooth Decay


  • Sugar has a direct connection to tooth decay
  • After eating foods that contain sugar, these molecules combine with saliva and bacteria present in the mouth. This combination leads to plaque in the teeth
  • Left on teeth, plaque can dissolve enamel, which leads to cavities
  • To control bacteria and plaque on teeth, brush as soon as possible after eating


Gum Disease

  • Sugar destroys your teeth and leads to gum disease in the mouth. Once gum disease starts, it may advance if untreated
  • Gum disease can advance to periodontitis, which involves both gum tissues and the bones beneath the gums
  • The bacteria associated with periodontitis can travel throughout the body, invading joints, connective tissue, and organs such as the kidneys, liver, and lungs
  • Gum disease can lead to coronary artery disease. Bacteria that accumulate from periodontitis can cause blood clots that clog arteries
  • Marietta oral surgery may be necessary to treat advanced gum disease
  • A Marietta periodontist is available to assist with advanced periodontitis
  • Marietta cosmetic dentists assist patients with the appearance of teeth to resolve issues


The Different Types of Sugars 

The Different Types of Sugars

Sugar is sugar, no matter the form — including:

  • Maple syrup
  • Honey
  • Granulated
  • Molasses

And, don’t let incognito sugar fool you, either. Many manufacturers use sly pseudonyms to trick you into believing they don’t pack their food with sugar. Some examples of this are:

  • Corn syrup
  • Amazake
  • Fructose
  • Carob powder
  • Honey
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Maltose
  • Dextrose
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Fruit juice concentrate

No matter what form it comes in, sugar destroys your teeth and can cause cavities. Learning why sugar is bad for your teeth is a sensible start in preventing cavities.

Dentists On Washington has been named one of the best dentists in Philadelphia by multiple platforms. We take pride in our 5 Star Google Rating. We’re full-service dentistry providing Oral Care, Cosmetic Implants, Root Canals, Tooth Extraction, Invisalign Treatment, and much more in Philadelphia. We handle emergencies as well! Schedule Your Appointment.