Dental Hygiene

Prevention and education are two of the most important aspects of a successful dental plan. As a part of Bowser Dentistry’s advanced dental hygiene services, York dentist Dr. Bowser evaluates your oral health and determines your level of risk for diseases like tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. A personally tailored, prevention-based dental plan is then created for you. AtBowser Dentistry, our dental plans include regular exams and professional cleanings performed by our skilled hygienist every six months, as well as personalized instructions on how to implement the best at-home dental hygiene practices to preserve the beauty of your natural smile.

Dental Hygiene Services

Sometimes additional treatments are required to maintain optimum oral health. At Bowser Dentistry, our array of hygiene services includes:

Gums and teeth benefit from brushing and flossing, but dental plaque and stains build up on tooth surfaces over time, leaving hard deposits that cause decay and that brushing, rinsing, and flossing alone can’t remove. At Bowser Dentistry, our York, PA dentist, Dr. Bowser, creates dental plans that include teeth cleanings every six months. Professional dental cleanings are one of the simplest preventive measures that can help you maintain and enjoy a lifetime of good oral health.

What Is a Professional Teeth Cleaning?

Having your teeth cleaned regularly helps prevent gingivitis, tooth decay, and loss of enamel from teeth. The type of cleaning you will need depends on the extent of the plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth. If buildup is extensive — which can result in inflammation of the gum tissue and some bone loss — a deep cleaning may be required.

Ultrasonic Cleaning

During a professional teeth cleaning, our dental hygienist will use traditional instruments as well as an ultrasonic scaler to remove plaque, tartar, and stains that cannot be removed by brushing and flossing alone. An ultrasonic scaler achieves the desired results more comfortably by using a spray of water to remove the hardened debris, minimizing the scraping affect produced by traditional tools. A deep cleaning takes more time to complete than a traditional cleaning, and can even take up to 1 1/2 hours per side. During this process, the gums may feel sore, and local anesthetic may be applied to minimize any discomfort that may occur.

Teeth-Cleaning Services

Services your hygienist will perform during your teeth cleaning include:

  • A review of your dental and medical history
  • An oral cancer screening
  • An evaluation of your overall oral health
  • X-rays to detect decay
  • A deep cleaning to remove stains, plaque, and tartar
  • Fluoride application
  • Sealants
  • Polishing of all teeth
  • At-home oral health education and instruction



How much does a teeth cleaning cost?
How much teeth cleaning costs depends on your particular dental situation and the extent of the plaque and tartar that needs to be removed. At Bowser Dentistry, we offer a variety of financing options so that you can afford and plan for the type of cleaning that best serves your needs.
Does a professional cleaning whiten teeth?
A professional teeth cleaning will remove stains and your teeth will appear whiter; however, if you are looking for a dramatic change, at Bowser Dentistry, we offer teeth-whitening services that can give you a dramatically whiter smile quickly and affordably.
What at-home teeth-cleaning products are the best?
Dr. Bowser recommends looking for dental products with the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. Pick toothpaste with fluoride in it to fight cavities. Your rinse should also have fluoride and bacteria-fighting properties.

Most often fluoride and its use in dental treatments is associated with children and the strengthening of their young, vulnerable teeth. Although fluoride is important for young children, it is beneficial for adolescents and adults of all ages as well. In fact, new research indicates that fluoride’s role in fighting tooth decay as we age is just as important as its role in the strengthening and protection of newly developing teeth. That’s why at Bowser Dentistry, as a part of our commitment to preserving your smile, York, PA dentist Dr. Bowser encourages patients to receive a fluoride treatment as part of their routine oral health care.

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found in both food and water. It aids in the prevention of tooth decay and cavities by making teeth resistant to the acids created by plaque and sugars. Fluoride is deposited on tooth enamel when you eat foods and beverages that contain it; it is lost when the acids produced by plaque and sugars eat away at the enamel of a tooth. Tooth decay occurs when the amount of fluoride lost outweighs what is being deposited.

Fluoride Treatments

A fluoride treatment involves applying fluoride topically to teeth. The in-office fluoride treatment is simple, painless, and fast, and it involves applying fluoride in the form of varnish, gel, or foam directly onto the teeth. This can be accomplished by wearing a mouthguard filled with the foam or gel or by having varnish painted directly onto your teeth.


Who needs a fluoride treatment?
Dr. Bowser may suggest that dental fluoride treatments be included as part of your regular dental plan if you are at moderate to high risk for cavities. Similarly, if you have a history of restorative work, gum disease, sensitive teeth, or a variety of other conditions, you may be more susceptible to tooth decay, and regular fluoride treatments can play an essential role in maintaining a healthy, white smile.
Can you have a fluoride deficiency? Can you have a fluoride overdose?
If you do not get enough fluoride, you may suffer from a fluoride deficiency, which may lead to increased cavities and weak bones. Though extremely rare, fluoride overdose can occur if you take more than the recommended amount. Symptoms of overdose include abdominal pain, headaches, and weakness. Call poison control immediately if you think you have overdosed.
Are at-home fluoride treatments effective?
Fluoridated toothpaste and mouth rinses can be used as at-home fluoride treatments. However, the fluoride concentration in these applications is much weaker and less effective than that found in in-office treatments.
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, tooth decay is the most prevalent and preventable chronic disease in children and adults today. Tooth decay is typically symptomless until there’s already a cavity or a tooth abscess (an infection at the root of a tooth or in the gums), both of which can lead to pain and tooth loss if left untreated. That’s why atBowser Dentistry, we make prevention of tooth decay your dental plan’s primary focus.
Anatomy of tooth decay

What Is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay occurs when the mouth’s naturally occurring, harmful bacteria combine with the sugars from food, producing acids. Over time, the acids eat away at your tooth’s enamel, causing tooth decay and eventually cavities or dental caries. Symptoms of tooth decay or a tooth abscess include:

  • A toothache
  • Swelling in the gums
  • Bad breath/taste in the mouth
  • Gray, brown, or black spots on your teeth


If you have a diet high in sugars and carbohydrates, drink from a water source that does not contain fluoride, or suffer from reduced salivary flow, you may be at risk for tooth decay. Young children are at higher risk for decay than are adults.

Preventing Tooth Decay

Successful preventive care requires good oral hygiene practices at home and routine visits to the dentist. At Bowser Dentistry, our York dentist Dr. Bowser understands that finding a dentist you have confidence in is key to maintaining a healthy smile, so we put extra effort and time into forming a long-term, trust-based relationship with all of our patients.

The following are steps you can take at home and during your routine dental visits to prevent tooth decay and improve your overall oral health:

  • Eat healthy foods that are low in sugar.
  • Brush and floss a minimum of two times each day.
  • Use a mouthwash or rinse regularly.
  • Schedule routine visits and cleanings.
  • Consider having regular fluoride treatments, especially if you don’t get fluoride in your drinking water.
  • Have dental sealants applied to your back teeth if they are free of fillings and decay; dental sealants are especially effective at protecting children’s teeth.


Treatment of Tooth Decay

If you have been diagnosed with tooth decay, the best course of treatment will depend on its severity. The following treatments are used once decay has eaten through tooth enamel:

  • Filling: The decay is removed and Dr. Bowser fills the hole with one of several types of materials, based on your preference, returning it to its natural form.
  • Crown: If your tooth is severely damaged, a tooth-shaped cap is made to replace the damaged area.
  • Root canal: If an infection has reached the pulp of your tooth, Dr. Bowser will remove the infected area and replace damaged or missing parts of the affected tooth with a crown.
  • Extraction: If the extent of the decay is severe, removal of the damaged tooth may be necessary.



What is a tooth abscess?
A tooth abscess is an infection that occurs at the root of a tooth or between the tooth and gum as a result of severe tooth decay trauma. Signs that you may have a tooth abscess include fever, tooth pain/sensitivity, bad breath, swollen glands, swelling in the gums or upper or lower jaw, and open sores.
Is tooth pain a sign of tooth decay?
Tooth pain can be a sign of tooth decay or other oral health issues. If you are experiencing tooth pain, you should contact our provider and have it diagnosed immediately.
Is tooth extraction necessary if you have tooth decay?
Tooth extraction may become necessary in severe cases of tooth decay. Extraction will only be considered after every possible avenue that preserves the tooth is exhausted.
At York’s Bowser Dentistry, we believe it’s our job to protect your whole health by providing superior, long-term preventive and restorative dental care. When your oral health declines, so does your overall health, as demonstrated by gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Gum disease is not just a serious dental concern; it has been linked to heart disease and diabetes, as well as low birth weight in children born to women suffering from it.

Comparison of health gum tissue and inflamed gum tissue

Click for larger view

What Is Periodontal/Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen, bleeding, or receding gums, as well as bad breath, painful chewing, and loose teeth. It starts when plaque is found in the mouth and hardens into a substance called tartar, which can only be removed with a professional cleaning. If plaque and tartar are not removed, the bacteria eventually cause a mild form of periodontal disease called gingivitis, in which the gums bleed and become red and swollen. Gingivitis is still reversible, and it can be treated with a professional dental cleaning and regular brushing and flossing. However, when left untreated, the gum disease worsens, leading to an advanced form called periodontitis that can cause severe damage to the soft tissue that supports the teeth, resulting in infection and eventual tooth loss.

gum disease plaque and tartar buildup

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Gum Disease Treatments

At Bowser Dentistry, York dentist Dr. Bowseroffers a variety of periodontal therapy treatments that address gum disease at its various stages. Periodontal therapy begins with a consultation and exam, so Dr. Bowser can determine the stage of the disease and develop a treatment plan. Treatments may include:

  • Professional dental cleaning: Dr. Bowser will remove the plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. If you have gingivitis or signs of periodontitis, you will be required to have this level of cleaning twice a year or more.
  • Scaling and root planing: Plaque and tartar are scraped away from both above and below the gum line while under local anesthetic (scaling). Rough spots on the tooth root are then smoothed out (planing). Locally applied medications, such as antimicrobials and antibiotics, may be used.


After you receive your treatment, you will be given instructions on specific oral hygiene techniques to use regularly at home. In severe cases of periodontal disease, surgery may be required to remove deep pockets of harmful bacteria.


When is gum surgery necessary?
Gum surgery becomes necessary when the gum tissue around the teeth is too unhealthy to be repaired with nonsurgical treatments.
How can you prevent gum disease?
Routine professional dental cleanings and regular at-home oral hygiene practices that include brushing and rinsing at least twice a day and flossing regularly will help prevent both gingivitis and periodontal disease.
What is a gum graft?
During a gum graft, tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth and attached to the affected gum line, allowing more tissue to grow and cover the exposed root surface.
What is a gum or periodontal abscess?
A gum or periodontal abscess occurs when a pocket of pus collects within the gum. It happens when tissue disintegrates as a result of a bacterial infection in the gums or tooth roots and supporting bone.

Our Commitment

A vital part of our standard of care at Bowser Dentistry is taking time to get to know your oral health history, your lifestyle, and your smile concerns so our cosmetic dentist can, in partnership with you, design the smile of your dreams.


Bowser Dentistry
on Market

2161 East Market Street
York, PA 17402
Phone: 717-757-3474

Monday: 8 am - 5 pm
Tuesday: 8 am - 5 pm
Wednesday: 7 am - 5 pm
Thursday: 7 am - 1 pm
Friday: 7 am - 1pm

Bowser Dentistry
at Wyntre Brooke

85 Wyntre Brooke Dr.
York, PA 17403
Phone: 717-747-0115

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 8 am - 5 pm
Wednesday: 8 am - 5 pm
Thursday: 8 am - 5 pm
Friday: 8 am - 5 pm

Request Appointment

Request an appointment by calling 717.757.3474 or by using our online form.

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