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August 30, 2017

Your First Children’s Dentistry Appointment

young boy with healthy smile thanks to children's dentistry The majority of patients who fear the dentist report a negative childhood dental experience caused their phobia. At Donald Marks Family Dentistry, we go above and beyond to ensure every single patient is completely comfortable in our office – and that includes children! We love working with young patients. Our team members chose to enter the dental field because we care about people and want to help them keep their smiles healthy. We want young patients to love visiting our office and caring for their smiles at home. Keep reading to find out more about children’s dentistry or contact our State College dental team to schedule your child’s first appointment today.

November 12, 2015

Get the Facts on ClearCorrect Clear Braces State College

Woman straightening out her smile with clear braces state college, PA residents trustIf you’ve ever been told you need braces but said no because of the time, hassle, discomfort, or embarrassment of traditional metal, the ClearCorrect alignment tray system may be right for you. For many years, metal brackets and wires have been used to correct crooked, gapped, and misaligned teeth by tightening wires that pull brackets shifting teeth into proper alignment. Traditional orthodontics are extremely effective, but treatment impacts every aspect of patients’ lives. Bracket and wire braces require regular visits for tightening and adjustment, changes to diet and oral hygiene routines, take as long as 24 months to complete, and give patients a metallic smile. Thanks to advances in orthodontics, our State College, PA dental patients have a more cosmetic, convenient solution: the ClearCorrect alignment tray system.

July 21, 2015

Proper Tooth Brushing Techniques

ThinkstockPhotos-474108613Brushing your teeth may be a habit that you take for granted. After all, most people begin to brush their own teeth around the age of 2 or 3 (with some adult backup), but what many of us don’t realize is we’ve never updated our tooth brushing techniques. Our teeth require different hygiene and care at different stages of our lives. One of the most essential elements of dental hygiene is proper tooth brushing, but if you’re still brushing the way mom or dad taught you as a child, you may not be cleaning your teeth effectively. Let the skilled staff at Donald Marks Family Dentistry help you make the most out of your daily tooth brushing routine. Call to schedule a dental hygiene appointment with our State Park, PA dental practice today.

Tooth Brushing Recommendations from the Dentist State College, PA Trusts

When it comes to brushing, we recommend double checking the basics:

  • Brush twice a day – brushing once in the morning and once before going to sleep is routine, and a 3rd brushing following your afternoon meal can be beneficial as well. However, all things should be done in moderation, and this includes tooth brushing. Done more than 3 times a day, brushing can damage gums.
  • Check your brush – If you’re using a brush labeled “hard bristled,” one that is not American Dental Association approved, or one that is more than 3 or 4 months old, throw it out and get a new one. The ideal tooth brush should be soft or extra soft bristled to minimize damage to gums and maximize dental cleaning results. Always look for the ADA seal of approval when purchasing dental hygiene items as these have undergone more rigorous testing for effectiveness. Replace toothbrushes every 3 to 4 months to prevent contamination and maintain optimal brushing effectiveness. This includes mechanical tooth brushes. Make sure to purchase a mechanical brush that has replaceable heads.
  • Check the clock – If you’re not brushing for at least two minutes, you are not thoroughly cleaning each tooth. Brushing longer than two minutes is even better. Many people gauge their brushing time using a timer, by brushing for the length of an entire song, or by brushing through a commercial break on television. Whatever trick you use, make sure to set aside at least 2 minutes every morning and evening to brush your teeth.
  • Brush gently – Whether you apply a great deal of pressure while you brush or just a little, you are likely going to remove the same amount of plaque from your teeth and gums. Brush gently to avoid damaging soft tissue or causing gum recession. Holding your toothbrush with only 2 to 3 fingers like a pen, pencil, or paintbrush is a great way to build the habit of brushing with less pressure.

The Bass Method for Brushing

Many people are taught to brush their teeth as children using big circles or back and forth motions with the bristles flat against the outside and tops of teeth. Many children are never taught to brush the inside of their teeth at all. While these methods may be effective for children with poor hand eye coordination who are just developing the necessary motor skills to keep up their hygiene, there’s a reason we don’t brush our hair or wash our bodies the way we did when we were 3. Why would we continue to brush our teeth that way? For patients who want to start a more effective brushing routine, the Bass method is an option the team at Donald Marks Family Dentistry highly recommends.

How the Bass method works:

  • Place your brush at a 45 degree angle to your teeth, against the gum line.
  • Quickly move the toothbrush back and forth. The bristles should remain stationary while only your hand and the brush move.
  • Count to ten, gently flick the bristles toward the biting surface of your tooth to shift plaque out from under gums, and proceed to the next tooth.
  • Continue this process for each tooth inside and out.
  • To clean the tops of teeth, place the brush flat on your biting surface and move back and forth keeping bristles stationary as you did with your other teeth.
  • Count to ten and move to the next tooth. Continue until each tooth has been cleaned.

The Bass brushing method is preferred by many dentists and hygienists because it encourages increased periodontal care, and maximizes the effectiveness of each brush stroke. Ask your dental hygienist to explain or demonstrate effective brushing techniques for your, unique bite next time you visit our office.

Contact us for More Information

We’re always here to help, no matter what your dental care needs, but we’re dedicated to improved preventive care so our patients are more likely to retain their natural smiles for life. Call Donald Marks Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment today. Our State College, PA dental practice welcomes patients from neighboring communities Spring Mills, Centre Hall, Huntingdon, Altoona, Penns Valley, Boalsburg, Lemont, Bellefonte, Lewistown, and Phillipsburg.


November 10, 2014

Tis the Season to be Healthy! Dental Care for a Healthier Holiday Season


Although the holidays may lead many of us to consume more sugary treats and alcoholic beverages than usual, we don’t have to give up our healthy smiles. You can make dental care a priority and help keep your family’s teeth and gums healthy despite the abundance of cavity causing food and drinks this season. After you’ve adopted some healthier habits, be sure to make an appointment with Dr. Marks and Dr. Martin at Donald Marks Family Dentistry today.  Keeping on top of your family’s regular dental check-ups is the easiest way to ensure that their teeth stay in tip top shape this holiday. Donald Marks Family Dentistry is conveniently located on University Drive and provides quality dental care to patients of all ages throughout State College, PA, Park Forest Village, Spring Mills, Centre Hall, Huntingdon, Altoona, Penns Valley, Boalsburg, Lemont, Bellefonte, Lewiston, Philipsburg, Port Matilda, University Park, Pleasant Gap, and Hollidaysburg.

5 Important Holiday Dental Care Tips

  1. Don’t Savor the Flavor- To reduce the risk of damage from drinking highly acidic red and white wines, refrain from swishing the wine around in your mouth and try drinking water between glasses of wine to rinse the acid from your teeth and gums.
  2. Get Help From Cavity Fighting Foods- Holiday goodies like cookies, chocolate and candy canes contain high levels of sugar that promote the growth of cavity-causing bacteria. After eating sweet treats like these, try drinking fluorinated tap water, chewing sugarless gum, eating a piece of cheese or drinking a glass of milk. Each of these cavity fighting foods contain ingredients that help increase saliva flow, wash away bacteria and strengthen the enamel.
  3. Just Say No to Stress- As you get stressed over the holiday season, your oral hygiene routine can suffer. Make a conscious effort to pay special attention to your home dental care habits to combat tooth decay. Since teeth grinding and clenching can increase with heightened stress levels, this is also a great time to see the dentist for a custom fitted night guard to protect your teeth.
  4. The Perfect Stocking Stuffer- Help your family care for their teeth by stuffing their stockings with new toothbrushes. Dentists recommend that toothbrushes be changed at least once every three months.
  5. Avoid Sticky Situations- Holiday favorites like fruit cake, candy canes and caramel popcorn can wreak havoc on your teeth. These hard and sticky substances can be difficult to remove and can also easily injure your gums or fracture a tooth. Try avoiding them this season altogether.

Holiday Dental Care Appointments in State College, PA

Give your family the gift of a healthy smile by making an appointment with Dr. Marks and Dr. Martin at Donald Marks Family Dentistry today.  Their family dental care office is conveniently located on University Drive and proudly serves families throughout State College, PA, Park Forest Village, Spring Mills, Centre Hall, Huntingdon, Altoona, Penns Valley, Boalsburg, Lemont, Bellefonte, Lewiston, Philipsburg, Port Matilda, University Park, Pleasant Gap, and Hollidaysburg.

October 10, 2014

Dental Health for Athletes

76649015If you are an athlete or you lead an athletic lifestyle, your physical fitness is a top priority. Yet many athletes don’t realize that good dental health is an important part of achieving top physical performance. Recent studies have even found that hundreds of world class Olympic athletes suffer from dental hygiene issues regularly. This is because many of the habits that athletes develop to maintain their physical condition can lead to dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease. Dr. Marks and Dr. Martin help athletes keep their teeth and gums healthy at his University Drive dental office in State College, PA. You can make an appointment with the doctors today to proactively tackle your oral health.

Dental Health Concerns for Athletes

One risk of decay is caused by the daily use of sports drinks, which can actually be more damaging to teeth than sodas because of high acidity and large amounts of sugar. Athletes often have intense training regimens that require maximum physical performance. To refuel during these workouts, many athletes consume energy and sports drinks, protein bars, and eat frequent meals throughout the day, all of which can be detrimental to your oral heal. Excessive sweating could also cause dehydration, which reduces the amount of saliva in the mouth. Saliva plays a vital role in protecting the teeth from decay by rinsing away harmful bacteria and restoring tooth enamel.  Athletes can place a lot of stress on their teeth from clenching and grinding while exerting maximum effort during training or competitions. These habits can also wear down the health of an athlete’s teeth and worsen the damage caused by tooth decay. Athletes also have an elevated risk of tooth, gum and lip injuries.

Dental Health Care for Athletes in State College, PA

There are important steps to take to protect the health of your teeth and gums if you are an athlete or lead an athletic lifestyle. The first is to switch from sports drinks to water to keep hydrated. Also, try to gut down on supplements or meal replacements that are high in sugar. To protect teeth from injury, and to minimize the effects of clenching or grinding your teeth, it’s also important to wear a custom fitted mouthguard. Due to the increased risks of dental problems, athletes should also see a dentist more often than non- athletes. You can contact Dr. Marks and Dr. Martin today to schedule your next appointment. Dr. Marks and Dr. Martin are conveniently located on University Drive in State College, PA and proudly serves patients from surrounding Park Forest Village, Spring Mills, Centre Hall, Huntingdon, Altoona, Penns Valley, Boalsburg, Lemont, Bellefonte, Lewiston, Philipsburg, Port Matilda, University Park, Pleasant Gap, and Hollidaysburg.

July 7, 2014

Comprehensive Dental Checkups for State College Community

shutterstock_149625803Many people underestimate the importance of biannual dental checkups. Though some think that the only time they should see their dentist is when a problem arises, that could not be further from the truth. By looking at the state of your smile every six months, we are able to prevent issues from arising as well as treat any existing problems. Dr. Donald M. Marks and Dr. John A. Martin strive to convey the importance of dental checkups to their patients, and they are able to offer them comprehensive examinations when they walk into our State College dental office.

One of the things that are included in our dental checkups is full examination of your soft tissues. Gum disease affects millions of people every year, and it is the most common disease people face aside from the common cold. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to many dangerous ailments, such as heart disease, dementia, stroke, bone loss, tooth loss, and much more. If we discover signs of gum disease during your checkup, we will do everything in our power and rectify the issue immediately.

We also inspect each and every tooth in your smile, looking for any signs of decay and deterioration. We use DIAGNOdent, a noninvasive laser, to detect any signs of decay in your smile, and begin your treatment as soon as possible to prevent it from spreading. We also screen all of our patients for oral cancer, making sure there are no underlying issues that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Though many may not realize it, the alignment of your bite plays a large role into your oral health, and we check and make sure everything is aligned correctly to ensure your wellbeing. If we find any signs of teeth grinding or TMJ, we are able to provide our patients with TMJ therapy. If it is time for you to have your dental checkup with our doctors, make an appointment today, and we will be sure to make sure your smile is beautiful, bright, and healthy!

Call our State College dental office for an appointment. We are able to take care of whatever general, cosmetic, or restorative dental need you may have! We serve patients from Park Forest Village, Spring Mills, Centre Hall, Huntingdon, Altoona, Penns Valley, Boalsburg, Lemont, Bellefonte, Lewiston, Philipsburg, Port Matilda, University Park, Pleasant Gap, and Hollidaysburg.

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