Thomas Family Dentistry

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Personalized Hygiene Care

How can we help you?

If you are considering our Hermitage dental office for your family's dental care, we want you to feel confident and informed.

Choosing a dentist is a big decision, and having questions is completely natural.

Here are some of the most common questions we hear from patients. Please feel free to read them below. If you do not see yours listed, just give us a call or email us from our Contact Us Page.

Personalized Hygiene Care

Kid's dentistry | Hermitage, PA | Thomas Family DentistryBaby Teeth Play a Major Role in Adult Health

As a parent, it is not uncommon to assume that caries (cavities) on baby teeth are of no concern. Though understandable, this is something that is frequently misunderstood. Your child's baby teeth play a major role in the health and functionality of their adult dentition. 

There are a few reasons why we treat child caries. First and foremost, baby teeth are much smaller in size compared to an adult tooth, and the caries process can travel very quickly through the enamel into the inner structures of the tooth. If the decay reaches the most inner portion of a tooth, there is a risk of infection, which then conducts the need for a root canal and/or more extensive treatment. 

dentist for kids | Hermitage, PA | Thomas Family DentistryTreating Cavities Encourages Good Oral Health

We strongly encourage keeping baby teeth until their natural shedding time because these baby teeth hold the space needed for the adult teeth to erupt properly. Thus, having your child's cavity treated ensures its longevity until it is ready to shed. 

Sometimes, if the cavity is in its beginning stages, we can monitor them at each visit until they warrant treatment. If you think your child has a cavity, or he/she complains of a tooth hurting, schedule an appointment with us today to see what your child needs.



Toothbrsuh| Hermitage, PA | Thomas Family DentistryAs you know, brushing and flossing are essential to maintaining good oral health! How you do it can have as much of an impact as for how often you do it. 

Here are some tips to get the most out of your home care:

  • Brush at least twice daily.
  • Brush for two minutes.
  • Floss at least once daily.
  • Use proper brushing techniques.

Proper brushing techniques:                                                                         

  • Brush your teeth for at least two minutes.
  • Make sure to cover all surfaces (including the backs of your teeth).
  • Angle the toothbrush toward your gum line to gently remove the plaque that collects there.
  • Use the tips of the bristles to clean your teeth; never press hard.
  • Replace your toothbrush frequently – every 2-3 months.
  • If you have a cold or flu, replace your toothbrush.
  • Do not rinse after brushing your teeth. It removes valuable fluoride.

Toothbrush Head | Hermitage, PA | Thomas Family DentistryProper flossing techniques:

  • Make sure to get an extended length of floss for the job! You’ll need about 36 inches.
  • Wrap the floss around your middle fingers and grab a section with your index fingers, about an inch apart.
  • Gently slide the floss between your teeth and make a C-shape around the tooth. As you floss, move your fingers to use a clean piece every time.
  • Be sure to clean both sides of your teeth on either side of your papilla (the small V-shaped gum tissue between your teeth)
  • Do not be forceful, but do glide the floss until you feel resistance.
  • Floss the backs of your teeth, as well.
  • If you have widely spaced teeth, use woven floss.
  • If your teeth are crowded, use waxed floss or floss tape. 

If you have questions, we are always happy to demonstrate!



Do you feel like every visit to your Dentist's you are being informed to floss more? Do you floss frequently but your gums still seem to bleed? Flossing seems simple, but there is a trick to the technique that will give you the best results for your gums. Here's how we do it-

Technique is Key in Flossing. Follow this Step by Step:

  1. Grab a long strand of floss the length of your forearm
  2. Wrap the floss around your middle finger so you can use your pointer finger and thumb to grab and control the floss
  3. Place the floss through the contact of the two teeth and wrap the floss completely around the back tooth first
  4. Gently move the floss up and down 3-4 times, assuring you get below the gumline until you feel pressure
  5. Move the floss forward to wrap around the other tooth, and repeat step 4.
  6. Repeat for all contacts between all teeth

Tips and Tricks for Flossing:

  • Start in the same place each time- this allows you to create a habit, ultimately making you quicker with each use!
  • Can't reach the back? Try the floss piks, interdental piks, soft piks, etc.
    • These can be found at Walmart, any drug store, Dollar General, etc.
  • Water piks can be used in conjunction with traditional floss, but should not be used solely. 
  • Only floss the teeth you want to keep!

We hear this question a lot, and we want to help you get the most out of your home dental care routine! Toothbrushing is as much about technique as it is about your toothbrush. We can help you choose one that is right for you.

Things to look for in a toothbrush:

  • Electric toothbrushes are best! At TFD, we love Philips Sonicare and Oral-B brands!
  • Always use a SOFT bristled brush- medium or hard are too abrasive to your gums
  • A two-minute timer- incorporated in your brush or something on the side
  • Change your brush head or brush every 3-4 months
  • Always get a new brush after you've been sick

Great bristles make a great toothbrush

The bristles need to be soft. If they are too firm, you can damage your delicate gum tissue. Never use a denture brush or a hard-bristled toothbrush on your teeth.

When you brush, use the tips of the bristles. Those are what do the work of cleaning your teeth. Pressing hard will not clean your teeth better and can hurt your gums.        

Also, your toothbrush (or brush head if using an electric/power brush) should be changed out approximately every three months! Those bristles collect germs, and you don't want to be spreading them around your mouth when brushing your teeth. Store your toothbrush in an aerated location to ensure it can dry after use.

Crest toothpaste | Hermitage, PA | Thomas Family Dentistry Oral B toothbrush | Hermitage, PA | Thomas Family Dentistry 

  Philips electronic toothbrush | Hermitage, PA | Thomas Family Dentistry Sonic care | Hermitage, PA | Thomas Family Dentistry   

If you are looking for a new dentist, you probably wonder if we will offer what you need. We take pride in providing our patients with a wide range of services so that the families in our community can receive consistent, quality care in our office.

The services we provide at our Hermitage, PA dental office:

If your service is not listed here, give us a call!

You probably notice that we offer numerous services you might not find in other general dentistry practices. We want to make getting the care you need comfortable and convenient. That being said, it is important to remember that we always wish the best for you and if you need a referral, we will give you the information about one of our trusted specialists.

We believe in providing excellent value for our patients by maintaining consistently high-quality dental care that gives you a great outcome.

Give us a call and learn more about how we can help you achieve the healthy, beautiful smile of your dreams. Our entire team is dedicated to making your dental experience a positive one!

At Thomas Family Dentistry, our goal is to make your first visit easy and as comfortable as possible. When you call to make your new patient appointment, you will be asked to provide basic information, dental insurance information, complete the new patient registration form and have previous records forwarded. It is helpful if you provide information to our staff over the phone about your dentition such as: date of last exam/cleaning, if you have any removable appliances (partials or dentures), if you have been previously diagnosed with periodontal disease or if you have been referred by another office.

To help us make your visit flow smoothly we ask that you have the information below prior to your visit:

  • New Patient Registration Form Completed
    • Medical History filled out thoroughly
    • Dental Insurance information completed (if you have it) 
  • Previous Dental Information and X rays forwarded
  • Medication List
  • Verified with Dental Insurance that we are a participating provider

We look forward to your first visit with us! If you have any questions prior to your appointment text or call (724)347-2722 and one of our staff members will be more than happy to help you. Remember at Thomas Family Dentistry we LOVE to see you SMILE!

Thomas Family Dentistry in Hermitage PA



Your first visit to the dentist | Hermitage, PA | Thomas Family DentistryYou will notice the difference from your very first visit to our office!

Welcome to the Office

When you first walk into our office, you will be greeted by Shanequa, Sam or Megan at the front desk where you can check in and sign any outstanding forms needing to be completed.

Meet the Team and Get X-Rays

From then, you will be taken back with your registered dental hygienist, Leia, Jen or Shelby, where you will discuss any questions or concerns that you would initially like addressed. 

Next, you will have radiographs (x-rays) taken which will allow us to get a full, comprehensive image of each tooth in your dentition. Not only do these radiographs give us great baseline information that we can reference for changes in time, but they allow us to see any issues in their early stages that are not visible to the naked eye.

Building Your Dental Chart

From then, we will examine your teeth clinically and create your very own dental chart with any existing work you may have done or additional work needing to be done. 

We will create a periodontal probing chart for you by taking small measurements at the gum line of each tooth to evaluate attachment levels. Periodontal attachment levels are vital to your overall oral health. At our office, we want to ensure that your teeth's surrounding structures are sound before investing any time and money into restorative work. Our periodontal (gum) exam allows us to determine the type of dental cleaning you will need. We know that most people want a dental cleaning, and we don’t blame you! Beating that clean, fresh feeling is hard! Don’t worry if you have some catching up to do! Our hygiene team is thorough, yet gentle, and they work toward helping our patients enjoy a comfortable, healthy smile.

A Comprehensive Exam By Our Doctors

Dr. Thomas or Dr. Peters will perform a comprehensive dental exam and identify any dental conditions that require your attention. We will discuss this with you and never leave you in the dark. At Thomas Family Dentistry, our main goal is to ensure that you, yourself, are involved in treatment needs, decisions and priorities in conjunction with our dental recommendations. 

You will have time to ask questions at your exam. We believe in open communication so you can achieve your health and cosmetic goals for your smile. If there is something you would like to learn more about, we are here to answer your questions!

Your child's first visit to the dentist | Hermitage, PA | Thomas Family DentistryWe See Children At Any Age

If you have a specific concern, we’re happy to see children at any age. In general, however, we usually like to start seeing them around age 2-3. At this age they often have most of their baby teeth, making it the ideal time to begin monitoring their dental development

Every child reacts differently to dental visits, so it’s essential for us to take things slowly, giving them plenty of time to adapt to the new experience. It’s crucial that their first few trips to our office are entirely free of stress. Too many adults still avoid dental visits because of a negative experience as a child.

Start With A Slow Introduction

We’ve found it’s a good idea to have your little ones accompany their older siblings to dental appointments. This introduction is a perfect low-stress way to allow them to get to know us and get used to the new sights and sounds of a dental office.Children at the dentist | Hermitage, PA | Thomas Family Dentistry

If you don’t have older kids, we encourage you to make an appointment for a “happy visit.” This visit serves the same purpose – your child comes in to meet us and get used to the new faces, sights, and sounds of a dental office. We may take a look at their teeth if they’re receptive, but we don’t usually plan on doing any dental work during these early visits.

Schedule Your Child's First Appointment

Is it time for your child’s first dental visit? Please call Thomas Family Dentistry, and we’ll be happy to arrange a time for you to bring your child in to meet us!




oral cancer screening | hermitage pa dentist Preventative Care Could Save Your Life

Over 28,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed annually according to the American Cancer Society. 

Many people assume that your dental visits are solely for your teeth and gums, but dental professionals are explicitly trained from the head and neck, up! The most common location for oral cancer to appear is the lateral border of the tongue. With that being said who, better than your dentist, to check for oral cancer? Not to mention, this is a location that is commonly overlooked in other medical settings. For these reasons, we make it a point to perform an oral cancer screening at each checkup. 

Contact Us

An oral cancer screening only requires a few moments to complete. We will palpate your glands and lymph nodes, check all oral tissues for any lesions, check both sides of the tongue and the floor of the mouth. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and oral cancer screening. 

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