Preventing Problems Before They Start
The health of your teeth and mouth is very important to the well-being of your entire body and, while routine brushing and flossing at home is necessary to keep your smile looking its best, visiting the dentist for a comprehensive exam and cleaning is essential. The American Dental Association recommends that you visit the dentist every three to six months to ensure your gums and teeth stay healthy and your smile stays beautiful.
By routinely seeing the dentist for exams and cleanings, you can:
- Prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath
- Save money by avoiding costly and extensive dental procedures
- Keep your teeth white by reducing staining from food and drinks
- Shorten the time spent in the dentist's office
- Have a smile that will last a lifetime
During your exam, our dental hygienist will complete an intra-oral/extra-oral cancer exam and our dentists will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other health problems. We may also want to take X-rays to see what is happening beneath the surface of your teeth and gums. These digital images will help us discover dental issues not visible to the naked eye.
Our dental hygienist will begin your cleaning by exploring the surface of your teeth to determine if you have any cavities and to examine the quality of existing fillings. The hygienist will perform a periodontal exam to detect any periodontal disease or bone loss that may be occuring.
Next, the hygienist will carefully clean your teeth with a variety of tools to remove any hard mineral buildup (tartar) from your teeth. The hygienist will floss your teeth, use a polishing compound, and apply fluoride. Cleanings should not be uncomfortable, but if you have any anxiety about your dental exam/cleaning, be sure to let our hygienist know. They may offer nitrous sedation to ensure your comfort.
In severe gum disease cases, we may recommend antibiotics or other dental treatments. With higher decay risk patients, we may recommend prescription strength fluoride toothpaste as well as suggesting in-office fluoride varnish treatment. If your teeth and gums appear to be healthy, we will probably recommend that you continue your brushing and flossing routine as usual.