Dental Hygiene and Exams
When it comes to your oral health, prevention is key. The best way to keep your mouth healthy is with regular exams and cleanings. Likewise, if you develop an issue, early detection allows us to quickly detect and treat it before it turns into something more complex.
Oral Hygiene at Home
A strong hygiene regimen begins at home. We recommend patients brush their teeth at least twice per day, and floss at least once per day. In doing so, you will be able to stay on top of the plaque and calculus (tartar) that build up over the course of the day. You will also be able to keep your teeth white, and your gums healthy. Water flossers and mouthwash are also great additions to your routine.
Dental Hygiene in the Office
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends cleanings and exams every six months for healthy patients. In most cases, this frequency is sufficient to ensure ongoing oral health, and to identify problem areas early on. Even the most diligent patients will have some plaque or tartar that they can't quite eliminate on their own. Our expert team will carefully remove any build-up as part of the cleaning portion of the appointment.
Your exam will begin with x-rays, so we can see if there are any signs of decay or any other issues below the surface. We will compare your x-rays with previous ones to look for signs your teeth are shifting, or to see if questionable areas noted previously have changed at all. Our dentists also look for cysts, signs of oral cancer, and bone loss. If everything looks good, and there are no signs of periodontal disease or other issues that prevent us from completing your cleaning, we will proceed with that portion of the appointment.
During your cleaning, we will remove plaque, calculus, and stains with our ultrasonic scaler. We will look for any signs of inflammation in your gums, which is a sign of periodontal disease. We also polish your teeth to give you a great. healthy smile.
Addressing Problem Areas
If we find anything of concern during your visit, we will inform you of what we found, and show you these areas on your x-rays. We will make treatment recommendations based on your needs, your medical history, and what we feel is your best course of action.
Some situations prevent us from being able to complete your cleaning at this appointment. The most common reason is the presence of periodontal disease. When periodontal disease is present, this means your gums are red and inflamed because of added bacteria that will not be removed with a standard cleaning. We must complete periodontal treatment to get that infection under control before we can resume regular cleanings.