By brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing each day, you will effectively fight plaque build-up and promote a healthy mouth. This alone isn’t 100 percent sufficient, as no amount of brushing can rid you of plaque or tartar once present. The only way to fully eradicate plaque and tarter is through a professional dental cleaning by a dental hygienist. That’s why the American Dental Association recommends that you get a professional cleaning/checkup at least every six months, and most dental plans cover two preventive maintenance/cleaning treatments per year.
By sticking to regular preventive care appointments you will:
- Stop plaque build-up. Plaque is a sticky, bacteria-filled deposit that adheres to your teeth, and when it accumulates excessively, can result in tartar, which discolors your teeth.
- Guard against tooth decay. Tooth decay happens over time, and if untreated, can lead to tooth loss. Through preventive cleanings and checkups we can diagnose issues that cause tooth decay and develop a plan to save affected teeth.
- Stop gum disease before it worsens. Visiting your dentist regularly is one of the best ways to detect gum disease/gingivitis in its earliest stages, so we can treat the problem before it causes significant damage.
Each visit, our hygienists will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums for potential problems, including signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and more. We’ll also occasionally take digital x-rays of your mouth to understand what’s happening beneath the surface of your teeth and gums and discover issues as early as possible. How often we’ll take x-rays depends on your medical/dental history and current condition. While some people may only need x-rays every couple years, others may need them as often as every six months.
Should the dentist (or hygienist) find signs of tooth decay or gum disease, they may advise you to alter your brushing or flossing habits. In more severe cases, they may suggest antibiotics or further dental treatments. If you had x-rays during your visit, the dentist will share what the images reveal about your teeth.
Before the actual cleaning process, our dental hygienists first inspect the surface of your teeth to determine if you have any cavities and to check the condition of any existing fillings. We’ll then perform a “periodontal exam” to check the health of your gums. This exam involves taking measurements of the “pockets” that separate the teeth and gums, which can contain bacteria and other issues related to gum disease as they grow.
Following the exam, our hygienists will remove any tartar from your teeth and thoroughly clean and polish them. They will also floss your teeth and apply fluoride. You’ll leave with a clean, sparkly smile and a healthy mouth.
If you don’t already have your next preventive exam and cleaning scheduled, we recommend you contact Corson Dentistry as soon as possible to set one up. By doing so, we’ll help keep your smile looking good by reducing staining caused by foods and drinks, and more importantly, will help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, and avoid potential costly corrective procedures down the road. We’ll then get you booked on a regular six-month appointment schedule to keep your mouth healthy for years to come.