Prevention and early detection are keys to achieving and maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile. General dentistry services at All About Smiles means coaching you on the best home regimen, in addition to encouraging regular cleanings and exams. These simple steps can spare you many expensive dental treatments.
Regular dental cleanings, performed by a registered dental hygienist, are a crucial part of preventive dental care. Evidence has shown a link between bacteria in your mouth and many potential health concerns. By removing plaque and tartar, your dental hygienist enhances your oral health and minimizes your risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease. Your dental hygienist will utilize manual instruments to scale away moderate plaque and tartar buildup, or an ultrasonic device to scale away heavier buildup. The cleaning is finished with polishing, a pleasant procedure that cleans the surface of teeth, removes stains, and leaves your mouth feeling clean and refreshed.
No matter how diligent you are in your home dental care regimen, you should still get a dental exam and cleaning twice per year. The importance of regular dental exams cannot be overemphasized – dental exams are the cornerstone of good dental health. In particular, regular checkups are essential for early detection of more serious problems. Early detection makes treatment easier, less expensive, and more effective. In your dental exam, your dentist will perform the following routine checks: ▪ Examine and assess gum health; check for gum disease. ▪ Examine any existing tooth decay. ▪ Take and analyze x-rays, which may reveal decay, bone loss, abscesses, tumors, cysts, and other problems. ▪ Screen for the presence of oral cancer. ▪ Verify the stability of any existing fillings or other restorations. ▪ Inform you of all findings and make treatment recommendations.
As damaging as plaque can be, it is easily removed by mechanical brushing. Plaque deposits build up on the teeth fairly quickly after eating and drinking, and if they are not brushed away at least twice a day, they can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease. It takes just one day for bacteria to build up enough to make your mouth susceptible to disease.
Daily flossing is an effective way to clean teeth where regular brushing can’t reach. To floss properly, take 18″ of dental floss, wrap it around the middle finger of each hand, and pinch it between your thumb and index finger. Pull the floss taut, then slide it gently between each tooth and under the gum line. Slide the floss up and down the side of each tooth to remove plaque buildup. Be sure to use a clean section of floss as you move from tooth to tooth.
Over-the-counter mouth rinses can help to fight bad breath, remove loose food particles after brushing, and freshen the mouth. However, mouth rinses are never a substitute for brushing, flossing, or regular dental examinations, and may disguise warning signs of periodontal disease.