Cleanings and Exams
Maintaining a healthy mouth starts at home. It is recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once every day. These steps are critical for the prevention of serious oral health issues, including gum disease and cavities. However, even with regular brushing and flossing, these issues can still occur. To help you optimize your oral health, it is recommended that you have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined at least twice a year, or every 6 months. Olson Family Dental can help.
Even if you are vigilant in your daily brushing and flossing at home, there are some areas of the mouth that are more difficult to reach than others. Even if you think you are completely cleaning your teeth, you may be missing areas, or not cleaning them well, which can lead to cavities and gum disease. Regular professional cleanings are designed to aid you in the fight against these oral health issues. With the use of specialized tools, we can clean all surfaces of your teeth, even the ones that you might overlook.
Cleanings begin with a thorough scraping of the visible surfaces of your teeth, removing plaque, tartar, bacteria, and other debris. We also pay close attention around, and just below the gum line, where buildup can irritate the gums. After the teeth are scraped clean, they are polished. A dental polish containing abrasives is used to scrub the surfaces of your teeth. This is done with an electric handpiece outfitted with a rotating head. With a polishing, your teeth are left smoother, cleaner, and brighter. Finally, we floss your teeth. This is done to remove debris that you may have missed as well as debris and polish that may have accumulated in the process of your cleaning. If necessary, we can complete your cleaning with a fluoride treatment.
Regular dental exams typically occur in the same visit as your cleanings. Where cleanings help to prevent oral health issues from occurring, exams allow us to detect the presence of issues, or potential issues, and administer treatment before they become serious. We look over the surfaces of your teeth, checking for chips, cracks, decay, and cavities. Your gums are assessed for redness, swelling, and other signs of gum disease. We also look over the other soft tissues in your mouth, checking for unusual growths, changes, and other abnormalities. This is part of an oral cancer screening, a quick but essential component of your routine exams.
Dental X-rays are also taken during regular exams, although not at every visit unless necessary. These images allow us to see the hidden areas of your mouth, including between the teeth and under the gums. We can spot cavities, root damage, bone loss, and more. After your mouth has been examined, we take time to speak with you regarding your oral care habits and your lifestyle habits. We can provide you with advice such as improving brushing and flossing as well as quitting smoking. We also make sure to take the time to answer any questions that you might have regarding the health of your mouth.
If it is past time for you to have your next cleaning and exam, now it the time to schedule an appointment. Give Olson Family Dental a call today at (203) 663-3316.