Cleanings and Exams
The American Dental Association, or ADA, recommends that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day to keep your mouth healthy. Brushing and flossing help to remove plaque and bacteria buildup from the surfaces of your teeth, reducing your risk of developing serious oral health issues such as tooth decay and gum disease.
While these steps are important, they are only a part of the equation. The ADA also recommends that you have dental visits at least twice a year. While two visits may not seem like much, they play a crucial role in optimizing your oral health. At Spring Creek Family Dentistry, we can help you to keep your mouth healthy with dental cleanings and exams with a focus on your comfort.
Regular brushing and flossing are crucial for preventing the buildup of plaque and bacteria in your mouth. However, even if you follow the ADA guidelines, there are some areas of the mouth that are harder to reach than others, and they can often go untouched. So, even though you think you are doing a good job brushing and flossing, you can still experience cavities and gum disease. Professional cleanings help to eliminate even the hard to reach buildup, completely cleaning the surfaces of your teeth.
Your cleaning is a straightforward process. We begin by scraping all surfaces of your teeth, including between the teeth and just below the gum line. We use a special tool that enables us to remove all buildup from your teeth, including the most stubborn tartar, which cannot be removed by brushing. After your teeth have been scraped, we polish them. This is done with an electric hand piece and a dental polish that contains abrasives, allowing us to polish your teeth to a beautiful finish. Finally, we floss between your teeth, removing any lingering buildup, including loose debris and polish that may have collected during your cleaning. We can also provide you with fluoride treatment, if necessary.
Exams are typically done in the same visit as your cleaning. They allow us to take a close look at the condition of your teeth, gums, and other oral structures. When we examine your mouth, we are looking for any signs of damage, decay, infection, or other oral health issues. Many oral health issues, in their earliest stages, exhibit no symptoms. By catching these problems early, we can provide you with prompt treatment, preventing them from growing worse.
Your exam consists of a visual exam of the visible structures within your mouth. We look at your teeth, gums, and soft tissues, checking for signs of damage or infection. Another part of the visual exam involves an oral cancer screening. During this screening, we check your soft tissues for abnormalities and look at your face and neck for signs of swelling. After completing the visual exam, we will ask you about your oral care routine and your lifestyle habits. We can provide you with tips on how to improve your hygiene routine and answer any questions that you may have.
Dental X-rays are another crucial part of your oral exam, but they are not often taken at every visit. X-rays allow us to see the hidden structures of your mouth, including the areas between the teeth, the tooth roots, the periodontal ligaments, and the jawbone. We can check for signs of damage and decay, check developing teeth and any potential developmental issues, and monitor the health of your jawbone. X-rays can also be very helpful in formulating treatment plans for any issues we may find.
Cleanings and exams, along with your regular at-home oral care routine, help to keep your whole mouth healthy. If it is time for your first exam at Spring Creek Family Dentistry, call to schedule your appointment today at 503-659-9658.