Preventing Problems Before They Start
The health of your teeth and mouth is very important to the well-being of your entire body and while routine brushing and flossing at home is necessary to keep your smile looking its best, visiting the dentist for exams, x-rays and cleanings is essential. The American Dental Association recommends that you visit your dentist every six months to ensure your teeth stay healthy and your smile stays beautiful.
By routinely seeing your dentist for exams and cleanings, you can:
- Decrease tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath
- Save money by avoiding costly and extensive dental procedures
- Keep your teeth white by reducing staining from food and drinks
- Shorten the time spent in your dentist's office
- Have a smile that will last a lifetime
During your exam, your dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth, teeth, tongue and gums for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other health problems. Your dentist will take X-rays to see what is happening below the surface of your teeth and gums. The images provided will help your dentist diagnose dental issues not visible to the naked eye.
Your dental hygienist will begin your cleaning by exploring the surface of your teeth to determine if you have any cavities and to examine the quality of existing fillings. The dental hygienist will then perform a periodontal exam to make sure your gums adhere tightly to your teeth, and no periodontal disease or bone loss may be occurring.
Next, your hygienist will carefully clean your teeth with a variety of tools to remove any hard mineral buildup (tartar) from your teeth. They will then floss your teeth, use a polishing compound, and apply fluoride. Cleanings usually aren't painful, but if you have any anxiety or discomfort be sure to let your hygienist know. The hygienist will also discuss diet, oral hygiene, and home dental care for optimal dental health.