Dental exams and cleanings are the foundation of maintaining or improving your oral health. Regular dental exams allow your dentist to closely monitor your oral health for any signs of potential problems. Regular dental cleanings decrease your risk of tooth decay and gum disease by removing plaque and tartar, which harbor the bacteria responsible for these common dental issues.
Did You Know?
Regular dental cleanings have a variety of benefits including: preventing cavities and tooth loss, removing stains to brighten your smile, freshening your breath, and boosting your oral and overall health.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How often do I need a dental exam and cleaning?
The American Dental Association recommends that you should have a dental exam and cleaning every six months. In some cases, however, your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings, especially if you are at an increased risk of developing tooth decay or gum disease. Has it been over six months since your last dental appointment? If so, then schedule an appointment with Maxtown Family Dental today.
What should I expect during a dental exam?
During a dental exam, your dentist will evaluate your teeth, gums, and bite. They may use a pointy metal tool known as an explorer probe to gently touch each tooth and check for stickiness that could indicate decay. They will also measure the depth of your gum pockets to check for signs of gum recession that could be related to gum disease. The overall alignment and function of your bite will also be evaluated by asking you to smile, and open/close your mouth.
Another integral part of your dental exam are dental x-rays. Oftentimes, dental x-rays are taken by a technician before your dentist examines you. Dental x-rays allow your dentist to evaluate your underlying bone structure and can also show cavities that may be missed by a visual examination alone. Several different angles will be taken of your teeth and bite. Any findings from your dental x-rays will be discussed during your examination.
What should I expect during a teeth cleaning?
There are a few main steps to having your teeth cleaned. For starters, a dental hygienist will use a tool known as a dental scaler to remove excess plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the surface of your teeth. In some cases, this is a small metal tool with a point edge, while in other cases a water scaler may be used instead. Either way, both types of scalers are effective against removing debris from the surface of your teeth.
After a dental scaler has been used to thoroughly clean the front and back of every tooth, then your teeth will be brushed with a gritty tooth[aste to ensure all the debris is removed. Your teeth will be flossed to remove debris from between the teeth, then rinsed clean. The final step of a teeth cleaning is to have a fluoride treatment placed on the surface of your teeth. This can be a polish or a foam, and it may be flavored.
How should I care for my oral health in between appointments?
Although regular dental exams and cleanings can decrease the risk of dental issues, you will still need to be an active participant in your oral health management. This means that in between dental appointments, you should be sure to brush twice a day, floss daily, and use mouthwash if instructed by your dentist. It is also beneficial to avoid excess sugar, as well as highly acidic foods since they can damage your teeth. Finally, you should wear any dental appliances as directed by your dentist.