DENTAL CLEANING & CONSULTATION
Preventative care is a foundation of dentistry. The American Dental Association recommends visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups (usually about twice yearly) which may include dental cleanings, examinations, radiographs, and consultations for potential treatment. Professional dental cleanings help remove dental bio-film (plaque) and calculus (tartar) that is not removable using conventional brushing and flossing. Often, dentists are also capable of identifying potential problems that patients are not yet able to see or feel. When you maintain regular preventative dental appointments, you can prevent decay and gum disease, as well as identify the beginnings of oral health problems before they become severe.
Did you know…
that Americans are less and less likely to visit the dentist as they age? Data from the Centers for Disease Control reports that only 57 percent of Americans over age 65 visited the dentist in 2010. That compares to about 61 percent adults under age 65 and about 79 percent of children ages 2 to 17. Nonetheless, it is important to visit the dentist for cleanings and exams regardless of how long has passed since your most recent dental appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I really need to have my teeth professionally cleaned?
Yes. Even if you brush and floss after every meal and before bed, bacteria-harboring plaque can accumulate in the tiniest crevices, grooves and pits. Overtime, the teeth will begin to decay in those areas, which may result in pain and partial or total tooth loss.
What should I expect at my cleaning and exam consultation?
Your cleaning and consultation will consist of a visible examination of the teeth and gums. If you haven’t been to the dentist in awhile, you may also require radiographs for a more comprehensive view of your teeth. The dental cleaning consists of your dental hygienist using special instruments to remove biofilm and hardened biofilm (plaque/tartar) from your teeth. Your teeth will be polished before your dentist discusses any treatment recommendations he or she may have for you. At that time, you can also consult with your dentist about any oral health problems you may have been having or questions that you may have. Please be aware you may need more treatment than a cleaning, depending on the amount and extent of biofilm (plaque) and calculus (tartar) accumulated in your mouth.
What types of guidelines should I follow after my visit?
In between dental cleanings and consultations, be sure to maintain good oral habits at home. This includes daily flossing and brushing after meals. It’s also important to drink fluoridated water and use a fluoridated toothpaste.