Cleanings and comprehensive oral exams are the mainstays of protecting your dental health. By removing plaque, tartar, and food particles, dental cleanings reduce your chance of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Dentists recommend that patients of all ages book cleaning appointments every six months.
Dental Cleanings and Exams Step-By-Step
- Comprehensive Oral Exam: The first step in dental cleaning is a complete oral examination. The dentist checks your teeth and gums for signs of abnormalities and evaluates your oral health. They examine your teeth to determine whether you have decay or gum disease symptoms. At each visit, the dentist also checks your head and neck for signs of oral cancer.
- X-Rays: The dentist takes digital X-rays at every other cleaning appointment, typically once a year. X-rays check for cavities, bone problems, abscesses, and other hidden issues.
- Cleaning: The dentist or hygienist removes plaque and tartar with special tools. Removing this buildup makes your smile more attractive. It also helps to prevent decay and periodontal disease from occurring in the future.
- Polishing: The dentist polishes the teeth to remove deposits and enhance your smile. Your teeth will feel smooth and clean.
- Sealants: Children and teens with permanent molars receive dental sealants once per year. The dentist or hygienist brushes a polymer material onto the patient's molars to prevent food and plaque from collecting in the deep crevices in these teeth and reducing the chance of tooth decay.
- Fluoride Treatments: Children and adults may receive fluoride treatments to help harden the tooth enamel and prevent future decay. The treatments may come in the form of varnishes, gels, and foams.
Caring For Your Teeth at Home
In addition to having your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year, you must practice excellent oral hygiene at home. Brush twice daily with an approved, non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once daily. Assist your children in brushing and flossing until the age of 8 or 9, when they can take care of it themselves.
If you notice any problems like the signs of gum disease, more spacing between teeth, or dental pain of any kind, call your dentist as soon as possible for an evaluation.
The Importance of Dental Cleanings
Cleanings not only protect your smile's appearance and enhance your oral health. Twice-annual cleanings should begin when babies' first teeth erupt, usually between six and 12 months of age. If you have existing periodontal disease, you may need scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) several times per year to help keep your condition under control.
Call Fabey Dental Studios
Keeping up with dental cleanings can boost your oral health and keep your smile beautiful and bright. Ensure that you make appointments every six months to protect your teeth. Call our Easton, PA office at 610-810-2704 to schedule an appointment for a cleaning today.