Dental cleanings are important for keeping teeth and gums clean and healthy – especially since some patients have difficulty reaching their back teeth when brushing and flossing. Cleanings are a gentle and non-invasive method for preserving and maintaining gum health and cleaning around the teeth so that tartar and plaque accumulation are controlled. Even if you clean your teeth thoroughly, you will still develop tartar that needs to be removed. A form of calcified plaque, tartar cannot be removed by flossing or brushing and must be removed with professional-grade dental instruments through a dental cleaning.
During our dental checkups, our dentists will look for signs of tooth decay, enamel wear and gum disease. We will also use diagnostic tools to evaluate the health of tissues beneath the surface – specifically the roots of teeth and the jaw. Diagnostic imaging can assist in revealing congenital and developmental abnormalities that might require the attention of a specialist such as an oral surgeon or orthodontist. All of us have the potential of developing common oral health conditions including dental caries and inflamed or irritated gums (periodontal disease). Many times, these conditions develop due to diet and poor oral hygiene practices. Regular dental checkups can help your dentist identify these problems before they advance and sometimes prevent them from happening at all.
Preventing oral disease is one of the most important aspects of dentistry. While prevention certainly begins with practicing proper oral hygiene, maintaining a healthy diet and visiting our office regularly, there are some treatments we can administer that help strengthen teeth to prevent dental injuries and tooth decay. Two of the most common preventive dental treatments include the administration of fluoride and the application of dental sealants.
Tooth enamel is made of minerals, and when exposed to strong acid, its mineral content (and strength) can be stripped away. A naturally occurring mineral, fluoride is scientifically proven to strengthen teeth by attracting minerals to the surface of tooth enamel, which will ultimately help replenish lost mineral content. Strong, healthy tooth enamel is key in protecting teeth against cavity causing bacteria. Fluoride treatments are quick and easy and involve simply applying a fluoridated varnish or gel to the teeth.
Dental sealants are another preventive method for protecting teeth from bacteria and decay. Using a disease-resistant, plastic compound, sealants are applied over the pits and grooves of the teeth and quickly hardened with a curing light. This ensures that the biting surfaces of the teeth are more protected against damage and harmful bacteria.