Cleanings / Exams
Your teeth need professional cleaning for:
- Fresh breath
- Cavity and tooth loss prevention
- Early detection of cancer, gum disease, and bone loss
- Money saving preventative care
- Overall mouth health and total body wellness
Regular dental cleanings and exams are a vital part of maintaining the health and wellness of your mouth, teeth, and gums. Even if you follow a strict routine of brushing and flossing after every meal and restrict sugar and sweets from your diet, you are still failing your teeth if you don’t have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined at least twice a year. Regular dental cleanings and exams give your dentist a chance to diagnose any issues with your teeth and gums and provide a preventative care plan for long-lasting dental health. Dental cleanings and dental exams occur during the same appointment and both of these services are equally important.
The main focus of the dental cleaning is to remove plaque and tartar that usually gets missed with regular brushing and flossing at home. Plaque is caused by the bacteria that naturally live inside your mouth. The bacteria create a film layer on your teeth usually starting at the gumline. Plaque is completely normal, and dentists expect patients to come in for their regular cleaning with some plaque on their teeth, but the dangers of plaque shouldn’t be underestimated. If you maintain a diet of simple carbohydrates and sugary foods, the bacteria can start to produce acids that are highly damaging to your teeth. Leaving plaque to grow for too long can lead to serious gum disease and tartar build up. Tarter is what happens to plaque when it hardens and calcifies. Tarter can live both above and below the gumline, and the tough material must be removed by a professional.
During your dental cleaning, your hygenist will use special tools to remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth as well as any other food debris that may have been left behind by your toothbrush at home. Once all of the debris has been removed, using an abrasive polishing paste, your hygeniest will polish your teeth to prevent plaque buildup between cleanings.
During your dental examination, your dentist gathers crucial information about your teeth and how to care for them. Dental exams usually include imaging, screening and a detailed assessment by your dentist. X-rays give your dentist the opportunity to see what’s going on below the gumline and get a good look at the roots of your teeth. When reviewing your x-rays, your dentist is looking for any signs of decay, tumors, damage to the roots of your teeth or loss of bone in the jaw and infection. After your images have been reviewed, your dentist will screen your mouth for gum disease, and oral cancer. Dentists are trained to notice the warning signs of these serious conditions and early detection could make or break the success of treatment. Between the x-rays and screenings, your dentist now has a pretty good picture of your mouth health but the next step completes the comprehensive exam. Your dentist will use sterile tools to check every tooth individually to ensure no signs of decay have been missed. Once your exam and cleaning are complete, your dentist will have all the information needed to adequately treat any conditions and provide preventative care for your pearly whites.