Why Are Dental Cleanings Important?
Dental cleanings are important for several reasons. Most importantly, they prevent serious oral health problems that lead to tooth loss and gum disease, require invasive treatment, and increase your risk for serious health conditions.
During dental cleanings, we also examine your teeth to look for signs of infections, tooth decay, and oral cancer. When these problems are caught early, they are reversible. Dental cleanings utilize a philosophy of early detection and prevention, which is a surefire way to keep your oral health in check.
Cleanings also freshen your breath by removing bacteria that cause foul odors and brighten your teeth by removing surface stains and plaque. Even when you practice good oral hygiene at home, it’s nearly impossible to remove all of the bacteria, food particles, and plaque from your mouth without regular visits to the dentist.
We will remove plaque buildup before it hardens into tartar. If you already have tartar accumulation, this can only be removed at a dental cleaning and leads to gum disease, so it’s incredibly urgent that you monitor your oral health and attend regular dental cleanings. Contact us at Cornerstone Dentistry today to schedule a cleaning with Covington dentist Dr. Keleigh Lascari.
The Importance of
Preventative Dental Care
Maintaining the health of your existing teeth is crucial because tooth loss contributes to bone resorption which is irreversible unless you replace teeth with expensive and time-consuming dental implants.
Bone loss comes with many consequences, including facial sagging, the collapse of facial features, and an increased risk of future tooth loss. Through oral exams, we can look for signs of active oral health problems that may lead us to take a deeper look with digital x-rays.
X-rays show us what’s laying beneath the surface, which we can’t see with our eyes. Tooth decay, impacted teeth, infections, and bone loss often don’t always show physical signs until it’s advanced.
X-rays are a useful preventative tool that shows us what we wouldn’t be able to tell from an oral exam alone. Other preventative tools like fluoride treatments and periodontal care prevent cavities and gum inflammation.
What To Expect At Your
Dental Cleaning Appointment
First, Dr. Lascari will examine your teeth to look for signs of receding gums, abnormal tissues, discolored teeth, damage, or cavities. We perform an oral cancer exam by looking for signs of lesions like cysts or pigmentation in the mouth.
If we detect anything, we will take a biopsy and send it off for lab testing. Depending on the last time you had x-rays taken or if we have any reason to suspect there are active oral health problems, some digital scans may be taken.
After the examination portion of the appointment is over, we will begin the prophylactic cleaning by scaling around the gum line and between the teeth to scrape off plaque and tartar. This is done with a scaler or ultrasonic cleaner.
Then, we polish or brush your teeth with a powerful electric toothbrush. The combination of the electric toothbrush and gritty toothpaste helps us to deep-clean your teeth to remove surface stains, bacteria, and left-behind food particles.
Then, we floss your teeth to remove any debris. After rinsing your mouth, we will apply a fluoride varnish to prevent cavities and strengthen your tooth enamel.
Tips to Keep
Your Smile Healthy
Prevention is key when it comes to maintaining a healthy smile. For good oral hygiene and a healthy-looking smile, you should go to the dentist every 6 months. This is the minimum amount that most people in good oral health should get cleanings and checkups. However, some patients with a higher risk of cavities or gum disease may need to go more frequently.
Don’t neglect your at-home oral hygiene routine. Dental cleanings aren’t enough to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. You need to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for about 2 minutes, floss your teeth, and eat a diet low in sugar.
Frequent snacking also creates a constant acidic environment in your mouth which increases cavity risk so try to stick to three meals a day and limit snacking. Drinking fluoridated water will strengthen your enamel and make your teeth more resistant to acid attacks that cause cavities.