Preventive dental care lays the groundwork for a healthy, beautiful smile. In combination with proper at-home hygiene practices, like twice-daily brushing and flossing at least once a day, attending regular cleanings and oral exams can help keep your teeth and gums healthy and free from decay and other dental health issues. Routine checkups also allow us to track your oral health and address any minor problems with your oral health before they become major ones.
Oral health is essential to your body’s overall wellbeing.
1 in 4 adults in the U.S. has at least one cavity.
Keeping up with good brushing habits is integral to your oral health, and using the proper technique can help keep your mouth free from decay. Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle and use small, circular strokes to clean the front, back, and chewing surfaces of each tooth. You should spend about 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth. Use toothpaste that is ADA-approved and rich in fluoride, and don’t forget to replace your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every 3-4 months, or when the bristles start to look frayed or worn.
Daily flossing is the best way to dislodge plaque and bacteria to keep gum disease at bay, and can be easy once you know the proper technique. Begin by gathering about 24 inches of dental floss, wrapping most of it around one index or middle finger. Wind the remaining few inches around the index finger of your other hand, keeping about 1-inch of floss taut between your fingers and thumbs. Gently glide the floss between your teeth. If you’re having trouble getting the floss between your teeth, try not to force it, as it can slip and cause damage to your gums. Instead, use a gentle side-to-side rocking motion to get the floss where it needs to be. Once the floss is between your teeth, slide it into the gum line while following the c-shaped curve of the tooth. Repeat this process for both sides of every tooth. To help prevent the spread of bacteria, be sure to wind a new 1-inch section of floss before moving on to the next tooth.
Prophylactic cleanings, also known as “regular cleanings, ” are the cleanings you receive during your routine dental appointments. They are essential in helping to prevent decay and keep your breath fresh, and should be scheduled every 6 months. During your cleaning, we’ll remove any plaque, tartar, or bacterial buildup from your teeth and floss between them to ensure the continued health of your smile.
Periodontal cleanings are only necessary for patients with periodontal, or gum, disease, and are sometimes referred to as “deep cleanings.” These cleaning sessions are more thorough than regular cleanings, and are meant to halt the progression of gum disease. Your dentist or hygienist will carefully scrape away any plaque or tartar buildup from between your teeth and gums, and carefully smooth out the roots of your teeth, to eliminate pockets that can trap bacteria and allow gum disease to flourish. An important part of every periodontal maintenance routine, deep cleanings can help those suffering from gum disease to preserve their oral health.
The vast majority of dental insurance policies fully cover routine preventive care like cleanings, exams, and x-rays. Even if it’s not completely covered by your insurance plan, chances are it is at least partially covered. Certain plans may even cover optional treatments, like dental sealants and fluoride treatments. Get in touch with your provider for specific details about your insurance plan, or give us a call today and find out how we can help maximize your benefits.
Keeping up with preventive care can save you money, time, and future dental pain
To start things off, we’ll perform a complete cleaning of your teeth and gums, using special tools to remove any plaque and tartar that may have built up along the gumline. Essential aspects of your cleaning will include thorough flossing between your teeth in all those hard-to-reach places, and scraping off plaque that has accumulated along the gum line. To finish the cleaning process, we’ll polish your teeth, leaving you feeling refreshed, revitalized, and ready to smile.
If you’re new to the office or haven’t had dental x-rays in a while, your dentist may recommend that you take some during your preventive care appointment. Dental x-rays let us see what’s going on beneath the surface of your smile, giving us the ability to find issues that may not be visible otherwise. With x-rays, we’re able to make more accurate diagnoses and create more effective and efficient treatment plans.
Your dentist will review your x-rays and then take a thorough look at your teeth, gums, and the rest of your mouth. If we spot any issues, we’ll take the time to educate you on our findings, so you can keep your dental health on the right track. We make it our goal to keep you educated about your oral wellbeing, so you can make the right decisions for your smile.
Using the information we’ve gathered with your exam and x-rays, we’ll work together with you to craft a treatment plan customized for your unique oral health needs, budget, and lifestyle. If everything looks good, we’ll simply schedule your next routine cleaning and checkup.
Our team is here for you! No matter what kind of treatment you schedule, our team is standing by to answer any questions you may have about insurance, financing, or anything else. We’ll do everything possible to make sure your every visit is straightforward and stress-free.