Preventative care is a foundation of dentistry. The American Dental Association recommends visiting your dentist regularly, usually twice yearly, for full cleanings, examinations, and consultations for potential treatment. Professional dental cleanings help remove built-up plaque that is not removable using conventional brushing and flossing. Often, dentists are also capable of identifying potential problems that patients are not yet able to see or feel. When you maintain regular preventative dental appointments, you can stave off decay and gum disease, as well as identify the beginnings of oral health problems before they become severe.
Did you know…
that preventative maintenance begins at home. Begin by brushing your teeth at least twice and flossing at least once daily. With daily cleaning routines on your end and visits to your dentist twice per year, your teeth, mouth, smile and overall well-being will be healthier.
Yes. Even if you brush and floss as recommended, bacteria-harboring plaque can accumulate in the tiniest crevices, grooves and pits. Overtime, teeth will begin to decay in those areas, which may result in pain and partial or total tooth loss.
Your cleaning and consultation will consist of a visible examination of the teeth and gums. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, you may also require x-rays for a more comprehensive view of your teeth. You’ll also consult with your dentist about any oral health problems you may have been having or questions that you may have. During your cleaning a dental hygienist will use special instruments to remove hardened plaque from your teeth. Finally, your teeth will be polished before your dentist discusses any treatment recommendations he or she may have for you.
In between dental cleanings and consultations, be sure to maintain good oral habits at home. This includes daily flossing and brushing after meals. It’s also important to drink fluoridated water and use a fluoridated toothpaste.