Dental Checkups & Cleanings
Two dental cleaning and checkups a year are the key to good oral health.
Dental checkups and cleanings are vital to maintaining lifelong oral health. Routine dentist visits help you catch potential problems in the early stages before they become a painful or costly issue. Better yet, most insurance companies cover these preventative treatments. There are two parts to your twice-yearly preventative dental visits – the exam and the cleaning.
What to expect at your Checkup?
At your appointment, your dental professional will check for cavities. Our dentists look for signs of tooth decay, enamel wear, and gum disease. Adults and children can both develop common oral health conditions including cavities and inflamed or irritated gums (periodontal disease). Often, these conditions are a result of diet choices and poor oral hygiene practices. We also use diagnostic tools such as X-rays to evaluate the health of tissue beneath the surface – specifically the roots of your teeth and your jaw. Diagnostic imaging may be used to detect cavities between your teeth, and may also reveal congenital and developmental abnormalities that might require the attention of a specialist such as an oral surgeon or orthodontist.
How about a Cleaning?
Oral health care at home is important, but even the best brushers among us can’t catch everything. That’s why regular cleanings are part of your standard checkup. Cleanings are a gentle and non-invasive method to preserve and maintain gum health. Dental hygiene visits are important to keep teeth and gums clean – because patients often have difficulty reaching the back of their teeth when brushing and flossing. The hygienist also cleans around the teeth so tartar and plaque accumulation is controlled. Tartar, a form of calcified plaque, cannot be removed by flossing or brushing alone and must be removed with professional-grade dental instruments.
Children should get cleanings, too. In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that children begin seeing their dentist between their first birthday and the arrival of their first tooth! We recommend that parents help their children with their dental hygiene routine until they are about 8 or 9 years old. Even with the most diligent at-home care, children are susceptible to cavities and so it’s important to keep up with their twice-yearly cleanings at the dental office.
Additional Preventative Care
While prevention begins at home with proper oral hygiene and a healthy diet, seeing your dentist twice a year is important. During your routine visits, we can administer treatments such as fluoride treatment and the application of dental sealants. Both fluoride treatments and dental sealants are non-invasive and affordable.
Strong, healthy tooth enamel is the key to protecting teeth against cavity-causing bacteria. A naturally occurring mineral, fluoride is scientifically proven to strengthen teeth by attracting minerals to the surface of tooth enamel. This will help replenish lost mineral content. Fluoride treatments are quick and easy and involve simply applying a fluoridated varnish or gel to the teeth and is covered by most insurances.
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 protects the biting surfaces of the teeth against damage and harmful bacteria. Dental sealants are most commonly applied for children’s first and second molars to help prevent bacteria from gathering in hard to reach places.
If tooth decay does form, our dentists can treat cavities with restorations like fillings or crowns. During all types of treatment, we offer anesthetics for your comfort and relaxation.