DENTAL CLEANINGS AND EXAMS
It is recommended to maintain a proper oral health routine that involves frequent toothbrushing, flossing, and paying biannual (twice a year) visits to your dentist. These practices are recommended because disruptions in your oral health status can lead to general health complications such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. So, not only are you protecting yourself from oral inflammatory disease such as periodontitis, but by practicing good dental hygiene, you significantly reduce the risk of developing systemic diseases. Think of this as maintaining oral health for total health! We recommend that you visit our office for a dental cleaning and exam twice a year to ensure optimal oral health.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING A DENTAL CLEANING AND EXAM?
When you come to our office for a dental cleaning, you will be greeted by one of our receptionists who will notify a dental hygienist of your arrival. While awaiting for the hygienist, you will be instructed to fill out any required paperwork that will include identifying information, medications, medical history, and so on, to provide our dental care team with any information that may influence how we approach your dental cleaning/examination as well as your subsequent visits to our office.
REMOVING BUILDUP ON YOUR TEETH
The hygienist will perform a thorough inspection of your oral cavity and begin by removing plaque and calculus from your teeth (this is the unhealthy stuff that builds up on the surface of teeth). You will be instructed to rinse your mouth and the hygienist will remove this buildup by scraping the surface of each tooth. While this may sound intimidating or scary, you really have no reason to worry—the procedure to remove this buildup is usually painless. After all, the outer part of your teeth, known as tooth enamel, is the hardest substance in the human body! Of course, individual’s differ in their relative level of sensitivity; but, rest assured, any sensitivity that is experienced during your visit will be addressed immediately and will be noted so that our dental care team tailors each and every visit specifically to your comfort level.
Once cleaning is complete, the hygienist will proceed to polish your teeth, which essentially involves brushing your teeth with a mechanical tool containing a powerful toothpaste clinically manufactured to provide a shiny finish to the surface of your teeth. In addition, the polish will provide extra protection against plaque that can form between dental appointments, thereby enhancing the efficiency of subsequent cleaning sessions!
EXAMINATION FOR PROBLEM AREAS
Once the hygienist has finished cleaning and polishing, one of our dentists will drop in and inspect your oral cavity for any potential problem areas, such as abnormal growths, lesions, cavities, or inflammation along the gums. To do this, your dentist will use a metal probe that is equipped with a small angled mirror to inspect various elements of your mouth, including the hardness/softness of your tooth enamel and your gum line. As well, your dentist may also suggest an x-ray of your mouth (performed in-office) to rule out any possible cavities or problems associated with the bones in your jaw that may not be visually noticeable due to their internal locations. In other words, this will allow your dentist to observe anything that cannot be visualized simply by looking at your teeth and gums during the oral examination.
What should I do between dental cleaning appointments?
Maintenance of your oral health does not stop at the dentist. Instead, you should continue to brush your teeth at least twice a day using a fluoride-based toothpaste approved by the Canadian Dental Association (CDA)—preferably, this should be done once in the morning and once before bed. As well, it is highly recommended that you use dental floss to remove any residual food particles that can become stuck between the teeth and cannot be removed by brushing.
Together, brushing and flossing can significantly reduce the buildup of biofilm (i.e., plaque) on the surface of your teeth which can develop from food particles that remain along your teeth/gums after eating. If you do not frequently brush your teeth, plaque can build up over time and will eventually form calculus—a hardened form of plaque that can only be removed by dental professionals.
Plaque is a breeding ground for bacteria, which can accumulate and secrete acidifying solutions on or around your teeth. As bacterial activity increases in this manner, so does your risk of developing inflammatory oral diseases such as gingivitis or periodontitis. Thus, it is very important to maintain a healthy brushing and flossing routine outside of your visits to the dentist to reduce your risk of developing oral disease.
If you are uncertain as to how you should be brushing or flossing, ask us during your dental cleaning visit to provide a short demonstration and advice! We will always do our best to provide you with the healthiest smile and the best education required to maintain proper dental hygiene outside of your visit to our office.
Call us today to book a dental cleaning and examination appointment with one of our dental professionals – (204) 560-4500.