Dental Cleanings & Prevention
A preventive program is a cooperative effort by the patient, dentist, and dental staff to preserve the natural teeth and supporting structures by preventing the onset, progress, and recurrence of dental diseases and conditions.
Prevention also includes regular dental exams, cleanings, and x-rays. Sealants and fluoride are also great preventive treatments that help protect the teeth.
Preventing dental disease starts at home with good oral hygiene and a balanced diet. It is continued in the dental office by the efforts of your dentist and dental hygienist to promote, restore, and maintain your oral health.
Prevention helps avoid serious and costly dental problems and is the key to having a healthy, confident, beautiful smile.
Types of Preventions
Here are some of the different types of dental cleanings & prevention that we offer:
1. Dental exams & cleanings
The best way to prevent dental disease is to have regular dental exams and cleanings. During your exam, we will check for cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer. We will also assess your risk for other dental problems.
Your cleaning appointment will include a thorough removal of plaque and tartar from all surfaces of your teeth. We will also polish your teeth to leave them feeling smooth and looking their best.
2. Dental x-rays
Another important part of preventive dental care is dental x-rays. Dental x-rays allow us to detect problems that cannot be seen with the naked eye, such as cavities between teeth and infections in the bone.
We will take a full series of x-rays every 3-5 years, depending on your individual needs. We may also take x-rays more frequently if you are at high risk for dental disease.
3. Home care
Home care is an important part of preventive dental care. Good oral hygiene habits such as brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash will help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
A balanced diet is also important for good oral health. Avoid sugary drinks, snacks, and sticky foods that can cling to your teeth and cause cavities.
4. How to properly brush & floss
We will show you how to brush and floss your teeth properly during your cleaning appointment. Here are some tips to help you keep your teeth clean at home:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or sooner if the bristles become frayed.
- Floss your teeth at least once a day.
- Use a water flosser to clean between your teeth if you have trouble flossing.
Sealants are a type of preventive dental treatment that helps to protect the teeth from cavities. Sealants are thin, plastic coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars and premolars).
The sealants fill the grooves and pits on the teeth, making it difficult for plaque and food particles to adhere to the teeth. Sealants are usually applied to children's teeth as soon as they come in (around age 6) but can also be applied to adult teeth.
Benefits of Cleanings & Prevention
There are many benefits to dental cleanings and prevention. Some of the benefits include:
- Prevention of cavities and gum disease.
- One of the most important benefits of dental cleanings is the prevention of cavities and gum disease. Cavities are holes in the teeth that are caused by tooth decay. Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can lead to tooth loss.
- Regular dental exams and cleanings can help to prevent cavities and gum disease. Dental x-rays can also help us detect cavities and gum disease in their early stages to treat them before they become more serious.
Improved oral health
Another benefit of dental cleanings and prevention is improved oral health. Good oral hygiene habits such as brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash can help to keep your teeth and gums healthy. A balanced diet is also important for good oral health.
Many people feel more confident when they have a bright, white smile. Regular dental cleanings and preventive care can help keep your teeth looking their best. If you have any questions about dental cleanings and prevention, please call our office. We would be happy to answer any of your questions.
Who Qualifies for Cleanings and Prevention?
Dental cleanings and prevention are recommended for everyone. However, some people may be more likely to develop cavities or gum disease and require frequent dental exams and cleanings. Some of the factors that can increase your risk for cavities and gum disease include:
- Poor oral hygiene habits
- A diet high in sugary drinks and snacks
- Smoking or using other tobacco products
- Dry mouth
- A history of cavities or gum disease
- A family history of cavities or gum disease
- Crooked or crowded teeth
- Wearing braces or other dental appliances
- Poorly fitting dental crowns or fillings
- Poorly fitting dentures or other dental prosthetics
If you have any of these risk factors, please discuss them with your dentist so we can develop a care plan that is right for you.
What Can I Expect During a Cleaning Appointment?
During your cleaning appointment, one of our skilled and experienced dental hygienists will thoroughly clean your teeth. The hygienist will use a small, hand-held mirror to examine your teeth and gums for cavities or gum disease.
Next, the hygienist will use a scaler to remove any plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that can build up on your teeth. Tartar is plaque that has hardened onto the teeth and can only be removed with a professional cleaning.
After the scaler, the hygienist will use a toothbrush to clean your teeth. The toothbrush will have special bristles to remove any remaining plaque and tartar from your teeth. The hygienist may also use a water pick to remove debris from your teeth.
Finally, the hygienist will polish your teeth with special toothpaste. This toothpaste will help to remove any stains from your teeth and leave them looking their best.
If you have any questions about dental cleanings or preventive care, please call our office at 903-522-5096. We would be happy to answer any of your questions.
Get In Touch
We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below.