Professional Cleanings, Exams, and X-rays
While taking good care of your teeth at home can help go a long way in protecting them, you simply cannot handle the care and maintenance of your teeth all by yourself. It is a team effort and requires that you schedule regular dental appointments with us here at Summercrest Dental. The benefits of brushing and flossing at home cannot be overstated, but it is not enough to ensure your best oral health. Instead, you need to stop in and allow us to carefully examine your mouth and assist you with keeping your teeth clean and your smile healthy.
What Happens During a Dental Exam?
There are several different things that you can expect to happen during your dental exam. First, we will start by taking your medical history and ask if you have any problems that you believe need addressed. We will take note of any complaints or concerns that you have. If it has been longer than two years since your last set of dental X-rays, we may proceed with taking those next. Bitewing X-rays will allow us to determine if you have any tooth decay or other issues with your teeth or jaw.
Next, we will start with your exam. We will look inside your mouth to see if there is any tooth decay or other areas of concern that need treatment. We will also check your bite and your jaw to make sure there are no problems with malocclusion. During this portion of your dental exam, we will also make sure your mouth is healthy and free of any infection or lesions. We will check your mouth for any signs of oral cancer, gum disease, or other health concerns.
What Happens During a Dental Cleaning?
Once we are satisfied that we thoroughly checked your teeth, jaw, and other soft tissue in your mouth, we will then proceed with your dental cleaning. The first step in dental cleaning involves removing any hardened buildup from your teeth, also called calculus. We will use our scaler and our small handheld mirror to remove any of this calculus from your teeth. We will also remove it from up underneath your gumline.
Once we have scaled your teeth, we will then brush them for you. We will use a special type of gritty toothpaste to brush your teeth. This will help not only clean them for you, but also polish them. We do not recommend that you use gritty toothpaste at home, as it can be quite harsh and abrasive and may damage your dental enamel if you use it too often.
After we brush your teeth, we will then floss them. During this portion of your cleaning, you may notice a little bit of blood in your mouth. If we find that your gums are bleeding when we floss your teeth, this can indicate to us that you are not flossing often enough or properly at home. Finally, we will have you rinse your mouth out, and at this point, we may offer you some fluoride to help keep your teeth strong.
A dental exam and cleaning are essential to ensure that your mouth is healthy and your teeth are free from decay. We recommend all of our patients come in at least every six months for these appointments. To set up an exam with us, please give us here at Summercrest Dental a call today at (503) 649-7701!