Do you remain perplexed when your dentist suggests getting dental exams and cleanings every six months or earlier, depending on your oral health?
It helps if you understand dentists are experts with knowledge of your dental anatomy and are qualified to detect infections present in your mouth and even predict oncoming dental issues you might not know about by looking at your teeth and gums.
Dental exams and cleanings are not a cursory glance at your teeth and mouth.
In reality, they are two separate procedures performed during one appointment by the dentist to help you ease concerns about your dental health and prevent unnecessary complications from developing in your mouth.
During exams and cleanings, a dentist examines your teeth, looking for indications of infections on them or your gums.
They also review your entire oral cavity looking for signs of red and white lumps or abnormal tissue that might indicate oral cancer and discuss your lifestyle habits like smoking, excessive alcohol problems, exposure to sunlight, and diseases like HIV that make you susceptible to oral cancer.
The dentist completes the dental exam in 15 to 20 minutes before letting the hygienist take over to complete the dental cleaning.
Dental hygienists start the cleaning by performing a physical exam of your entire mouth using a tiny mirror and looking around your teeth and gums, looking for signs of gum inflammation (gingivitis) or other potential concerns.
If they find any significant problems, they report the issue to the dentist before proceeding with the cleaning.
The cleaning procedure starts with the hygienist using dental instruments like a tiny mirror for guidance and a scaler to scrape away dental plaque accumulating on your teeth constantly and hardening into tartar within 48 hours.
Deep teeth cleanings are not always required unless you refuse to maintain excellent dental hygiene and permit plaque to remain on your teeth for days or months to become a victim of periodontal disease.
However, if you have this condition, you might require frequent dental exams and cleanings from our dentist to ensure the situation doesn’t progress to severe periodontitis that can cause receding gums, loss of teeth, and other complications.
Getting your teeth cleanings by your dentist every six months prevents needing deep teeth cleanings because the hygienist eliminates any tartar buildup on your teeth and below the gum line to prevent this devastating condition.
The dental hygienist recommends brushing and flossing as optimal to remove plaque from teeth to ensure it doesn’t harden into tartar.
Hardened tartar requires professional help because it is challenging to remove by brushing and flossing.
After plaque and tartar removal, the gritty toothpaste cleaning and polishing starts when the hygienist uses an electric toothbrush with gritty toothpaste over your teeth, making scary sounds.
However, it is an excellent technique to eliminate any plaque and tartar left over during the initial cleaning by the scaler.
Although gritty in consistency, the toothpaste scrubs your teeth gently without wearing down tooth enamel while polishing your teeth simultaneously.
You might think you don’t need flossing lessons if you consider yourself an expert at this task. However, nothing beats a flossing lesson by a professional like a registered dental hygienist.
The expert gets deep between your teeth to identify potential trouble spots that might bleed and remove any excess gritty toothpaste between your teeth.
After the flossing lesson, the hygienist requests you rinse your mouth to remove debris.
Finally, you receive in-office fluoride treatment after the cleaning to ensure your teeth have a protective barrier over them in their battle against cavities.
Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel, keeping your teeth safer against mouth bacteria continuously trying to cause enamel erosion and cavities.
Dentists suggest professional teeth cleaning every six months or a year, depending on the dental hygienist’s observations of your mouth.
The therapy is a preventive procedure to ensure you don’t fall victim to any oral conditions that might require intensive treatments later.
Dental cleanings also include discussing dietary habits and changing dental hygiene practices if needed.
For example, the dentist emphasizes having a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure your teeth receive the vitamins and minerals required to keep them healthy and even takes x-rays if needed to detect infections between your teeth that remain invisible to the naked eye.
Getting dental exams and cleanings is a non-invasive preventive therapy offered by Willow Wood Dental and is completed within the hour.
If you haven’t undergone this preventive measure, we suggest you schedule your appointment at our dental office in Livonia today for the exams and cleanings.