Preventative care is a foundation of dentistry. Visiting your Dental Hygienist regularly – usually about twice yearly – for full cleanings, examinations, and consultations for potential treatment. Professional cleanings help remove built-up plaque that is not removable using conventional brushing and flossing. Often, Hygienists are also capable of identifying potential problems that patients are not yet able to see or feel. When you maintain regular preventative appointments, you can stave off decay and gum disease, as well as identify the beginnings of oral health problems before they become severe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I really need to have my teeth professionally cleaned?
Yes. Even if you brush and floss after every meal and before bed, bacteria-harboring plaque can accumulate in the tiniest crevices, grooves and pits. Overtime, the teeth will begin to decay in those areas, which may result in pain and partial or total tooth loss.
What should I expect at my cleaning and exam consultation?
Your cleaning and consultation will consist of a visible examination of the teeth and gums. If you haven’t been to the Dental Hygienist in a while, you may also require x-rays for a more comprehensive view of your teeth. You’ll also consult with your Hygienist about any oral health problems you may have been having or questions that you may have. The cleaning will follow, during which a dental hygienist will use special instruments to remove hardened plaque from your teeth. Finally, your teeth will be polished before your Dental Hygienist discusses any treatment recommendations he or she may have for you.
What types of guidelines should I follow after my visit?
In between cleanings and consultations, be sure to maintain good oral habits at home. This includes daily flossing and brushing after meals. It’s also important to drink fluoridated water and use a fluoridated toothpaste.