Cleanings and Exams
Your teeth are an important feature of your mouth and have many essential responsibilities. For them to perform these responsibilities, the teeth need to be kept healthy. According to the American Dental Association, ADA, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. While these steps are crucial, they are only a part of maintaining optimal oral health. The ADA also recommends that you have at least two professional dental visits each year. At Advanced Dental Arts NW, we can provide you with the cleanings and exams you need to keep your teeth, and your whole mouth, healthy and fully functional. Read more about our dental care philosophy.
Brushing and flossing daily are essential habits for preventing the buildup of plaque and bacteria, both of which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. However, even if you are diligent in your home care routine, there are some areas of the mouth that are harder to reach than others. If you consistently miss these areas, plaque and bacteria can build up, leading to serious issues. With a professional dental cleaning, we can help you eliminate buildup from your teeth, further aiding in the prevention of problems.
Professional cleanings are recommended at least twice a year. During these cleanings, we can thoroughly clean all surfaces of your teeth, including the ones that you may miss. We begin your cleaning by scraping the visible surfaces of your teeth, including the fronts, backs, chewing surfaces, between and around the gum line. We work to remove even the most stubborn plaque, tartar, bacteria and another buildup. Next, we use a dental polish and electric handpiece to polish your teeth. Finally, we floss your teeth, removing any buildup from between the teeth. This includes any debris that may have accumulated during the course of your cleaning. If necessary, we can also provide you with a fluoride treatment to help strengthen your enamel and protect against tooth decay.
Exams are also recommended at least twice a year. They are typically done in the same visit as your cleaning. Exams are designed to enable us to spot the early warning signs of oral health issues so that action can be taken before these issues get worse. Your exam consists of a visual inspection of your mouth. We check your teeth for signs of damage, including chips, fractures, and decay. Your gums are checked for signs of infection and recession. We also conduct an oral cancer screening, checking your oral tissues for signs of abnormalities and examining your face and neck for signs of swelling. After examining your mouth, we have a discussion with you regarding your oral hygiene and lifestyle habits. During this time we can provide you with tips to improve your home care routine and answer any questions that you may have.
X-rays are another critical component of your dental exams, although they are not usually taken every time. X-rays provide us with a unique look at the hidden structures within your mouth. We can see the spaces between your teeth, the roots of your teeth, and the condition of your jawbone. They are exceptionally helpful in allowing us to diagnose some different issues. They also allow us to monitor the development, progress, or deterioration of the jaw.
Professional cleanings and exams, in conjunction with your home oral care routine, can help you to maintain a healthy, happy mouth. If it is time for your dental visit, call Advanced Dental Arts NW to schedule your cleaning and exam today at (503) 446-2722.