Patients should see their dentists at least twice a year to have their teeth cleaned and be examined for issues such as cavities, gum disease or oral cancer. Additional preventive treatments that reduce the risk of damage to the teeth due to disease or injury can also be helpful. We offer a comprehensive collection of treatments designed to protect your smile.
Semiannual dental exams and preventive cleanings, known as prophylaxis, are the minimum levels of preventive care needed by all patients. At these appointments, your teeth will be cleaned by an experienced dental hygienist who uses specialized instruments to remove any plaque or tartar that has managed to stick around despite your daily home oral hygiene regimen.
Additionally, the dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth, as well as the soft oral tissues of the mouth in order to identify any oral diseases that warrant treatment. Once a year, patients also get x-rays that allow the dentist to inspect the areas of the teeth that are not visible to the naked eye, such as side surfaces that touch each other, to detect hidden cavities.
Some patients may desire preventive care that goes beyond cleanings and exams. Some of these interventions can be beneficial for all patients, while others may be appropriate in more specific circumstances.
Preventive dentistry doesn’t just happen in our office. Your diligence about maintaining good oral hygiene practices at home between your checkups and cleanings is essential to protecting your oral health. Make sure that you are using effective tools, such as toothbrushes that are no more than three months old, and proper technique.
We encourage you to check in with your dental hygienist for a refresher on how to brush and floss correctly so that you are doing everything possible to minimize the presence of disease-causing bacteria in your mouth. You may also want to consider adding an anti-bacterial mouthwash to your routine if you accumulate plaque and tartar quickly or have issues with bad breath. When you take care of your mouth in between appointments with us, your cleanings and exams will go much more smoothly and you’ll reduce your risk of developing oral diseases.
Routine dental appointments hold a number of benefits for patients. First of all, when you see your dentist twice a year, you will have your teeth professionally cleaned, removing any lingering bacteria that could cause oral diseases. Additionally, your dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth, gums and other soft oral tissues, looking for signs of oral diseases.
When such issues are diagnosed early, the treatment tends to be more conservative and effective. However, if you delay seeing your dentist, you can develop a more severe problem, such as a large area of tooth decay or advanced gum disease, which has more serious consequences and requires more invasive treatment. Your dentist will also look for signs of oral cancer at these appointments. The prognosis for patients with this disease is much better when the disease is first diagnosed in a localized area and has not spread to surrounding tissues.
Under the right circumstances, dental sealants can last up to 10 years. You can also take certain steps to maximize the longevity of your sealants, such as avoiding biting into hard non-food objects. Your dentist will monitor the integrity of your sealant over time. At each checkup, after you get your sealant, the dentist will examine the sealant for any signs of damage. Sealants can be repaired if necessary at those checkups. After the original sealant material has deteriorated, the sealant can be replaced, as well.
Night guards and sport guards look quite similar, and they may even feel the same when worn by patients. However, they have very different purposes. Night guards are intended to keep the upper and lower teeth from making contact with each other during the night, while sport guards are intended to prevent injuries to the teeth and gums while the patient participates in an athletic activity.
Patients should have their teeth cleaned at least every six months. Patients who accumulate plaque and tartar rapidly may want to consider a more frequent cleaning schedule. No matter how conscientious you are about your oral hygiene routine, there are still spots of your smile that it’s almost impossible for you to clean thoroughly on your own. A dental hygienist has better angles on these parts of your smile than you do, and can remove any calculus that has accumulated there. Semi-annual cleanings help to keep your smile as healthy as possible.