Cleanings and Exams
You already know the importance of brushing and flossing. The ADA recommends these habits be performed every single day. They are essential for eliminating plaque and bacteria buildup in your mouth to prevent a myriad or oral health issues. However, brushing and flossing are only a part of the equation. Even with proper oral hygiene habits at home, issues can still develop. At Pacific Modern Dentistry, we can help to further protect your oral health, preventing serious issues from developing, with cleanings and exams.
While brushing and flossing are integral components of maintaining a healthy mouth, there are some areas of your mouth that might be more difficult to thoroughly clean than others. Even if you think you are properly and completely brushing your teeth, you might miss certain areas. This can lead to a buildup of plaque and bacteria despite brushing and flossing every day, which can then lead to issues like cavities and gum disease.
The ADA recommends that, in addition to brushing and flossing, you have your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year, or once every six months. With professional cleanings, we can effectively remove plaque and bacteria from all surfaces of your teeth, including the surfaces that you might miss at home. We are also able to remove tartar, or calcified plaque, which cannot be brushed away, no matter how often you brush.
Your cleaning begins with a thorough scraping of your teeth. We carefully work to eliminate all buildup from the surfaces of your teeth, taking the time to scrape even the most stubborn buildup. After the teeth are scraped, we polish them. Polishing is done with an electric handpiece and a dental polish that contains abrasives. The head of the handpiece spins rapidly, which allows the abrasives to scrub the surfaces of your teeth, leaving them shiny and clean. Finally, we floss your teeth. Flossing enables us to get rid of buildup between your teeth, including debris that may have collected during your cleaning. If necessary, you may also be provided with a fluoride treatment.
Dental exams are also recommended once every six months and are typically done at the same appointment as your cleanings. During your exams, we look over your teeth, your gums, and your other intraoral tissues, checking for signs and symptoms of different oral health issues. It is often believed that if you do not feel anything wrong, then there is nothing wrong. However, many oral health issues do not exhibit any symptoms in their earliest stages. With an oral exam, we can detect the earliest warning signs and provide you with the treatment you need to restore your oral health, stopping the development of more serious issues.
During your exam, we look over your teeth. We check for cracks, chips, tooth decay, and wear. We look over your gums, checking for redness and swelling. We assess your gum line for periodontal pockets and gum recession. We also look over your intraoral tissues for any abnormalities that might point toward oral cancer. After your exam, we go over what we have found, if we have found anything of concern, and discuss your treatment options.
Another important part of oral exams is digital dental X-rays. While not done during every exam, we take these images to check the areas of your mouth that we cannot see. X-rays show us the spaces between your teeth, the roots of your teeth, and your jawbone. We can check for decay between the teeth, root damage, infections, bone loss, and more. X-rays provide us with a complete picture of your oral health, allowing us to help you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.
With cleanings and exams, we can help you to further protect your mouth, keeping your smile healthy and beautiful. Call Pacific Modern Dentistry today at (206)284-4505 for more information and to schedule your next cleaning and exam.