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Cleanings and Exams
Good oral hygiene is essential for preventing the development of serious oral health issues, including cavities and gum disease. A large part of your oral hygiene takes place at home with brushing and flossing. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice daily and flossing once daily. While these habits are important, they are only a part of keeping your mouth healthy. At Sunnyside Dentistry, we can help to optimize your oral health with cleanings and exams.
Professional CleaningsBrushing and flossing every day are essential habits for eliminating plaque and bacteria from your mouth and reducing your risk for developing cavities and gum disease. However, even if you brush and floss diligently, there are some areas of your mouth that are simply more difficult to access than others. This creates areas that go untouched, allowing plaque and bacteria to accumulate. When this happens, you are still able to develop decay, cavities, and gum disease.
To eliminate all buildup from every surface of your teeth, professional cleanings are needed. The ADA recommends having your teeth professionally cleaned every six months. During your cleanings, we can eliminate not only plaque and bacteria, but tartar as well. Tartar also called calculus, is hardened plaque that cannot be eliminated at home no matter how much you brush and floss.
Your cleaning begins with a scraping of the surfaces of your teeth. Using a specialized tool, we work to carefully and completely remove all buildup from your teeth. Next, your teeth are polished. This is accomplished using an electric handpiece with a rotating head and a dental polish. The polish contains abrasives that scrub the surfaces of your teeth as the head spins, buffing and polishing the surfaces of your teeth. This also helps to remove surface stains from your teeth, giving you a cleaner, whiter smile. Finally, we floss between your teeth. This not only eliminates any debris that may still be lingering between your teeth but also helps to remove any loose debris and polish that may have accumulated throughout the course of your cleaning.
Dental ExamsEven with proper dental care at home, oral health issues can still develop. The problem with many of these issues is that they do not exhibit symptoms in the earliest stages. By the time symptoms begin to appear, the condition has developed into something more significant. This is where routine dental exams come into play.
Dental exams are recommended every six months, and they are typically done at the same appointment as your cleanings. Exams are performed to spot signs of oral health issues in their earliest stages before you even notice that they are there. By detecting issues early, we can then provide you with the treatment you need to prevent the condition from becoming more serious and restoring the health of your mouth. Typically, the earlier the issue is detected, the less invasive the procedure needs to be.
During your exam, we look over the surfaces of your teeth. We check for signs of tooth decay and cavities as well as any physical damage like chips and cracks. Your gums are assessed for redness, swelling, pockets, and recession. We also look over the tissues within your mouth, checking for abnormalities. This is done to check for early warning signs of oral cancer, which can be deadly if not detected and treated early. During some exams, dental X-rays are taken. The X-rays allow us to assess the roots of your teeth and the health of your jawbone. We can detect issues such as root fractures, bone loss, and impacted teeth. If we do detect any issues, we are then able to provide you with the appropriate treatment that you need right away.
Routine cleanings and exams every six months are a critical component of your oral care routine that can help you to keep your mouth happy and healthy. Call Sunnyside Dentistry at (503) 451-5104 to schedule your appointment today.