Oral hygiene habits are critical to protecting teeth and gums from their biggest enemy, no matter your age – plaque. Plaque is a soft and colorless film that coats the teeth. The bacteria in plaque feeds on sugars and starches form the foods and beverages you consume and can produce acids that eat away at tooth enamel. Plaque also irritates the gums, causing them to bleed and become inflamed and sensitive. Removing plaque quickly and thoroughly is important, as plaque hardens into tarter when it is left on the teeth. Plaque and tarter both lead to gum disease, which eventually destroys the bone around the teeth and causes tooth loss.
During a professional dental cleaning, our hygienists use special instruments and techniques to clean the tiny nooks and crannies between the teeth and along the gum line that harbor bacteria and plaque. We recommend dental cleanings, every six months – possibly more frequently depending on your circumstances. Cleanings freshen your breath, remove deep-set tooth stains and discoloration from coffee, tea, wine, or tobacco, and allow our team the opportunity to intercede with any dental problems at the earliest stages before pain or discomfort sets in. Cleanings are preventative and are the best way to avoid expensive, time-consuming treatment in the future.
Additionally, a routine checkup includes many preventative measures
- Examining the mouth in detail
- Screening for oral cancer
- Assessing periodontal (gum) health
- Checking for issues with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
- Looking for signs of grinding, clenching, or gritting
- Taking annual x-rays and intra-oral photos to look for decay, cracks, or cavities
- Professional cleaning by a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH)