Preventive oral care is paramount to maintaining your teeth and gums and preventing oral diseases like cavities and gum disease that can lead to tooth loss. The American Dental Association recommends everyone, both children and adults of all ages, get a dental cleaning and oral examination once every six months. These visits aim to monitor oral health changes, address issues when they first appear, and remove tartar buildup that can cause oral infections. Dental x-rays should also be a part of your visits to provide an inside view of the jawbone, tooth roots, and other structures between teeth and underneath your gums. Maintaining your six-month checkups and cleanings can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy for life.
Getting your teeth cleaned is a straightforward procedure, and you should remain comfortable throughout your appointment. After arriving at our office and checking in with the front desk, one of our courteous dental hygienists will invite you to sit in a comfortable chair in a private room.
- The hygienist will lower your chair to a comfortable position and begin assessing your teeth and gums, checking for any cavities or damage like cracks or chipped teeth, and measuring your gum depth between each tooth. We document findings for the dentist to assess and address with you during your checkup. If it’s been a while or at least one year since your last checkup and cleaning, x-rays are taken and stored in your record to refer to as a baseline of your oral health.
- Next, the hygienist uses special tools to remove hard tartar from your teeth. This process can sometimes make your gums feel a bit tender and sore, especially if you have a lot of buildup or tender gums from gingivitis. In some cases, the hygienist may use an ultrasonic scaler to blast away tartar buildup gently. The water and gentle vibrations help break up the tartar buildup better than using a basic scaler by hand.
- Once all tartar has been removed, the hygienist polishes your teeth using a mildly abrasive paste and coronal polisher. This step should not cause any discomfort, although you may feel slight vibration as the polishing tip spins over every tooth surface.
- For the last step, the hygienist flosses your teeth and conducts a final inspection of your teeth and gums, ensuring no tartar has been left behind.
- Then, the dentist will come into the room, greet you, and examine your teeth and gums. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your oral health, we invite you to discuss those with us during this time. However, the dentist may recommend treatments based on your oral health needs.
Patients of all ages, including children, should receive six-month checkups and cleanings. At Exceptional Dentistry, we provide pediatric dentistry and encourage parents to bring their children in for their first visit by age one or when their first tooth erupts. Preventive dental care is an investment in your smile, but it is far more affordable to prevent diseases rather than correcting or repairing oral health conditions later on as your teeth deteriorate.