Maintenance for your Teeth
It only takes twenty four hours for plaque that is not removed from your teeth to turn into calculus (tartar), which can cause gum disease and tooth decay.
Although daily home cleaning helps control plaque and tartar formation, those hard to reach areas will always need special attention. Make sure you’re brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day and flossing as well. It’s also important to make sure you visit your dentist for routine cleanings.
If you’ve had periodontal treatment, your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend that you have regular professional cleanings (periodontal cleanings), usually four times a year. These cleanings will help prevent cavities and gum problems in the future.
At each professional cleaning, your dentist and dental hygienist will remove any accumulated plaque and tartar. They will also thoroughly clean your teeth, gums, and tongue.
The bristles on a toothbrush can only reach about 2/3 of the tooth surfaces that need to be cleaned. The bristles of your toothbrush are not able to remove plaque. The plaque that is stuck in between your gums and teeth can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Here comes the maintenance of your teeth.
In addition to your periodontal cleaning and evaluation, your appointment will usually include:
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Radiographs, or X-rays, are vital for the detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
- Examination of existing restorations: Your dentist will check to see if you have any current fillings, crowns, or other dental work. They will also check for cavities and make sure your teeth are healthy.
- Examination of tooth decay: During the maintenance, your dentist will also check all the surfaces of your teeth for decay. They’ll also look at your gums, your tongue and cheeks, and your neck area to make sure there’s no infection.
- Oral cancer screening: When you go for the dental maintenance, your dentist will also look for signs of oral cancer like a lump or thickening on your face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, cheek tissues, or gums that does not go away.
- Oral hygiene recommendations: Your dentist will also review the need for special oral hygiene aids like electric toothbrushes, special periodontal brushes, fluorides and rinses, etc.
- Teeth polishing: Teeth cleaning and polishing are necessary for keeping your smile bright.
Teeth polishing is also included in the dental maintenance.
Brushing and flossing are the mainstays of dental care, but polishing your teeth is just as important. The best way to do this is with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft bristle toothbrush and flossing after every meal is essential to maintaining good dental health. It’s also important to visit your dentist at least twice a year for a periodontal cleaning.