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. Ensure you dedicate two minutes, twice daily, to brushing your teeth and remember to floss regularly. Equally important is scheduling routine dental cleanings with your dentist.
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: During the examination of existing restorations, your dentist will assess the presence and condition of any current fillings, crowns, or other dental work. Additionally, they will carefully inspect for cavities and ensure the overall health of your teeth.
- 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 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 do 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, rinses, etc.
- Teeth polishing: Teeth cleaning and polishing are necessary for keeping your smile bright.
Teeth polishing is also included in dental maintenance.
While brushing and flossing are fundamental for dental care, polishing your teeth holds equal importance. Achieve this effectively by using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride-containing toothpaste. Maintaining good dental health requires brushing twice daily and flossing after every meal. Additionally, regular visits to your dentist for periodontal cleaning at least twice a year are essential to ensure optimal oral hygiene.