It’s always better to prevent a problem from happening in the first place than it is to fix an existing issue – and that’s especially true when it comes to your dental health. Preventive dental care is a crucial aspect of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Dr. Montgomery recommends patients of all ages undergo a dental cleaning in Plano at least once every six months. Why are twice annual cleanings necessary, and what happens during these routine visits, anyway? Let’s take a closer look.
Most adults and children should visit their dentist in Plano at least every six months. Those who have an increased risk for gum disease and cavities may need to consider even more frequent dental hygiene appointments. You can expect your cleaning to last approximately an hour, depending on your oral health and home care. It’s a small investment in time for a big return – cleaner, healthier teeth and gums.
During your preventive appointment, our dental hygiene team will use special tools to remove the plaque and tartar that has built-up on the surface of your teeth since your last cleaning. Plaque, the clear, sticky substance you can scratch off with your fingernail, is constantly forming on your teeth, and when it’s not thoroughly removed, plaque can turn into tartar in as little as 24 hours. Tartar, also known as calculus, is a form of hardened, often yellow dental plaque, and can only be removed by your dental hygienist.
During the cleaning, your hygienist will check the pockets that exist between your teeth and the gums to check for evidence of gum disease. It’s a condition that affects a large majority of American adults, and it has been linked to a number of serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart attack and stroke. When caught early, gum disease is easy to treat nonsurgically. Regular hygiene appointments are important for early detection and successful treatment of gum disease.
Your dental hygienist will begin the hygiene portion of your checkup and cleaning by discussing your dental health. Have you noticed any changes in your teeth or gums lately? Are you experiencing any unusual sensitivity? Open communication during this portion is vital for successful dental care.
Once your hygienist has a better picture of your dental health, she will start by taking necessary x-rays to check for dental decay, abscesses or abnormalities in the tooth structure. She will be able to use special handheld tools to clean and polish your teeth and assess the health of your gum tissue. Your hygienist then finishes by flossing your teeth, assuring there is no plaque or tarter remaining. She will also provide helpful advice for keeping your teeth healthier between appointments. After the hygiene portion is complete, Dr. Montgomery comes in to perform the checkup, looking for any signs of issues like tooth decay and gum disease. He works closely with each patient to put a personalized plan of action in place if any problems are discovered. A plan for restorative care is established if problems do exist.
Understanding the importance of preventive care will help you feel more at ease during your hygiene maintenance appointments. Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day and flossing daily will reduce plaque and will aide in the prevention of tartar buildup. Maintaining a nutritious diet and not smoking will also help lead to a lifetime of better oral health.
Contact our office today to schedule a checkup and cleaning with Dr. Montgomery and his team! Preventive dental care is crucial for a happy, healthy smile.
Want to learn more? Find out how to take care of your teeth by clicking here.