Teeth Cleanings & Dental Exams
The first step to a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums is prevention. In our Winter Park, FL dental office, Drs. Bryant and Kathleen Anderson follow preventive guidelines put forward by the American Dental Association, which recommends at least two dental checkups and professional teeth cleanings per year.
What to Expect at a Dental Exam
A THOROUGH LOOK TO CATCH THINGS EARLY
Dental health issues, including tooth decay, can be hard to spot on your own, even in advanced cases. This is because the cavities can hide between teeth or at the back of the mouth. For this reason, it’s essential to visit your dentist regularly to diagnose oral health conditions in their earliest stages.
Your dental checkup includes:
✓ A visual exam of your teeth and gums
✓ Intermittent X-Rays
✓ Oral Cancer Screening
AFTER THE DENTAL CHECKUP
The dentist shares findings and discusses treatment options with you if you’re diagnosed with an oral health condition. The most common oral health conditions are largely preventable through excellent oral hygiene and regular teeth cleanings.
What to Expect During a Teeth Cleaning
REMOVE PLAQUE BUILDUP
Dental cleanings rid your teeth and gums of the ingredients associated with tooth decay, oral infections, gingivitis, and gum disease. After an oral examination, your dental hygienist at Anderson Family Dental will proceed with a cleaning to remove plaque and tartar from between your teeth and around your gum line.
A PROFESSIONAL CLEANING
After removing the tartar, the hygienist will further clean your teeth with a high-powered brush, which removes any tartar left over from the scaler and gives your teeth a deep cleaning.
FLOSSING & FLUORIDE
Flossing and rinsing come next to remove anything left over from the previous cleaning steps. You may be given a further rinse that contains fluoride as well.
During your cleaning, the hygienist may recommend to you dental sealants. These coatings can be made of dental resins, plastic, or ceramic. By covering and protecting your teeth from acids produced by food particles and bacteria, dental sealants effectively reduce the risk of cavities.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF GETTING DENTAL SEALANTS?
Dental sealants can be applied quickly and painlessly at our dental office in Winter Park, Fl. The process includes cleaning the teeth, then applying an acidic gel that prepares the surface of the teeth to bond well with the sealants.
APPLYING THE SEALANT
After rinsing and drying, the sealants are, in essence, painted on to the bumps and grooves of the teeth that are so difficult for toothbrushes to clean effectively. Then, the sealants are hardened by a special blue-violet light in a matter of seconds and begin protecting your teeth.
Along with brushing, flossing, and getting regular cleanings, our dentists recommend having dental x-rays regularly as a part of your oral health. X-rays should be part of any dental health routine because of their ability to reveal issues like tooth decay, tooth impaction, or periodontal disease.
CATCH PROBLEMS EARLY
They can also help the dentist more accurately monitor the progress of dental problems or treatments. It is especially important for young children to have regular x-rays to monitor the growth of new teeth and to help recognize problems such as permanent teeth growing in behind baby teeth.
TAKING BITEWING X-RAYS IS EASY
When it’s time for you to have x-rays of your teeth, the x-ray technician will have you sit in a chair and will lay a protective “blanket” or “bib” over your torso to protect your vital organs from any radiation exposure. The x-ray technician may ask you to bite down on a positioner inserted into your mouth in order to get a certain view of your teeth.
ARE DENTAL X-RAYS DANGEROUS?Some patients are concerned about the safety of dental x-rays because of the exposure to radiation it requires. At Anderson Family Dental, we employ a strategy called As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) to minimize the time and amount of your exposure to radiation in any and all imaging procedures. In addition to levels of radiation being very low, the protective vest used in the procedure is a layer of protection for your vital organs against unnecessary exposure. Thus, dental x-rays are considered safe for any age, with proper use of protective coverings.
WHY DO I NEED FLUORIDE TREATMENT?
Fluoride is used to strengthen tooth enamel which can help prevent tooth decay and sensitivity. Dental fluoride works by making the tooth enamel more resistant to acids produced by bacteria or found in our foods and drinks. This can actually help rebuild teeth and reverse early signs of cavities. To sum it up, fluoride is a both natural defense and offense in your battle against tooth decay.
HOW IS FLUORIDE ADMINISTERED?
For most patients, the dentist recommends fluoride treatment at every regular cleaning. Fluoride treatment can be administered as a gel-filled mouthpiece that fits over your teeth for one minute or a varnish that hardens through contact with saliva or as a mouthwash. Depending on the method, you may be asked to avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes after your treatment.
Dental Exams are Important for Prevention
Regular dental visits are crucial, but so is your at-home oral care routine between checkups. Continue to maintain your health by brushing and flossing at least twice each day—after every meal is even better. If you notice any changes, including tooth sensitivity or gum inflammation, please contact our office or talk to your dentist about any concerns during your next appointment.