Cleanings and Exams
CleaningsYou should have your teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year, or once every 6 months. Cleanings are essential, even if you brush and floss every single day. No matter how well you brush and floss, there are some regions of your mouth that are harder to clean than others. If these areas of your mouth are not cleaned properly, plaque and bacteria can continue to accumulate, increasing your risk for developing cavities and gum disease. Cleanings are performed to eliminate buildup from all surfaces of your teeth. We clean away plaque, bacteria, tartar, and other debris, helping to further prevent the development of serious oral health issues.
A cleaning is a simple process. We begin by scraping the surfaces of your teeth, including along and just below the gum line. After scraping your teeth clean, we then move on to polish them. Polishing your teeth involves the use of an electric hand piece and special polish that contains abrasives. As the head of the hand piece spins, the polish scrubs the surfaces of your teeth clean. The last step of your cleaning is flossing. We are able to thoroughly floss your teeth, eliminating debris from between your teeth that you may have missed. Flossing also helps to eliminate loose debris and polish that may have gotten stuck during your appointment.
ExamsRoutine exams are also recommended twice a year and are typically performed in the same appointment as your regular cleanings. While measures such as brushing, flossing, and routine cleanings help to prevent issues like cavities, gum disease, and more, it is still possible for complications to arise. Many oral health issues do not exhibit symptoms in their earliest stages, meaning that they can go untreated for quite some time. By the time symptoms are noticeable, the issue has developed into something more serious. With routine exams, we are able to spot many issues in their earliest stages, before you ever know there is a problem. By detecting issues early, the necessary treatments are generally much less invasive, and cost less as well.
Your exam is a simple process. We look over your teeth, looking for chips, cracks, decay, and cavities. Your gums are assessed for redness, swelling, recession, and periodontal pockets. We also scan the interior or your mouth to look for abnormalities that can point toward oral cancer. If issues are detected, a treatment plan is created.
In addition to a visual examination of your mouth, X-rays are also an important part of your routine exams. X-rays are images of the hidden structures in your mouth, including the spaces between your teeth, your tooth roots, and your jawbone. These images allow us to spot issues that may not otherwise be noticeable to the naked eye, such as root fractures and bone loss. With these images we are able to provide you with the best care possible and ensure optimal oral health.
Along with brushing and flossing, routine cleanings and exams can help you to keep your mouth happy and healthy. Call State Street Dental today at (971) 332-3020 for more information and to schedule your next appointment.