Two crucial aspects of effective oral health care are comprehensive dental exams and professional dental cleanings. This is common knowledge, and most patients at our St. Paul Family Dentist understand that these two preventive procedures are essential steps in providing our dental professional with sufficient information to treat us effectively.
But many new patients may be unaware of exactly what is involved in a comprehensive dental exam and cleaning. The following is a brief summary of the steps that should be taken:
- A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by our St. Paul Family Dentist at your initial dental visit. At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will include the following:
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays: This step is essential for detecting decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays will also help determine tooth and root positions.
- Oral cancer screening: Your dentist should check your face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
- Gum disease evaluation: It is essential to check the gums and bone surrounding the teeth for signs of periodontal disease.
- Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces should be checked for decay
- Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
Professional Dental Cleaning
Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) should be performed by a registered dental hygienist. Appointments for cleanings include a dental exam as well as the following:
- Removal of calculus (tartar): When plaque is allowed to remain on the teeth it hardens and forms a deposit known as Calculus. Brushing will not remove Calculus since it is calcified and adheres to the teeth above and below the gum line; calculus can only be removed with special dental instruments.
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. Plaque is actually a collection of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. These bacteria produce toxins that will inflame the gums and ultimately lead to periodontal disease.
- Teeth polishing: Polishing is the final step in the process of your professional cleaning and removes stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
Regular dental cleanings and exams are an easy, cost-affordable method for avoiding periodontal disease and other oral health problems. Please contact our dentist office today to make an appointment for these important services.
Our dental health needs change constantly as we age. Older patients at our Highland Park St. Paul General Dentist office have learned that as they’ve reached retirement years, they need to be more diligent with their oral health care.
It’s a fact of life that, after years of brushing and general wear, you will experience some loss of enamel. This loss can cause sensitivity as well as discoloration of your teeth as the yellowish dentin under the enamel begins to show through.
Of course, you should continue to brush and floss regularly. Brushing at least twice a day and after meals if possible will help to keep up with the removal of food particles that can cause bacteria to form leading to periodontal disease.
We recommend that you use a soft bristle brush to reduce further wear of enamel or gum recession. If you’ve noticed that your teeth have become more sensitive over the years, ask your dentist for a recommendation for toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth.
As you age you should also be aware of the type of foods you eat and how they affect your teeth and gums. Since some yellowing of the teeth is normal as we age, it is wise to avoid foods or drinks that will leave stains on the teeth such as red wine, coffee, soda, and black tea. Years of tobacco use will also lead to discoloration of your teeth. Curtailing the use of tobacco products can help greatly.
Avoid sticky and acidic foods since they also lead to tooth decay and loss of tooth enamel. This includes sticky or very sweet foods like gummy candies and soda. Acid reflux is also another condition that can hasten the loss of tooth enamel. Try to avoid the types of foods that you know will trigger acid reflux.
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums as you age is certainly not impossible, but you do need to be sure to maintain your overall health and be diligent with your at-home oral health care routine. Make regular appointments with your Highland Park St. Paul General Dentist for professional cleanings and checkups to stay ahead of any oral health issues that may develop and to help maintain a beautiful, healthy smile for many years to come.
It’s well known that taking proper care of your teeth will provide a lifetime of oral health. Unfortunately, though, prevention through good oral health practices is often not a priority for many people. The Highland Park, MN General Dentist understands the importance of prevention and offers reasons why proper preventative care for our teeth is essential.
Professional Teeth Cleaning
Food and beverages that are consumed during the day stick to the surfaces of our teeth. This creates the substance we know as plaque. Since plaque buildup is not obvious, you may not even be aware of the presence of these bacteria until you have a dental problem. Scheduling professional cleanings twice a year is critical to monitoring plaque build-up so action can be taken.
Thorough Dental Exams
No less important than professional teeth cleaning is a comprehensive dental exam. This enables your dentist to identify any underlying issues and address them before they become painful and costly to treat.
Dental sealants are used to fill in tiny crevices on the chewing surfaces of back teeth. Children especially benefit from the application of sealants used to protect their permanent teeth.
Participating in activities where teeth or soft mouth tissue are at risk should always include wearing a mouth guard. A mouth guard can be custom-crafted by your St. Paul, MN General Dentist to provide a perfect fit and effective protection for your teeth. Patients who suffer from teeth grinding (bruxism) can also benefit from wearing a mouth guard.
Daily Brushing and Flossing
If you’re not sure which products will be most effective for maintaining your daily oral health, your dental hygienist will be happy to guide you in selecting the proper oral health products. Diligent at-home oral hygiene is one of the most effective and least expensive ways to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Call our office to arrange your semi-annual dental cleaning and examination. Your teeth are an irreplaceable asset. Make sure you protect them with the proper oral health care.
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