What to Expect During a Dental Cleaning?
Professional teeth cleaning treatments are one of the best ways to prevent and treat periodontal disease and tooth decay. A dental cleaning also helps our patients maintain optimal tooth health and cultivate a bright, white smile. Some patients are apprehensive about coming in for a dental cleaning because they don’t know what to expect. By knowing what happens during a dental cleaning, you can eliminate your fears (or the fears of a loved one) and approach this dental visit without fear or anxiety.
Your Oral Health
Certain conditions, such as high cholesterol and diabetes, can affect the health of your gums. Your oral health habits (brushing and flossing) will also affect how healthy your mouth is and if you are at risk for tooth decay. It is critical to take care of your oral health, because your oral health affects overall health. Researchers at Columbia University found that people with gum disease were more likely to suffer from arteriosclerosis, or the narrowing of the blood vessels. This leads to stroke and heart attack. Studies also show that the more bacteria you have in your mouth, the more likely you are to have more health problems.
Reducing your bacteria through proper oral hygiene habits is key to keeping your mouth healthy and reducing your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. The American Dental Association recommends that every person brush their teeth at least twice a day. The ADA also recommends flossing your teeth everyday to remove food that is stuck between teeth. These two habits alone will significantly reduce your risk for decay and disease. Also critical to your oral health? Seeing the dentist at least twice a year for comprehensive examinations and a dental cleaning.
What Is a Dental Cleaning?
Did you know that about 1/3rd of people don’t see their dentist every year? Only about 65% of people see their dentist regularly. That statistic has stayed consistent throughout the years. Some of the most basic services a dentist provides is a dental cleaning and comprehensive exam. Although basic, these are some of the most important services, because they determine if you have tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, and other oral health issues.
When you come into our office for a dental cleaning, Dr. Ania or one of her dental hygienists will provide your teeth with one of the best cleanings they will get all year. This isn’t your ordinary brushing and flossing. Our hygienists will brush your teeth with our brushing and polishing tools. They will remove tartar (mineralized plaque) with ultrasonic treatments or fine hand tools. We will remove all plaque from your teeth and polish them. Thorough flossing will remove stuck food and will determine if your flossing habits are good or not. We will also provide you a flouride treatment that will protect your teeth from decay and strengthen them. A dental hygienist will clean every part of your tooth meticulously and Dr. Ania will evaluate your oral health.
This is a time for Dr. Ania to check your mouth for oral cancer. She will do a thorough examination of your tongue, lips, cheeks, throat and more, and will check for any abnormalities. She will check your biting, chewing and swallowing patterns and see if you need orthodontic treatment in the future. If you have tooth decay, we will set up an appointment to remove your decay and restore your tooth health. For gum problems, she can prescribe you antibiotics for gum infections or bacteria problems. If your oral health needs improvement, she will teach you what needs to be done at home to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Battling Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is our biggest concern when it comes to the health of your teeth. This is because the National Institutes of Health reports that tooth decay is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases among children and adults. That’s compared to thousands of other diseases! The worst part is that tooth decay (cavities) are 100% avoidable if you take care of your teeth. This is one disease you don’t have to have. Knowing how cavities form can help you avoid them.
When you eat, sugars in food and drink mix with bacteria in your mouth to form a sticky, clear and acidic substance we call plaque. Some bacteria helps break down your food for digestion, while other bacteria (the bad kind) forms this plaque. That plaque damages your teeth because it sticks to your tooth enamel. The acids in it work to slowly weaken your teeth and erode your enamel over time. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth several times a day, you will eventually have weak spots and small cracks in your teeth. That allows plaque to get inside the soft center of your tooth where your nerves and blood vessels are. This is the most sensitive part of your tooth, and where tooth decay will happen rapidly. Severe tooth decay leads to large cavities, root canals and even lost teeth.
Better Oral Health Today
Not enough people visit their dentist each year. This is why so many people have tooth decay and gum disease—both of which are avoidable with proper oral health habits. Investing in a dental cleaning can help reduce your risk for both of these diseases and can eliminate your chance of other oral health issues. Win the battle against tooth decay by having your teeth cleaned and examined at our dental office today. Simply call Dr. Ania’s office at (303) 872-9940 to schedule your appointment!