Cleanings and Exams
Professional Cleanings
Professional cleanings performed by a certified dentist or hygienist are just as important to your dental health as daily brushing and flossing. Using specialized tools and training, your hygienist or dentist will:

• Remove plaque build-up from the surfaces of teeth. (Bacteria in the mouth form plaque, which collects on teeth and causes decay, gum disease, and gingivitis.)
• Remove tartar from teeth surfaces. (Tartar, or calculus, is plaque that has become so hardened on the teeth that its removal requires special procedures. Tartar below the gum line is also an indicator of gum disease.)
• Remove surface stains from teeth through polishing.

Examinations
Regular examinations help detect and prevent health issues before they become serious. Consistent dental check-ups help catch problems when they are small and easier to treat. Left unattended, small treatable problems become worse and may require more extensive, expensive procedures to repair. Dental examinations generally include the following:

• Gum Disease screening
• Oral Cancer screening
• Visual tooth decay evaluation
• Visual gum disease examination
• Gum pocket measurement and tracking
• X-ray examination to detect: tooth decay, cysts, tumors, problems below the gums and other hidden issues

Regular examinations are very important for your health. Remember, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." –Benjamin Franklin

X-rays (Radiographs)
X-rays are a primary tool for early identification of dental problems. Detecting issues with X-rays before they become problems can save you money in the long run by preventing the need for more extensive, expensive procedures or surgeries. X-rays are primarily used to detect:

• Internal tooth decay
• Cysts (fluid filled sacks at the base of your teeth)
• Tumors, both cancerous and non-cancerous
• Impacted teeth
• Teeth that are still coming in

Sealants
Sealants are generally used to help prevent tooth decay on the biting surfaces of back teeth (molars). The natural grooves of these teeth can trap food that can resist casual brushing and rinsing. If left in place, the trapped food allows bacteria to multiply, eventually causing tooth decay and requiring costly attention.

Sealants are painted directly onto the tooth where they seal the natural grooves to help prevent tooth decay. While sealants are durable, they are not permanent. They can last up to 5 years of normal wear before needing replacement.

Sealants offer a cost-effective, preventative step to reduce the chances of tooth decay on the chewing surfaces of molars. However, they do not replace the need for regular brushing and flossing.

Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
Gum disease accounts for approximately 70% of all tooth loss in adults. Early signs of gum disease include bleeding gums when flossing or brushing and gums that are red, inflamed, or swollen.

Gum disease and tooth decay are caused by the same bacteria. These bacteria form plaque beneath the gum-line, which eats away at the bond between tooth and gum. If deterioration is allowed to continue, "pockets" form in between the teeth and the gums. Pockets deeper than 3ml may require special treatment to remove the bacteria and plaque. Without treatment and continuous maintenance, gum disease will eventually weaken the bonds that hold the teeth in place.

There is no permanent treatment for gum disease. However, it can be kept under control with proper personal hygiene and regular visits to a trained dentist or hygienist.
 

10 Ways You Can Wreck your Teeth - Part 1
We all want to have healthy teeth, but many of us may not be aware that we are sabotaging our tooth health with little daily mistakes. Brushing and flossing are good, but read on if you want to learn about the first five ways that you might be wrecking your teeth.

1.  Baby Bottles at Bedtime: Chances are, if you are a mother you have let your baby fall asleep with a bottle in her mouth. But beware! The longer bacteria are allowed to sit still on baby teeth, the more likely tooth decay will start in your little one. So take the bottle away when she is ready to go to sleep.
2.  Chomping on Ice: Before you stick a piece of ice in your mouth, remember that each time you chomp down you risk cracking your teeth and damaging the surrounding gums.
3.  Teeth Grinding: One of the worst things you can do to your teeth is, ironically, out of your control. Teeth grinding happens at night, usually when we are deep in sleep. Wearing a mouth guard every night can help eliminate this problem.
4.  Gummies: Did you ever notice how gummy candy seems to stick to your teeth all day? Eating gummies poses a dual threat: Sugar + Stickiness. So try to stay away from gummies unless you plan to brush your teeth right after eating.
5.  Starchy Snacks: We bet you didn't think that eating potato chips was bad for teeth, but it is. Starchy snacks get caught between teeth and continue doing damage hours after you have eaten the last chip.




 
 

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