Don’t put off your dental cleaning. Call us today to schedule an appointment.
You’ve probably grown up hearing that you need to go to the dentist at least twice a year. But is it all that important?
We get this question a lot, and we understand why. You brush and floss regularly, so why do you even need to see the dentist for an exam and professional cleaning?
The answer is that while regularly brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day is critical to maintaining good oral health, professional cleanings are a next-level way to remove the sticky plaque from your teeth that cannot be taken off with regular brushing and flossing.
Physical exam. The first part of our dental cleaning process is a physical exam by your dental hygienist. This is an opportunity to check out your teeth and gums before cleaning begins. Things we’re looking for at this stage include cavities; damage to the teeth and signs of gum health problems, including inflamed gums and gum pockets; and potential jaw problems such as temporomandibular joint disorder or airway issues, including obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It also allows us to look into the mouth for the signs of oral disease, including oral cancer.
Removal of plaque and tartar. At this stage, your dental hygienist uses a scaler to get rid of the sticky plaque that covers your teeth. The hygienist will also target the tartar (hardened plaque) that can build up around your gum line.
Polishing. During this phase of your professional dental cleaning, your teeth are polished using a gritty toothpaste to help deep clean any tartar not removed in the previous step and polish away any stains.
Next, your teeth are flossed to remove any plaque or food debris stuck in your teeth and gums and locate any problem spots you may need to address. Finally, your mouth is rinsed to remove any debris.
We also encourage patients to have fluoride applied at their dental cleanings. Fluoride is a protectant that can help strengthen your teeth against decay-causing bacteria. Fluoride lasts for several months — just in time for your next professional cleaning appointment.
When was the last time you visited the dentist? If you’ve missed a cleaning or do not have your next appointment scheduled, we recommend calling us today to make an appointment.
If you’re a little late on your last cleaning, probably not much. At least for now. But, over time, the sticky plaque that accumulates on your teeth that you cannot brush or floss away can build up and cause some big problems, including:
Cavity formation. As mentioned above, plaque buildup can lead to cavity development. A cavity is when there’s too much bacterial growth under the surface of your enamel, causing it to break down. When this happens, the area becomes infected and painful. It will eventually become larger than what can be treated through home care alone.
Jawbone issues. Bacteria living in your mouth can weaken bones and change how they function. As a result, jawbone deterioration can affect your chewing ability and even speech patterns.
Gum disease. Gum disease occurs when plaque builds up between your teeth and gums over time and causes a bacterial infection in your mouth. The result is inflammation of the gums, which leads to bleeding and eventual loss of bone tissue. Eventually, the periodontal ligament connecting the root of each tooth to its surrounding alveolar bone weakens and allows the roots to separate from the supporting bone. In severe cases, the entire tooth could fall out.
The length of your visit depends upon many factors, but generally speaking, most people spend about 30 minutes with our hygienist. We’ll discuss everything related to your oral health during your first visit, then follow up with additional visits based on your needs. For example, if you have multiple missing teeth, we might suggest a series of appointments spaced two weeks apart to ensure proper healing before proceeding with restorative work.
Contact us to find out more or how we can help you.
101 E Albany St. Suite 101
Broken Arrow, OK 74012
Call Now: 918-393-0070
Office hours: Monday – Thursday 8am – 4pm