Oral Hygiene is done to keep your mouth clean and disease-free. It includes brushing and flossing everyday at home as well as regular dental visits for cleanings, exams, and dental x-rays. It is recommended that you have a dental hygiene appointment every six months. This helps keep minor stains, plaque, or bacteria from building up on teeth.
Dental x-rays show your over all oral health. X-rays use low levels of radiation to capture images of the interior of your teeth and gums. The dentists uses x-rays to identify problems, such as, cavities, tooth decay, and impacted teeth. How often x-rays are taken depends on your medical and dental history.
Regular dental visits can help diagnose a problem early and can prevent the need for invasive dental procedures. Issues that can be detected early during a dental checkup include tooth decay, cavities, gum diseases, and oral cancer. Identifying and dealing with these problems early enough increases chances of successful treatment. You should have an oral exam once every year. It may be suggested that you have an oral exam more than once a year if you have certain oral risks.
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. Every day, minerals are added to and lost from a tooth's enamel layer. Minerals are lost when plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth attack the enamel. This can lead to tooth decay. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque and sugars. Fluoride treatments should be done every 6 months for children and once per year for adults.
To determine whether you have periodontitis (gum disease) the dentist will review your medical history, examine your mouth, measure the pocket depth of the groove between your gums and teeth, and take dental x-rays. Periodontitis can cause severe problems including loss of teeth. The first stage, called gingivitis, can be reversed with deep cleanings and good at-home hygiene. Advanced stages require more advanced and frequent treatment and is irreversible. With deep cleanings (debridement) and scaling and root planing gum disease can be stopped and help preserve your oral health.
Dental sealants are a thin, plastic coating painted on the chewing surfaces of molars to prevent decay. Children and teenagers should get sealants on permanent molars and premolars. Sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of age 6 to 14.