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pro·phy·lax·is [proh-fuh-lak-sis, prof-uh-] (Teeth Cleaning)
1.the prevention of disease or control of its possible spread
What is a dental cleaning?
The ADA strongly recommends that a dentist or hygienist perform a dental cleaning every six months FOR THOSE WITH HEALTHY GUMS. This professional dental cleaning reinforces the home-care oral health regimen of brushing and flossing and gives the dentist an opportunity to locate areas in the mouth that may need special attention.
FOR THOSE WITH PERIODONTAL CONCERNS, CLEANINGS EVERY 3-4 MONTHS ARE RECOMMENDED.
People who regularly practice good oral hygiene at home with proper brushing and flossing techniques typically do not experience discomfort during a cleaning. However, those who have neglected their oral hygiene habits may experience some discomfort or sensitivity during a dental cleaning. The dentist can use an anesthetic before the cleaning to alleviate any discomfort when necessary.
A healthy smile requires more than just regular brushing and flossing. A dental cleaning keeps hard to clean areas free of harmful plaque and tartar buildup. When dental damage is found in the early stages, treatments can be used to repair your smile and prevent further damage.
What Happens during a Dental Exam and Cleaning
Regular dental exams and cleanings should be performed at least once every six months to maintain a healthy smile. Dental exams and cleanings are usually performed during the same appointment.
During the exam, the teeth are checked for any signs of damage, including decay, fractures, or chips. Dental restorations, like fillings or porcelain crowns, may also be checked to ensure they are not loose or damaged. The gums are checked for gum disease and the tongue, and oral tissues may be checked for any abnormalities or signs of oral cancer. Sometimes X-rays are taken to determine the health of the jawbone and tooth roots.
The Benefits of Regular Dental Exams and Professional Cleanings
When regular dental exams and cleanings are combined with proper at-home oral hygiene habits, which includes flossing once a day and brushing twice a day, tooth decay and gum disease are less likely to occur. Regular dental exams and cleanings should not be skipped, because they offer many benefits to oral health, including:
Catches dental damage early: Even with diligent brushing and flossing, tooth decay, chips, or fractures may still develop. Regular dental exams can help catch this issues early before serious damage occurs. This can prevent the need for costly dental treatments while also protecting your oral health.
Prevents plaque and tartar buildup: Regular dental cleanings help prevent plaque and tartar buildup that brushing and flossing at home can miss. Removing plaque and tartar is essential for preventing tooth decay and gum disease.
Reduces the risk of tooth loss: When tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems go undetected and untreated, the risk of tooth loss increases. Undergoing regular dental exams and cleanings help catch and prevent dental damage, reducing the risk of tooth loss.
Schedule Your Next Dental Exam
Don't put off your next exam or cleaning any longer. To schedule, we invite you to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the APPOINTMENT REQUESTtab above!
Battle Ground 360-666-0100
Brad Halleck, DDS | Town Dental