A Step-by-Step Guide on Tooth Care, Dental Exams, and Cleanings

A Step-by-Step Guide on Tooth Care, Dental Exams, and Cleanings

Dental exams and cleanings are standard general dental procedures. It is recommended that these procedures be conducted regularly to avoid plaque build-up and prevent tooth decay.

How Often Should I Get A Dental Exam and Cleaning?

The general rule of thumb is to visit your dentist in York, ME at least once every six months. However, depending on your teeth and gum health, more visits may be recommended. Some patients are recommended to get a checkup and cleaning done as often as every three months.

During your dental exam and cleaning, our dentist can recommend the most suitable frequency for you.

What to Expect from a Professional Exam and Cleaning

1. Physical Exam of The Oral Cavity 

Our dental practice in York will schedule you for an exam at least once every six months. During your exam, our dentist will use a dental mirror to inspect your teeth and gums. If the oral cavity is inspected and no underlying dental conditions are found, the cleaning procedure can proceed.

2. Plaque and Tartar Removal 

Our experienced dental hygienist or dentist in York will utilize metal tools to manually remove plaque and tartar build-up during this step.

3. Electric Brushing 

Then, your teeth will be cleaned and polished using a high-powered dental electric brush and a coarse toothpaste. This polishing toothpaste made of pumice will ensure that your teeth are sparkling clean.

Although you can buy polishing toothpaste over the counter, it’s not recommended to be used daily at home because of its abrasive nature. Excessive use can cause enamel wear.

4. Specialized Flossing 

You might be surprised to know that even if you are meticulous in caring for your teeth, there may be spots of food particles or plaque left in corners that are difficult to reach with just brushing. This is why daily flossing is important.

After scraping off plaque and tartar and thoroughly brushing your teeth, our dentist will use floss to remove any food or dental plaque stuck in between them. This step will prevent gingivitis and plaque build-up.

5. Debris Rinsing 

Next, you will be instructed to rinse your mouth to remove the debris from the cleaning process. The liquid rinse typically contains a small percentage of fluoride.

6. Fluoride Application 

Although the rinsing solution may contain fluoride, a fluoride treatment may be conducted as the final step of dental exams and cleaning in York.

The fluoride application formula is meant to strengthen the enamel of your teeth. Fluoride can also prevent bacterial build-up. It is a preventive component for fighting tooth decay.

Why Get Dental Exams and Cleanings?

1. To Stop Plaque and Tartar Build-Up

When plaque and tartar are not brushed off teeth, they stick to the enamel. More specifically, in tiny spaces found between adjacent teeth and right along the region connecting your teeth to the gums. Without professional help in getting rid of these, they will attract bacteria and transform into tooth decay.

By visiting our dental practice for an exam and cleaning, our dentist can immediately assess the condition of your teeth. If the beginnings of dental carries are in sight, they can be treated as soon as possible—the earlier the treatment, the better.

2. For a Brighter Smile 

Aside from inspecting and cleaning your pearly whites, tooth discoloration or staining can be addressed as well. For teeth that are externally stained, a series of whitening or tooth bleaching treatments can be scheduled for brighter teeth.

It’s always better to address teeth discoloration before it worsens and requires more complicated whitening methods, such as the use of dental bonding or dental veneers.

3. To Prevent Early Tooth Loss and Potential Gum Disease 

In addition to your teeth, your gums and bones can also be inspected during a dental exam. Generally, dental conditions do not show symptoms of diseases on the exterior of the teeth. A qualified dental professional can examine the gums and bones in your oral cavity to determine if they’re in good shape or not.

If it has been more than six months since you’ve had a dental exam and cleaning, give York Dental Group a call. We’ll be happy to help you get your dental health back on track.

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