So you want good dental health? The first step is to actually go to the dentist.
Recent statistics indicate that this is a problem for many Americans. More than 31% of adults ages 20-44 had untreated cavities, and about 35% of adults ages 18-64 had not been to the dentist in the last year.
To keep up your dental health, you need to stay out of these groups by visiting your dentist once every six months for a professional exam and teeth cleaning.
At Portrait Dental, we know how important this step is toward great oral hygiene, so we encourage you to schedule a professional teeth cleaning every six months — and then actually show up!
Here’s what you can expect:
Your visit to our office will start with a physical exam of your mouth. Your exam and professional teeth cleaning are usually handled by a dental hygienist, who uses a small mirror to check throughout your mouth for any signs of gingivitis or other potential issues.
If they find anything out of the ordinary, they may have the dentist check your mouth as well. You’ll also get X-rays at the beginning of this step once a year just to check that everything is okay with your teeth.
Removal of plaque and tartar
You know that scraping sound you hear while you’re in the dental chair? That’s the sound of plaque and tartar buildup being removed from your teeth.
The dental hygienist uses a scaler to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth, especially around the gum line and between your teeth.
If you don’t like this step, you can do something to change: stay consistent with brushing and flossing, and you’ll prevent plaque from building up and becoming tartar (which only the dentist can remove).
Professional teeth cleaning
The next step is for the hygienist to clean your teeth with a high-powered electric toothbrush and a gritty toothpaste that helps scrub your teeth. This gives you a deep clean and helps remove any plaque or tartar the scaler might have missed.
Even if you floss regularly, it’s still a good idea to let the experts get in a quick flossing session on your teeth. They can get deep between your teeth in spots you might miss, and they can let you know where your gums might be tender and could possibly bleed.
A fluoride treatment that helps protect your teeth from cavities usually rounds out your professional teeth cleaning before the dentist comes back in to check over everything. He’ll either give the final okay or let you know about any other treatment you might need.
If this article is a reminder that you need to schedule your next appointment for a professional teeth cleaning, we’d be happy to serve you at Portrait Dental. Call our office in Katy, Texas, or use our convenient online scheduler to schedule your appointment.
We can’t wait to help you take this important step toward great dental health!