The American Dental Association recommends that patients of all ages complete professional dental cleanings every six months. In some cases, people with ongoing health or dental issues need to see their dentists more frequently.
There are a number of reasons to prioritize semi-annual cleanings; keep reading to learn more about what happens during these appointments.
Regularly schedule professional cleanings give our O'Fallon dentists the opportunity to assess our patients’ smiles for developing issues;
- We’ll check your enamel for weak spots and cavities
- We’ll evaluate any existing restorations you may have, to make sure that they fit will and are structurally sound
- We’ll check your gum tissue for signs of disease
- We’ll complete an oral cancer screening
The sooner that we are able to identify, and begin treating, these problems, the better your long-term dental prognosis will be.
Once we have a good idea of the current state of your smile, we’ll move on to completing a thorough cleaning.
- Our team will eliminate fresh plaque on your smile; plaque is a sticky bacterial film that develops on teeth and oral tissues throughout the day.
- Then, we’ll clear away tartar, which is calcified plaque. When plaque is left undisturbed for a period of time, it hardens and bonds to the natural tooth structure; this is why patients require professional cleanings to get rid of it.
- The last step is to buff and polish the teeth. This freshens the smile and minimizes stains and discoloration.
A professional dental cleaning minimizes oral bacteria in the mouth: bacteria that lead to cavities and gum disease. So, as a patient, you’ll complete professional cleanings twice a year, and keep up with your daily dental routine in the interim to keep bacteria at bay.
Too many people avoid completing professional cleanings because they feel embarrassed that it’s been so long since they’ve seen a dentist. Our O’Fallon dentists want to assure you that we are here to help you no matter what the current state of your smile; this is a judgement-free zone!
This cold and flu season, our O’Fallon dentists are here to help you properly care for your smile when you’re not feeling your best.
When you’re sick, it can be tough to get through your daily routine; you may be confined to your bed for most of the day. However, taking even some small steps to support your oral health can protect your smile and help you feel better, faster.
If you’re having trouble keeping up with your regular habit of cleaning your smile morning and night, try keeping some floss and mouth rinse next to your bed. You can also make it a point to clean your smile whenever you do happen to be at your sink. Essentially, you want to take any opportunity you can to refresh your mouth.
This is especially true if you have the flu and you have been vomiting. The stomach acid in vomit can damage your oral tissues as well as your teeth. Try to rinse your mouth after such instances, so as to minimize the amount of time that acid is able to sit on your teeth and gums. You don’t want to aggressively brush your teeth right away, as your enamel may be temporarily weakened due to acid exposure.
It’s also important to make sure that the dental tools you’re using are fresh and clean. Do not, for example, re-use sections of floss as you go from tooth to tooth, as this can compound contaminants. You also want to switch out your toothbrush after suffering an illness, because the bristles may harbor harmful bacteria.
As always, our O’Fallon dentists are happy to answer any questions that you may have about caring for your smile day in and day out, including while you’re ill. Give us a call to learn more or to schedule a personal consultation with our team!
Patients who suffer from chronic dental sensitivity often end up altering their daily routines in a number of ways in order to avoid discomfort. These patients may limit their diets, and take short-cuts in cleaning their smiles.
Our O’Fallon dentists help patients overcome dental sensitivity, so that they can live unencumbered. Keep reading to get a better idea of what this type of treatment entails…
The first step is for our dental team to identify the underlying cause of the dental sensitivity you’re experiencing. Sensitivity can occur for a number of reasons, including:
- Thinning dental enamel
- Receding or damaged gum tissue
- Entrenched oral health problems, like cavities and gum disease
- Cracked or chipped enamel
- Bruxism-related pain
Once we understand why you’re dealing with pain and discomfort, we can tailor our treatment recommendations to meet your specific needs. Depending on the cause of your dental sensitivity, you may benefit from:
- Incorporating enamel-strengthening treatments into your routine—there are professional treatments available, as well as over-the-counter topical formulations to fight enamel erosion.
- Addressing periodontal disease—gum disease treatments strengthen gum tissue and help it to heal and regenerate. As gum tissue heals, and periodontal pockets diminish, a patient’s sensitive dental nerves become better protected.
- Using protective materials to cover enamel—in some cases materials like composite resin are used to shield diminished dental enamel from irritants and fortify the tooth as a whole.
- Improving bruxism so as to minimize further damage—treatments for bruxism include, orthodontic treatment, customized restorations, and protective oral appliances (which patients wear at night). These treatments reduce tooth-on-tooth grinding that thins enamel over time.
You absolutely do not have to live with a sensitive smile forever; there are treatments available to help you smile, eat, and drink comfortably again. Give our O’Fallon dentists a call to learn more and to schedule a personal consultation with our team!
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