Here’s what you can expect during your next dental appointment. We’ll also explain why each procedure is important to your oral health and overall wellbeing.
Dental plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that lives inside your mouth. As you eat sugary and/or starchy foods, these bacteria eat the food particles left behind. As they do this, they also produce an acid that erodes your enamel and attacks your gums. If left untreated, dental plaque will eventually harden into tartar.
While you can remove dental plaque at home, only a dental professional will be able to remove tartar. That’s why teeth cleanings are so important if you want to maintain good oral health.
During your appointment, we’ll use a dental tool called a scaler to gently scrape away plaque and tartar. Then, we’ll use a high-powered toothbrush with gritty toothpaste to polish your teeth. The next steps are to floss, rinse, and wait for the dentist to perform the final examination.
During an oral examination, one of our dentists will check the inside of your mouth for obvious signs of cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems. For example, you may have periodontitis if you have bleeding gums and deep gum pockets between your teeth.
Your dentist may also perform an oral cancer screening by examining the inside of your mouth for red and white patches. They’ll also use a gloved hand to feel inside your mouth for lumps and other abnormalities. If they find anything suspicious, they’ll refer you to the appropriate specialist for a biopsy.
According to the American Cancer Society, over 53,000 Americans will get oral and throat cancer this year. Getting an oral cancer screening can save your life because it allows your dentist to catch any symptoms early.
X-rays allow us to see oral health issues that may be lurking beneath the surface. For example, we may see that your wisdom teeth are coming in crooked and refer you to an oral surgeon to have them extracted. Another example would be detecting a tiny cavity between your back teeth.
Oral Hygiene Counseling
Do you have questions about how to practice good oral hygiene at home? If so, our family dentists would be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have. Our dentists will customize their advice according to your medical history and goals for oral health.
Any Plans for Future Treatment
If we detect an issue during your routine teeth cleaning, one of our dentists will recommend a treatment plan to restore your oral health. In general, it’s always a good idea to invest in preventive dentistry so that we can treat issues in their early stages before they have the opportunity to worsen. Not only will this help you save as much tooth enamel as possible, but it will help you save money in the long run.
Schedule Your Next Teeth Cleaning with Us
Our family dentists in Ann Arbor, MI, are dedicated to helping their patients maintain healthy smiles for life. To schedule your next teeth cleaning appointment, call Enhance Family Dentistry & Orthodontics at (734) 821-7676. You may also fill out our online contact form.
This blog post has been updated.