Cleanings & Routine Checkups
Do you brush your teeth diligently, but still exhibit teeth stains or cavities? Do your gums seem irritated even though you’re careful to keep them clean every day? Regular exams and cleanings help us control plaque and tartar buildup so you can prevent the issues that they can cause, including cavities and gum disease. When adhered to, a schedule of preventive visits can help you avoid the need for extensive restorative treatment or full-mouth reconstruction.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I ATTEND AN EXAM AND CLEANING APPOINTMENT?
The general rule is to schedule your dental exam and cleaning appointments no more than six months apart. However, if you are at risk for tooth decay, gum disease, bruxism, TMJ or other bite problems, then we might suggest more frequent visits until the risks are under control.
WHY ARE DENTAL CLEANINGS NECESSARY IF I BRUSH AND FLOSS REGULARLY?
Dental plaque is a combination of oral bacteria, food particles, and saliva. Some of the bacteria that form plaque excrete acids that attack tooth enamel and irritate gingival tissue, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing and flossing your teeth every day helps control plaque buildup, but if you miss a spot, the plaque will calcify (harden) into tartar. Because tartar cannot be removed with toothpaste and water, routine dental cleanings are necessary to remove the bacteria-rich calculus from your teeth.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE DENTAL EXAM?
In addition to thoroughly cleaning away plaque and tartar, your preventive visits will also include a comprehensive visual examination of your teeth and oral structures. During this inspection your dentist may utilize digital X-rays and an intraoral camera, which provides clearer more detailed images, to ensure that no issues have developed since your last visit.
WILL YOU ALWAYS CHECK FOR ORAL CANCER?
During your dental examinations, we will also perform oral screenings to check for tissue abnormalities that could indicate the early stages of oral cancer. Early detection and treatment significantly increase the chances of successfully defeating oral cancer. We’ll also teach you how to perform self-examinations at home every month between visits, to help you stay on top of your oral, and overall health.
HOW CAN YOU SPOT DECAY BEFORE A CAVITY DEVELOPS?
Cavities are holes in your teeth that are caused by tooth decay, and they are often inconspicuous until they begin to hurt. To prevent damage caused by cavities, we employ the advanced DIAGNOdent early cavity detection system. This laser-assisted diagnostic tool reveals high levels of fluorescence in your teeth, which indicate weak areas of tooth enamel that could lead to decay. If DIAGNOdent reveals weak spots in your enamel, we may be able to prevent cavities from developing and causing irreversible damage to your tooth structure.
IF A CLEANING FOCUSES ON MY TEETH, HOW CAN IT HELP ME PREVENT GUM DISEASE?
A regular dental cleaning, officially called a prophylaxis, focuses on removing plaque and tartar and polishing the visible surfaces of your teeth. It also focuses on removing bacteria from along the gum line to reduce irritation and infection of your gums. If plaque and tartar have developed on the roots of your teeth below the gum line, then we can recommend periodontal cleaning, or scaling and root planing. Periodontal cleaning may take more than one visit to complete, and entails accessing the root surfaces under your gums to clean and polish them and help prevent the onset of gum disease.
WILL AN EXAM AND CLEANING HELP CURE MY CHRONIC BAD BREATH?
Besides attacking tooth enamel and irritating your gingival tissue, some oral bacteria also release foul-smelling gases that cause persistent, noticeable bad breath – a condition known as halitosis. By effectively controlling plaque by brushing, flossing, and attending regular exams and cleanings, you may be able to easily prevent or eliminate embarrassing bad breath.
Contact Our Santa Clarita/Valencia, CA Office Today!
At Gorman Dental Care in Santa Clarita/Valencia, CA, Dr. Gorman and his talented, dedicated staff are proud to provide a full range of family and cosmetic dental services, as well as advanced dental implant placement and restorations. Whatever your dental needs, we have the experience and technology to help you enjoy a bright, beautiful, healthy smile once again! To schedule a consultation with Dr. Gorman, or for answers to questions about our practice, please call our dental office in Santa Clarita, CA today at (661) 232-9692.