Cleanings & Exams
Your mouth has many responsibilities. For it to remain healthy, and be able to perform these functions optimally, it requires special care. Much of this care takes place in your own home. The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day to prevent issues like cavities and gum disease. However, you're at home oral care routine is only a part of maintaining optimal oral health. At Lake Sammamish Family Dentistry, we can help with professional cleanings and exams.
It is recommended by the American Dental Association that you have your teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year or every six months. While this might not seem like much, these cleanings are integral to the protection of your oral health. Even if you brush and floss your teeth every day, there are some areas of your mouth that may be harder to clean than others. If an area goes improperly cleaned for any length of time, plaque and bacteria can build up, significantly increasing your risk for decay, cavities, and gum disease.
With regular professional cleanings, we can help to eliminate all build up from all surfaces of your teeth. Your cleanings start with a thorough scraping of all visible surfaces of your teeth, including between them, along with the gum line, and just below it. We scrape away plaque, bacteria, and other debris. We are also able to eliminate tartar, hardened plaque that cannot be eliminated with the bristles of a toothbrush.
After your teeth have been scraped clean, we then polish them. This is done using an electric handpiece and a dental polish that contains abrasives. The abrasives scrub the surfaces of your teeth as the head of the electric handpiece spins, effectively eliminating debris and surface stains, leaving your teeth smooth, clean, and shiny. Finally, we floss your teeth. This is done not only to remove any debris that may have been missed in your home care, but also to remove any loose debris or polish that may have gotten stuck during your cleaning. If necessary, we can complete your cleaning with a fluoride treatment.
Exams are also recommended at least twice a year. They are typically done at the same appointment as your cleanings. Exams are necessary to spot many different types of oral health issues, even those in their earliest stages. Many different issues do not present any symptoms in the early stages. By the time you notice anything is wrong, these issues have progressed into something more serious. By spotting them early, we can take action right away and treat the problem before it becomes worse. During your exams, we look over the surfaces of your teeth. We check them for signs of chips, cracks, and cavities. We look over your gum tissue, checking for redness, swelling, and other signs of infection including gum recession. We also scan the other soft tissues in your mouth to check for any signs of abnormalities. In addition to a visual exam of your mouth, dental x-rays are also an important part of your routine exams. They are not usually performed at every visit. They do, however, provide us with a unique look into the hidden structures of your mouth, including the areas between your teeth as well as the structures below your gums. Again, they help us to spot issues in their early stages, before they become serious, enabling us to provide you with fast, effective treatment.
After your mouth has been looked over, we have an in-depth discussion with you. We talk about any issues we find and available treatments. We discuss your oral care habits and how to improve them. We also take the time to answer any questions that you might have, helping you to better understand your oral health. When combined with a good at-home oral hygiene routine, regular professional cleanings and exams can help to keep your mouth clean, happy, and healthy. Call Lake Sammamish Family Dentistry today at (425) 392-3900 to schedule your next appointment!