The Foundation of Preventative Dentistry: Cleanings And Exams
At Los Alamitos Dental Care, we appreciate that the “best” approach to dental problems is to prevent them from occurring in the first place! We accomplish this by getting our patients on a healthy schedule of routine visits, including cleanings and exams, at our office in Los Alamitos, California.
These routine visits are fundamental to preventative dentistry and to protecting and maintaining the health of the teeth, gums, and mouth. The “standard” visit is scheduled at least once every six months or bi-annually. If you smoke or have other risk factors for conditions such as oral cancer and gum disease, our dentists will want to follow up with you more often. That way, we get ahead or stay on top of conditions that can threaten the teeth and may even adversely affect your overall (“systemic”) health.
Such 6-month “dental check-ups” generally involve:
- A professional cleaning by one of our talented dental hygienists. Our hygienists have the training and the tools to gently and thoroughly remove lingering food particles, bacteria, plaque, and tartar (plaque build-up). These substances erode the tooth’s structure, from the outside enamel inward to the soft, nervy dental pulp. Additionally, they release toxins that break down the tissues that attach to and support the teeth. Professional cleanings also aid in keeping your breath fresh and in maintaining white, attractive teeth by removing stains that form on the surface of the teeth.
- A comprehensive exam is performed by one of our six dentists. During this evaluation, our dentists will look for signs of problems that might otherwise go undetected. The truth is many oral conditions are not associated with any symptoms until after the disease has progressed and caused damage that requires some form of treatment. We use our know-how, and advanced diagnostic technologies to detect problems at their earliest stages and before damage is caused, leading to extensive and costly treatment. Oral cancer screenings are also regularly conducted to check for anomalies that may warrant further investigation or a biopsy. These cancers have a high “cure” rate when detected and treated early when they are “localized” and have not spread to near or distant tissues or organs.
- Professional guidance on home care – We equip our patients with the knowledge they can take home to enhance their ability to protect their teeth and gums from dental decay and disease. For instance, we may find that you are brushing or flossing your teeth too aggressively. All it takes is a light touch. Heavy-handed approaches can wear away the teeth and soft tissue attachments. Likewise, patients may skimp on their brushing by rushing through it. You should brush for at least two minutes each time. Be sure to brush other areas of the mouth that can harbor disease-producing pathogens, such as the tongue, gums, and palate.
- Professional preventive services – During regular appointments, we can also discuss and administer services only available at the dentist’s office. For example, children and adults alike may be excellent candidates for dental sealants. These thin coverings are applied to decay-prone back teeth comfortably and quickly. They “seal out” the substances that cause decay. We’ll also assess the condition of existing preventative products and methods. Say, if you have a nightguard or mouthguard, we’ll ensure it remains in tip-top shape. That way, the appliance can protect the teeth and mouth from damage just as it was designed.
When was your last visit to the dentist? Call (562) 539-0011 to schedule an appointment at Los Alamitos Dental Care. We will get your oral health back on the right track.