Why is preventive dental care important?
Preventive dental cleanings, also known as prophylactic cleanings, are the procedures you likely think of when you’re reminded of the dentist. They’re routine cleanings for patients with healthy gums. The American Dental Association recommends two cleanings per year for most patients. This gives our team a chance to remove plaque and tartar build up, so your smile can stay healthy and beautiful for longer.
Did you know…
If you don’t floss, you’re leaving plaque on 40% of your tooth surfaces!
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What to expect at your preventive dental care appointment
Before & Afters
A smile is worth 1,000 words.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the difference between prophylactic cleanings and periodontal cleanings?
Prophylactic cleanings, also known as “regular cleanings, ” are the cleanings you receive during your routine dental appointments. They are essential in helping to prevent decay and keep your breath fresh, and should be scheduled every 6 months. During your cleaning, we’ll remove any plaque, tartar, or bacterial buildup from your teeth and floss between them to ensure the continued health of your smile.
Periodontal cleanings are only necessary for patients with periodontal, or gum, disease, and are sometimes referred to as “deep cleanings.” These cleaning sessions are more thorough than regular cleanings, and are meant to halt the progression of gum disease. Your dentist or hygienist will carefully scrape away any plaque or tartar buildup from between your teeth and gums, and carefully smooth out the roots of your teeth, to eliminate pockets that can trap bacteria and allow gum disease to flourish. An important part of every periodontal maintenance routine, deep cleanings can help those suffering from gum disease to preserve their oral health.
Is preventive care covered by dental insurance?
The vast majority of dental insurance policies fully cover routine preventive care like cleanings, exams, and x-rays. Even if it’s not completely covered by your insurance plan, chances are it is at least partially covered. Certain plans may even cover optional treatments, like dental sealants and fluoride treatments. Get in touch with your provider for specific details about your insurance plan, or give us a call today and find out how we can help maximize your benefits.
How do I floss properly?
Daily flossing is the best way to dislodge plaque and bacteria to keep gum disease at bay, and can be easy once you know the proper technique. Begin by gathering about 24 inches of dental floss, wrapping most of it around one index or middle finger. Wind the remaining few inches around the index finger of your other hand, keeping about 1-inch of floss taut between your fingers and thumbs. Gently glide the floss between your teeth. If you’re having trouble getting the floss between your teeth, try not to force it, as it can slip and cause damage to your gums. Instead, use a gentle side-to-side rocking motion to get the floss where it needs to be. Once the floss is between your teeth, slide it into the gum line while following the c-shaped curve of the tooth. Repeat this process for both sides of every tooth. To help prevent the spread of bacteria, be sure to wind a new 1-inch section of floss before moving on to the next tooth.
How do I brush my teeth properly?
Keeping up with good brushing habits is integral to your oral health, and using the proper technique can help keep your mouth free from decay. Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle and use small, circular strokes to clean the front, back, and chewing surfaces of each tooth. You should spend about 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth. Use toothpaste that is ADA-approved and rich in fluoride, and don’t forget to replace your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every 3-4 months, or when the bristles start to look frayed or worn.