A brilliant smile not only helps you look great, but it can contribute to overall health. Oral health directly affects many other areas of the body so it's important to consider the American Dental Association's (ADA) recommendation of two professional cleanings a year. Here at Singing River Dentistry we offer cleanings and other services for beaming smiles with a healthy mouth.
Understanding the Cleaning Basics
A dental cleaning is a noninvasive procedure that might start off with x-rays (for new patients or those who haven't had an exam for some time) followed by a physical exam by one of our oral hygienists. He/she will check your teeth and gums for potential concerns like gingivitis to make sure it is safe to continue with the cleaning. If any issues are detected, it might be necessary to consult with our dentist before proceeding.
After the initial inspection, our hygienist will use an instrument called a scaler to remove plaque and tartar between your teeth and around the gumline. You will hear a scraping sound and might feel a slight scraping sensation across your teeth, but not to the point of discomfort. Once all tartar has been removed the teeth are polished with a gritty toothpaste and powerful electric brush.
Once the deep brushing is complete it's time for flossing. Our hygienists will demonstrate the best way to floss your teeth plus this step removes any tartar or toothpaste that might still be present. The flossing will show us if your gums start to bleed, which indicates potential danger zones in your mouth. When this step is complete, you will be given a rinse to flush out loosened debris. The final part of a cleaning is a fluoride treatment that acts like a sealant for your teeth. Many patients schedule a teeth whitening to target deep stains and discoloration that cannot be removed through professional cleaning.
Even if you brush and floss every day and your teeth are dazzling white, twice-annual cleanings provide numerous benefits. Oral professionals can recognize subtle problems even in the beginning stages. That slight toothache might be a cavity or related to wisdom teeth. Gum problems can be especially sneaky, and you might mistake bleeding gums for simply brushing too hard when it is a more ominous sign. While prevention is the best course of action issues can still surface. It is best to treat such issues immediately before they advance and become more problematic. Most people don't have an x-ray machine at home, which is a critical tool in identifying potential problems. When you come in for cleaning and exam, we will also look for signs of oral cancer.
Dental cleanings are great for those hard-to-reach spots we all have plus they deliver deeper results than brushing and flossing at home. This is also an ideal time to bring up any questions or concerns you have to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. Remember, you only get one (permanent) set of teeth. Here at Singing River Dentistry we want to do everything we can to help you take optimal care of them. Call us today at 256-712-3549 to schedule your consultation or if you have any questions about our practice. We will also be happy to provide information about the numerous dental insurance programs we accept.