Why regular dental cleanings are essential
A common misconception about dental cleanings is that they are just for keeping your teeth looking clean/esthetically pleasing. In truth, your dental hygienist is collecting data throughout your appointment to access gum and bone health, health of the tooth,looking for signs of oral cancer, and working as your preventive specialist to help you prevent future decay-just to name a few!
The "cleaning" 1.Hardened Plaque (calculus) is a substance that can adhere to your teeth either above or below the gumline. Removal of this substance is important because this buildup can actually cause bone loss/gum disease(periodontal disease),inflammation of gums(gingivitis),and recession. Complete removal of this buildup is absolutely imperitive to a healthy support system of bone and gums around the tooth.
Data collection: This includes xrays, periodontal charting (measurements to check on the health of your gums and bone),digital pictures. Your dental hygienist and Dentist will then work together to make sure your overall oral health is the best it can be. Based on the data collected, they will also make suggestions to improve your oral health.
Cancer Screening Your dental hygienist also looks for any signs of head, neck and oral cancer at your routine visits. This is completed extraorally (outside of the mouth) when they feel around the head and neck region and try to feel for any abnormalities(such as lumps/bumps). After the extraoral screening process they then do an intraoral (inside the mouth) screening. During this time they will feel and look around your cheeks, gums, roof of the mouth, tongue and floor of the mouth. Lastly they will do a visual scan of all the tissue to make sure there are no abnormalities they can see visually. Having routine cancer screenings such as this are very important for your overall health.
Preventive education There are many aids that can be used by patients to help prevent future decay. It is the responsibility of your dental team to educate you on these products so you can keep a healthy and stable mouth. These products include but are not limited to electric toothbrushes, waterpiks, floss, proxabrushes, professional fluoride treatments, prescription strength toothpaste products, dry mouth products, and so much more.
Treatment education Your dental hygienist is also there to answer any remaining questions that you may have about treatment: what to expect, how its done and why the dentist has treatment planned it.