Regular teeth cleanings are vital to maintaining a healthy mouth. Everyone, including children, should visit the dentist for a professional teeth cleaning at least twice per year according to the AGD(Academy of General Dentists). Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are usually performed by Registered Dental Hygienists. Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:
- Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
- Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
Our practice often gets questions about the amount of radiation received during routine x-rays. Many patients also want to understand why it is necessary for them to have them taken. Let’s start off with how much radiation you are getting during routine x-rays.
The dose of radiation is measured in millirems or mrem.
According to the American Nuclear Society, this is how much radiation you expect from common activities:
620 mrem/year = the average level of radiation per person in the US
50000 mrem/year = the safe allowable dose for people that are exposed to radiation in their wok
1 mrem = two hours in a jet plane
7 mrem/year = from living in a brick house
2 mrem/year = from sleeping next to someone else
42 mrem = breast mammogram per breast
700 mrem = abdominal x-ray
0.5 mrem = one dental x-ray
The amount of radiation (mrem) that a patient receives during dental x-rays is very small when compared to other sources of radiation in everyday life. In addition, our office uses modern digital x-rays. The amount of radiation received from a digital x-ray can decrease up to another 80%. That means while a standard x-ray gives off 0.5 mrem, a digital x-ray can give off as little as 0.1 mrem.
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. Every day, minerals are added to and lost from a tooth's enamel layer through two processes, demineralization and remineralization. Minerals are lost (demineralization) from a tooth's enamel layer when acids -- formed from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth -- attack the enamel. Minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate are redeposited (remineralization) to the enamel layer from the foods and waters consumed. Too much demineralization without enough remineralization to repair the enamel layer leads to tooth decay.
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay. In children under 6 years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.
A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist at your initial dental visit. At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will include the following:
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
- Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
- Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
- Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
- Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
What are the benifits of Invisalign?
- Invisalign will straighten teeth and improve overall appearance of your smile.
- Invisalign is a perfect alternative to traditional braces for adults and teens that don't want the unsightly appearance of metal in their mouth.
- Invisalign can be taken out on special occasions when needed.
- Invisalign is nearly invisible to the human eye.
Although appearance is often the motivation behind getting braces, the reasons for doing so far outreach simple appearance.
HEALTHIER TEETH AND GUMS
Swollen, red gums can often be the result of having teeth that are crowded or too widely spaced. Unfortunately, these are also signs of periodontal disease. When teeth are properly aligned, it helps the gums fit more securely around the teeth, allowing for the strongest and healthiest defense against potential periodontal problems. That’s where Invisalign comes in. The comfortable and clear aligners gently and gradually begin to move your teeth into the proper position — without unsightly brackets and wires.
One of the biggest challenges of having braces is removing all the food that gets trapped in the brackets and wires. This can often lead to plaque buildup and eventually tooth decay. With Invisalign, the aligners are removable, so it’s easy to continue brushing and flossing your teeth the way you normally do.
Think of your teeth as a window to the health of your body. Your teeth and gums — and how they look to others when you smile—say a lot about your overall health. If you're taking good care of both, you're probably taking good care of the rest of you.
Tooth decay and gum disease are caused by bacteria. Left untreated, they can cause mouth sores, tender or bleeding gums, bad breath, and possible tooth loss. Studies by the American Dental Association have shown that oral infections can also lead to other more serious ailments such as heart disease, 2 stroke, 3pneumonia 4 and diabetes5. Invisalign aligners make daily oral hygiene easier, thus reducing the risk of possible problems. And correctly aligned teeth can also alleviate the issues that can be caused by an improper bite, speech or chewing difficulties, jaw problems, and increased wear on the tooth enamel. Invisalign effectively addresses all of these orthodontic issues, so you'll have the confidence of a great smile and increase the likelihood of improved oral health.
Dentals sealants are used to protect the pits, fissures and grooves of teeth from bacteria. Deep grooves especially on molar (back) teeth are difficult for tooth brush bristles to fully clean. Grooves if left unclean are susceptible to bacteria which cause decay (cavities). Since children’s first adult teeth come in around 6 years old it is important to protect these teeth from damage. Sealants are clear or sometimes a shaded plastic and bond to the tooth to protect the groves from cavities. Although sealants close the pits and grooves on the top of teeth, they do not replace the need for good home care. Sealants seal the grooves of teeth but proper brushing and flossing is still necessary to prevent decay.