Having a beautiful and healthy smile throughout adulthood requires proper dental hygiene. This includes brushing and flossing regularly. These healthy habits start early in childhood and with proper reinforcement, can continue throughout a lifetime.
Although regular brushing and flossing are necessary steps for maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile, they are only half of the battle. It is also important to visit the dentist regularly. These dentist appointments include cleanings and preventive care that help keep teeth healthy.
When problems occur, a dentist can identify those issues quickly and provide options to repair those problems. There are various types of restorative and cosmetic treatments that patients can receive to ensure they always have a beautiful and healthy smile.
Regular cleanings are a necessary part of proper oral hygiene. Although brushing and flossing help to keep teeth healthy throughout the year, dental cleanings provide an extra measure of cleaning necessary for healthy teeth. If it has been a while, individuals should schedule a dental cleaning as soon as possible.
During the dental cleaning, a hygienist will use a tool called a scaler to begin the process. Plaque and tartar will be removed from the teeth. The tartar can get quite hard and should only be removed by a professional to prevent injuries and damage to the tooth enamel.
After plaque and tartar have been removed, deep cleaning of the teeth will be performed. A gritty toothpaste is used to remove any discolorations on the teeth. This is often done with an electric toothbrush to get deep into the grooves of the enamel.
Finally, the hygienist will perform professional flossing to get deep between the teeth and gum. This extensive dental cleaning can be safely performed twice a year. It is recommended that adults have this performed at least once a year.
After the cleaning, a fluoride treatment may be provided to help protect teeth after the cleaning. This treatment is usually swabbed or painted directly on the teeth. Once it is applied, it is important to avoid eating or drinking for at least thirty minutes to allow the fluoride to get deep into the teeth.
A thorough examination helps to identify any problems or potential problems with the teeth and gum. This examination begins during the cleaning by the hygienist. The hygienist can identify potential problems and decay while thoroughly cleaning each tooth.
Once the cleaning is completed, a dentist will perform the rest of the exam. The dentist will first look at the areas noticed during the cleaning. Any cavities or decay can be identified, and repairs can be scheduled.
The dentist will also examine every tooth to ensure that it is healthy and strong. The entire jaw and mouth will also be inspected for potential problems. The dentist can identify early signs of periodontal disease. If found, the dentist will offer recommendations on how to address the issues.
The dentist will also examine the entirety of the mouth for any abnormalities. Then, the dentist will examine the neck, face, and jaw to ensure there are no changes or issues that may suggest a problem. Often, the dentist will ask for X-rays to be performed.
An X-ray may be performed at the dentist’s office to get a better look at the teeth and jaw. These X-rays allow the dentist to see the structure of each tooth. This can allow the dentist to see any soft spots or damages to the teeth that may not be apparent in a regular exam.
The dentist can also use these images to see that teeth are straight and not overlapping. They also show the roots to ensure they are healthy and strong. Any problems found can provide the dentist with the information needed to determine a proper care plan for the patient.
Dental X-rays also allow the dentist to check to see that the jaw is strong and healthy. Issues with the jaw, such as deterioration or other damages, can pose serious risks to the health of the teeth. It can also prevent some types of procedures to correct dental problems.
After the complete exam, X-rays, and cleaning, the dentist may schedule further visits to provide any care or treatments needed. The dentist will discuss all options and provide information for any procedures needed at this time.
Missing or damaged teeth need to be restored to provide a complete set of healthy teeth for all patients. Restorative care treatments offer many options to provide care for a variety of dental issues. It is important to get these treatments in a timely manner to prevent further dental problems.
If there was decay found during the dental exam, this needs to be removed and the hole filled. A dental filling will be placed to protect the tooth from further damage. If the decay is extensive, a root canal may be necessary. This removes the decay and the pulp of the tooth. Then the tooth is filled and capped.
Resin can be used to repair teeth that have been damaged or worn due to teeth grinding. Missing teeth can also be replaced during restorative care procedures. There are many options for replacing teeth. These options depend on the number of missing teeth, preferences of the patient, and health of the gum and jaw bone. These include dentures, bridges, and even implants.
When teeth are otherwise healthy but do not have the appearance desired, cosmetic care can help. There are a variety of cosmetic dentistry options that can assist patients in having the beautiful smile they want.
The most common type of cosmetic care is dental whitening. Dentists can provide options that can whiten the enamel of the teeth. These include gels, strips, toothpaste, bleaching products, and even some light treatments that can give teeth a whiter and brighter appearance.
Veneers are another option patients can choose to improve the look of their smile. These thin veneers can be placed directly over teeth and bonded to give the appearance of straight and beautiful teeth. These are great for covering crooked or damaged teeth that cannot be easily repaired with other methods. A healthy, beautiful smile is important for anyone’s health and well-being. By taking some important steps and getting the care needed, everyone can have a smile they can be proud of.