Dental Checkups and Cleanings
Checkups and Cleanings in Edson
At Family Dental Health we prioritize the wellbeing of our clients by offering preventative maintenance, regular examinations and customized oral health coaching. Each and every one of our patients’ mouths are different, so a one-size-fits-all approach to your oral health is neither effective or desirable. We take a thorough approach to your dental examinations and checkups, offering insight about any potential concerns with your oral health and highlighting opportunities to enhance your dental health overall.
Prevent Cavities With Regular Cleanings
If you have small children, you might have been asked why we need to brush our teeth every day with few exceptions. Often children will ask why we must brush our teeth even when we haven’t eaten any treats. We know that the answer is ‘plaque’ sometimes referred to as ‘sugar bugs’ for younger ears. We know what plaque feels like when it builds up around our teeth and gums, but our plaque education tends to end there.
Your regular dental checkup is your chance to show us what a great job you’ve done keeping your teeth clean and healthy. During the checkup, we will begin by discussing any concerns you might have, and any changes to your medical history. Your dentist will carefully conduct a visual examination of your oral cavity, assess your bite and the condition of the muscles in your jaw. A cancer screen checks your lymph nodes, tongue, throat, gums and all soft tissues in and around the mouth for abnormalities that might warrant further inquiry. X-rays are taken of the teeth and their root systems and support structures for signs of bone loss, infection or cysts. Once your dentist debriefs with you on the findings and updates your file, you are ready to proceed to the professional cleaning portion of your visit.
Your professional dental cleaning is conducted by one of our dental hygienists who will begin by taking special care to scale any tartar that is present along the gum line and the teeth. Tartar refers to the calcified presentation of plaque that often appears yellow or brown. Once plaque has been allowed to turn into tartar it is too late for it to be removed at home. Tartar needs to be removed by a trained professional who can use specialty tools to scale the tartar away from the teeth without harming the enamel. With routine checkups and cleaning, the presence of tartar should be limited. Once the teeth have been scaled, a polishing paste will be used to polish the outside of each tooth and keep the surfaces of the teeth slippery and difficult for plaque film to stick to. A final flossing and fluoride treatment mean you will leave the office with clean teeth and fortified enamel. See you at your next checkup!
Plaque bacteria is also referred to as biofilm, and it refers to the layer of film that accumulates on teeth around the gum line between brushing and flossing sessions. While plaque does contain bacteria, it also contains leukocytes, neutrophils, macrophages and lymphocytes. Plaque is between 80 and 90 percent water by weight. Of the dry weight, approximately 70 percent of plaque is bacteria.
Most of the bacteria are of the streptococcus mutans variety, but because plaque relies on both early and late colonizers, more varied bacteria present in it as it grows. Plaque is referred to as being supragingival (above the gums) or subgingival (below the gum line). Plaque appears as supragingival film before moving below the gum line and into the root system of the teeth once it has proliferated sufficiently. An accumulation of plaque bacteria puts us at increased risk for dental decay and periodontal disease.
Preventative Maintenance Starts with You
As the keeper of your daily oral health, you have the ability to maintain your dental health and your natural teeth so that they can be with you for the many years to come. In order to maximize your dental hygiene, we recommend brushing your teeth after each meal or, at minimum, after the first and last meals of the day. Brushing with a soft bristled brush ensures that with proper technique you will sweep away plaque bacteria without damaging the enamel of the teeth, and don’t forget to floss. Floss is a critical component of your oral health, and its job is to get in between the teeth (where 40% of our tooth surface is hidden) to remove plaque bacteria and food debris. Take your time with floss and ensure that it reaches both sides of the teeth in a ‘Y’ shaped pattern. Pass the floss between the gum tissue and the surface of each tooth. If you choose to use a dental rinse, ensure that it is approved by the Canadian Dental Association, and follow the directions closely.