Brushing and flossing are the best preventative measures you can take at home to remove plaque and other bacterial build up. Along with brushing and flossing the American Dental Association recommends that everyone visit a dentist every six month for a check-up and dental cleaning. While in a dental office, the dentist has different tools that can efficiently remove plaque from areas that cannot be reached with a toothbrush. More importantly, the dentist’s eagle eye may spot any signs of disease including heart disease, diabetes, gum (gingiva) disease, or other illnesses that do not directly relate to oral health. Regular dental check-ups can help catch a problem early on before it becomes a more serious concern; dental check-ups are an important part of maintaining a good overall health.

The procedure for anyone coming in for a dental check-up is pretty much the same. The patient will walk in and check in with our front desk. Then after, the patient will be brought in to the cleaning station. Here a dentist or a dental hygienist will conduct a routine dental cleaning. Each tooth will be flossed, brushed and polished, ensuring that plaque and other build-up is removed before examining the oral health of the patient. However, before a cleaning, it is crucial that you share your dental history with the dentist or hygienist. You may want to talk to your dentist about any anxiety you may have, any allergies you may have, and other health concerns. Our dental specialists review dental histories and highlight any concerns to avoid any allergic reactions or procedures that can jeopardize the success of a dental visit. It is crucial to share all concerns or history you have had with certain medications or procedures with your dentist to ensure that you receive the treatment that is right for you.

Once we know your dental history and have addressed any concerns, the hygienist will remove the plaque or tartar that forms around the gum lines. Removing the plaque is an essential part of a dental exam and checkup. Without cleaning the teeth, it would be difficult to spot certain red flags. After the cleaning is done, the teeth will be polished with a small brush and paste. Tooth polishing will make the teeth smooth which makes it more difficult for plaque to build up.

Now that the teeth are clean and plaque free, a dentist will conduct a more thorough examination of the gums and teeth. The gums and teeth become easily damaged and prone to infection when plaque is allowed to build up. Plaque can create cavities that can result in the removal of a tooth and even worse, it may have a lasting impact on the gingiva. When plaque has had severe consequences on the teeth and gums, plastic surgery may be the only option to re-create a smile. A dental check-up and examination will prevent the build-up of plaque which has the potential to harm more than just your oral health.

During the examination, a dentist will use a dental mirror and probe to look behind every tooth. During the exam, the dentist will be looking for cavities, the health of the enamel and dentin, and any signs of redness or swelling of the gums. The dentist is specifically looking at any signs of periodontal disease. A periodontal disease is a gum disease that causes gum recession and separation between the tooth and the gum. Ideally, the gum wrapped around the tooth should be no more than three millimeters apart, any greater gaps may be signs of gum infection. Furthermore, during the examination, the dentist will examine the inside of the patient's mouth with an x-ray. An x-ray allows the dentist to see the root of the tooth and other areas of the mouth that are out of sight. The x-ray process is fast and simple. A special plastic is placed between the mouth in different angles while the x-ray machine is placed against the cheek. A digital x-ray copy emits less radiation and it is a more time efficient option. X-rays can reveal any concerns underneath the teeth and may allow the dentist to spot any signs of oral cancer.

After your dental examination is complete you are one step away from being freed back into society. Before you are let go, your dentist will let you know the condition of your mouth. If everything is good to go, you will simply schedule a future regular check-up appointment. However, if there are concerns your dentist may recommend an additional dentist appoint to take care of the issue or may provide some advice on how you can take care of the problem at home. Whatever the case may be, it is crucial to listen to your dentist and take the appropriate measures to tackle the problem. Scheduling a dentist appointment is easy, contact us at 562-746-0350 to schedule a dental checkup today.

The Importance of Dental Visits

As mentioned above, a dental visit can help prevent the build-up of plaque (a.k.a tooth destroyer) and allows a dentist to spot any signs of infection or disease. A dental visit is like regular car maintenance. If you fail to replace the wheels, oils, and timing bands, you are setting yourself up for a costly disaster. Likewise, when you fail to visit a dentist for a prolonged period of time you are setting yourself up for tooth decay and oral cancer. A dental visit helps prevent plaque and other bacteria from causing permanent damage to the gums and teeth. Furthermore, a dental visit ensures the removal of odorous plaque build-up in hard to reach places. After a dental check-up and cleaning your mouth will be plaque free and odor free

Benefits of a Dental Exam and Check-Up

Aside from the removal of odor-causing plaque, a dental visit allows the patient to know exactly what is going on in their mouth. A patient may be unaware of a rotting tooth after examination of an x-ray or may be unaware of a disease. Upon notice, the patient will be capable of taking the correct measures to address the problem. Furthermore, after a dental visit, the patient will receive helpful advice about their specific situation and the steps they can take to improve their oral health.

A dental examination and regular check-up can help spot any signs of diabetes, respiratory illness, osteoporosis (bone loss), heart disease, and other bone and gum diseases. A common oral disease that can be prevented with regular dental visits is gingivitis. Gingivitis is the swelling, irritation, and redness of the gums and when it is left untreated, it may develop into a more serious gum disease known as periodontitis. Gum disease can have lasting effects and cause much more than tooth loss.

Duration of a Dental Visit

Our dentist and dental hygienist proudly service the working individuals in southern California. We understand that our patients are busy moms and dads that have to attend to their children or work which is why we try to get you in and out as time quickly as possible. More often than not, a regular visit and dental cleaning can last anywhere between forty-five minutes to an hour. However, keep in mind that your situation is unique and if your teeth and gums require special attention, the time spent at the dentist’s office may be longer. Individuals who regularly brush, floss, and visit the dentist, may experience a shorter visit than others who are coming in for the first time or who are coming in after not visiting for a long period of time.

Preventing Plaque and Tartar Build Up

As mentioned throughout this article, regular dentist visits can help prevent plaque and tartar build up, but this does not mean it is the only way to prevent build up. To prevent plaque buildup, all you need is to spend some time in front of a mirror, a toothbrush, and dental floss. The American Dental Association recommends that you brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time and floss at least once a day. In addition, the ADA provides that a toothbrush should be replaced as frequently as needed or between every three to six months.

Plaque and Tartar

Plaque is the number one reason you should consider a regular dental visit. Plaque is a tooth destroyer that causes permanent damage to the tooth enamel (the outer portion of the tooth) and the dentin (the layer of tooth beneath the enamel). Plaque is a combination of saliva, sugar (from food particles), and bacteria that builds up along the gumline. Plaque is usually colorless, however, when it is allowed build-up it develops into calculus (tartar). Tartar is a calcified deposit that can either be yellow, brown, green, or black and can cause serious harm to the teeth and gums. Tartar cannot be removed at home so if you notice tartar build up it is advised to schedule a dentist appointment as soon as possible.

Both plaque and tartar have negative effects on the wellbeing of our oral health. Plaque and tartar produce certain acids that break through the enamel of the tooth creating pores known as cavities. Cavities can easily be treated at a dentist office to avoid the spread of the bacteria. In most cases, cavities are drilled out and then covered with a filling that protects the tooth from further infection. In other cases, when cavities and tartar are left untreated the bacteria can drill down to the nervous center of the tooth known as the pulp. Once the infection has reached the pulp of the tooth, the only option to save the tooth may be a root canal treatment. A root canal treatment removes the infected pulp from the tooth by hollowing out the center of the tooth. The gap is closed with a temporary paste and later treated with a crown for a more permanent solution.

Plaque can also affect more than your teeth. Plaque and tartar may have a lasting impact on the health of your gums. Plaque can cause a periodontal disease causing your teeth to weaken and your gums to recede. What's worse is that a periodontal disease can have an effect on other medical conditions. To remove plaque, you should practice daily brushing and flossing habits. Brushing and flossing are the best ways to remove plaque while in the comfort of your own home. Furthermore, a dentist visit ensures that plaque and tartar are removed from hard to reach places.

Cause of Plaque and Tartar

Plaque is present in your mouth almost all of the time. In fact, it is part of the natural chemistry of our mouth. Plaque begins to develop within an hour of removing the plaque through brushing and flossing. Some of the causes of plaque include eating foods with carbohydrates otherwise known as sugars and starches. Foods with carbohydrates include milk products, bread, candy, pasta, beans, and grains (almost all regularly consumed food is made of sugars). The plaque should be regularly removed to prevent the formation of tartar, once tartar is formed it may only be removed using special dental tools.

Scheduling Dental Visits and Examinations

A typical dental visit will consist of a meeting with two individuals. You will first meet with your dental hygienist who will prepare the mouth by removing plaque and polishing the teeth. Then, you will meet with the dentist who is capable of prescribing the next steps. Most visits go as follows

  • Dental Cleaning
  • Dental Polishing
  • X-rays
  • Examination
  • Recommendations/Advice

Dental examination and check-ups are an important part of our overall health. Oral diseases can impact our social and professional lifestyle. A healthy white smile can be achieved and preserved through regular cleaning habits and regular dental visits. To schedule your visit today, you may contact the Downey Dentist at 562-746-0350.