Cleaning & PRevention
Cleaning & Prevention Takes A Team
A collaborative effort that includes you, Dr. Calhoun, and the dental staff is the only way to preserve your natural dentition and the structures that support your teeth by preventing the onset, progress, and recurrence of dental diseases and conditions. Our practice is prepared to guide you through the management of all dental diseases including gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer.
In an effort to better serve you as your dentist, we have added state of the art techniques, processes, and dental machinery to aid us on this journey forward into a healthier smile.
We sincerely believe that preventative dental care starts at home with you, and a solid daily routine. We’re happy to partner with you to make sure that you can create a routine that is a solid everyday dental habit for you, and keeps your oral health in good order for years to come.
Regularly scheduled dental exams are the cornerstone of great oral health. We want to help you achieve a great smile, and dependable teeth that you don’t have to worry about when you’re out enjoying your life.
By scheduling and keeping your regular appointment every six months, you are already halfway there in maintaining great oral health. In addition to cleanings, your six month check up gives our team an opportunity to spot any possible issues before they become an issue and start interrupting your life style. Our team works hard to provide a stress free visit for these exams and help you get back to enjoying your life.
What Happens At A Dental Exam?
During your dental exam, you will typically start off with a teeth cleaning. Our highly trained dental hygienist will make sure your teeth are properly cleaned and walk you through what they are doing as your teeth are cleaned. We will also check for cavities and gum disease. If it’s been a while since your last x-ray we will probably recommend doing a set of x-rays as well to make sure we get a good overall picture of your oral health. We will be sure to also check your mouth area for any abnormalities.
Moving forward in the exam process, we will likely end up discussing your diet and oral hygiene habits. If you need any demonstrations for brushing or flossing, we’ll be happy to show you those techniques as well. We’ll also be sure to go over any cosmetic options that may be available to you.
Once the tartar has been cleared from your teeth, it’s time to brush those teeth with our high-powered tooth brush. This is a noisy tooth brush that can really get those teeth clean and remove any tartar that was left behind after the scraping process. We use a special tooth paste for this part of the cleaning that gently scrubs your teeth and brings back some brightness to your smile.
A lot of folks may be unnecessarily worried about their teeth cleaning. We often find that this comes down to not knowing exactly what’s going to happen. Between the poking and prodding, and unfamiliar noises, you may find it stressful just thinking about it. The far majority of teeth cleanings are simple and should be painless.
What To Expect For Your Teeth Cleaning
Knowing what to expect can help you stay away from being stressed out prior to your teeth cleaning. Here at Calhoun DDS, our teeth cleanings are done by our highly trained hygienist. Before they begin cleaning your teeth, they’ll actually do a quick exam of your mouth. During this quick look they’ll be checking for any areas they need to be aware of as they clean your teeth. We’ll probably ask you about any pain areas in your mouth that you may have at that time. During the cleaning our team may also ask you questions to make sure that we’re correctly identifying any specific issues that you’ve experienced that may be affecting your everyday life.
Once the cleaning begins, you’ll notice that our hygienist uses a small mirror to guide their tools as they work to remove plaque and tartar near your gum line and in between teeth. You may hear scraping, but this is actually a normal part of the process. It’s worth noting here that brushing and flossing regularly prevents plaque and tartar build up. So if you find the scraping to be uncomfortable, please keep up with your daily routine to minimize the amount of scraping needed in your cleaning.
Once we’ve got the brushing done, it’s time to move on to flossing. Our hygienist can get to the spots that you may have been missing during your daily flossing practice and make sure that nothing gets left behind that could cause a problem down the road. Throughout this process you’ll also be rinsing… a lot. We’ll make sure to give you plenty of opportunities to rinse out the plaque and tartar as we clean your teeth.
We also provide fluoride treatment. This treatment is used as a preventative measure to help protect your teeth against cavities. We like to do this to try to protect your teeth as much as possible in between cleanings. We want to make sure that you have worry free oral health in between your regular visits to our office.
Digital Dental X-Rays
It’s almost impossible to imagine the practice of dentistry without x-ray technology. Radio graphs (x-ray pictures) allow dentists to diagnose and treat problems not yet visible to the naked eye, including early tooth decay, gum disease, abscesses and abnormal growths. There is no question that since x-rays first became available a century ago, this diagnostic tool has prevented untold suffering and saved countless teeth. Now, state-of-the-art digital x-rays have made the technology even safer and more beneficial.
We typically advise that you get dental x-rays at least once per year. Dental x-rays are a powerful tool that help us detect damage that we can’t always see from the surface. This helps us get ahead of a lot of issues before they turn into bigger problems for your mouth. X-rays also give us the ability to have a baseline for your oral health. By taking dental x-rays at least once a year, we can compare your x-rays against previous years to spot any trends or oral health concerns that you should be aware of.
Dental x-rays are safe and we take extra precautions to make sure that the our dental x-ray process goes above and beyond. Our dental x-ray tools and techniques are designed to limit your body’s exposure to radiation, and still provide the best possible quality x-ray image. If you have questions about our x-ray process, please feel free to contact us.
Effective brushing techniques and other measures of prevention always start in the home. When necessary, in-office treatments such as topical fluoride applications are available. If you aren’t getting enough fluoride through drinking water or other sources, this treatment can help prevent tooth decay. Anti-bacterial treatments may also be beneficial in some cases, as is nutritional counseling.
The most likely location for a cavity to develop in your child’s mouth is on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Run your tongue over this area in your mouth, and you will feel the reason why: These surfaces are not smooth, as other areas of your teeth are. Instead, they are filled with tiny grooves referred to as “pits and fissures,” which trap bacteria and food particles. The bristles on a toothbrush can’t always reach all the way into these dark, moist little crevices. This creates the perfect conditions for tooth decay.
What’s more, a child’s newly erupted permanent teeth are not as resistant to decay as adult teeth are. The hard enamel coating that protects the teeth changes as it ages to become stronger. Fluoride, which is found in toothpaste and some drinking water — and in treatments provided at the dental office — can strengthen enamel, but, again, it’s hard to get fluoride into those pits and fissures on a regular basis. Fortunately, there is a good solution to this problem: dental sealants.
Dental sealants are invisible plastic resin coatings that smooth out the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, making them resistant to decay. A sealed tooth is far less likely to develop a cavity, require more expensive dental treatment later on, or, most importantly, cause your child pain.
Charles Calhoun, DDS