Adult Prophy: For effective dental maintenance, most people should have their teeth cleaned every six months. However, each patient is unique and requires different maintenance levels. Some people need to be seen more often, and some people need only to be seen once a year. We will help you determine the appropriate level of care.
Child Prophy: A child should start seeing a dentist when all 20 of their baby teeth have come in – this usually takes place between 2-3 years of age. However, if an unusual condition appears, please contact the office.
Fluoride: Fluoride renders the surface enamel of teeth to be more resistant to decay. The effect of a fluoride treatment lasts approximately seven months. Therefore, we recommend reapplication every six months to maintain a consistent level of protection for the teeth.
Bitewings and FMX: X-rays are important because only 80% of the surfaces of the teeth can be visualized during the clinical exam. Problems with the other 20% would go un-diagnosed except for x-rays. Bitewings, or cavity detection x-rays, are normally taken yearly. Full mouth x-rays (FMX), which show the roots of the teeth and the surrounding bone, should be taken on a five-year interval.
Caring for Braces: Braces require a commitment to routine hygiene appointments along with a healthy home care routine. Braces often trap food particles between the teeth causing plaque buildup if the teeth are not cleaned properly. The buildup of plaque can cause decay in the teeth resulting in the need for restorations once the braces are removed. Some patients need to be on a more frequent hygiene recare system during the time they have braces to keep the teeth and gums healthy.
Periodontal Disease and Treatment: Periodontal disease affects three out of four people over the age of 35. Most gum disease goes undetected without proper x-rays, hygiene recall, and periodic dental exams. The gums of a healthy tooth fit tightly against the root of the tooth just below the tooth enamel, protecting the roots and bone structure. Periodontal disease damages the gums and reduces the ability for the gum to protect vulnerable areas. Causes of periodontal disease include improper dental care, chemical irritants, diet, pregnancy, medications, and certain medical diseases. Signs of periodontal disease include bleeding gums, swollen gums, pus, pain when chewing, changes in the bite, and sensitive teeth. To prevent periodontal disease, individuals must maintain a constant recare schedule and a healthy home care routine. If a patient has advanced periodontal disease, a periodontist will be recommended.
Sealants: Sealants are the “pain-free dentistry” way of protecting your child’s back teeth from decay. A thin plastic covering is bonded to the surfaces of the back molars and premolars. The sealant forms a hard shield that blocks food and bacteria from entering into the grooves in the teeth. Without sealants, decay can develop in the grooves especially in areas where a toothbrush cannot reach. Most sealants take only 30 minutes to complete.