One of the best ways to maintain a healthy smile is incorporating regular preventative dental exams into your oral health routine. Not only does this practice help you mitigate the chances of periodontal disease but it can aid in early detection of other problems and help maintain a healthy smile. At Stone Ridge Dental, we make scheduling an exam quick and simple, and the exam itself doesn’t take long at all. The American Dental Association suggests the average person get at least two exams per year to prevent escalation of minor issues into serious ones. After your initial visit we may suggest more or less routine visits depending on your oral health and other factors.
What To Expect During A Preventive Checkup
Many people that avoid the dentist do it mainly out of fear that an exam is painful or takes too much time. In reality, a routine exam is very painless, quite basic and is the best way to avoid having major issues that indeed may be painful. A typical routine checkup at Stone Ridge Dental is very quick and usually goes as follows:
- Cleaning – Keeping teeth clean is one of the most effective ways to prevent plaque buildup and gingivitis. Plaque is dangerous because it can eat away at your teeth and cause gingivitis and other advanced gum disease which can even affect heart health if left untreated. One of Stone Ridge’s skilled hygienists will give your teeth a thorough cleaning using plaque removal tools that are painless and light. If however you have not kept up with your dental hygiene and have a copious amount of plaque buildup, we might need to re-schedule you for a deeper cleaning called a debridement. A Debridement uses ultrasonic technology and scaling tools to scrape plaque off your teeth. Do not worry, this is painless as well but is an additional service fee and typically takes a couple of hours, hence the need to re-schedule. Before you leave, your hygienist will give you some sample products and demonstrate how to use floss, toothbrushes, and mouthwash to maintain daily upkeep.
- Imaging – If it has been some time since you’ve had a dental x-ray, we may need to get images of your teeth to see potential trouble spots not visible to the naked eye. Stone Ridge Dental recommends most patients get x-rays done every two to four years depending on age, dental health and other factors.
- Dental Exam – After x-rays are processed, one of our talented and experienced doctors will perform a routine exam checking for gum disease, ground teeth, cavities and other issues such as impacted wisdom teeth and more. The doctor will then summarize their findings and will discuss treatment options with you, if any are needed. You are never rushed in our exams and questions are encouraged and welcome.
- Optional Extras – If your risk for tooth decay is high, the hygienist may wrap up the appointment with a fluoride varnish or sealant to prevent cavities, plaque buildup and protect the enamel coating. These treatments don’t negate the need for regular flossing, brushing and mouthwash, however it does add a layer of defense.
Post Exam Checklist
Once leaving our office, your teeth will feel smooth, shiny and very clean. The feeling is amazing and we want you to help us make it last, so there is a quick checklist of post-exam care you should follow:
- Brush teeth twice a day with toothpaste containing fluoride.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months or when it becomes frayed or worn. Always have extras on hand.
- Floss twice a day or more.
- Maintain a balanced diet; refrain from sugary sodas and other acidic or sugary drinks.
- Make the switch to an ultrasonic toothbrush such as a Soncicare Diamond Clean. While this isn’t a medical grade dentist tool, it is very similar to what is used in the office and delivers results with very clean teeth.