Cleanings & Prevention
Protecting Your Naturally Healthy Smile
When it comes to your dental health, the most important thing you can do is protect your healthy, natural smile. At Ellerslie Dental Studio, we combine experience with innovative technology to provide the quality dental care you need to keep your smile in great health.
With regular cleanings and comprehensive dental exams, our dental team helps you deal with problems quickly and effectively.
Make an appointment to get started today!
Why Prevention Matters to Your Teeth
Dentists have to place fillings, crowns, or extract teeth with severe decay on a regular basis. Sadly, a significant portion of these cases might have been preventable.
Preventive dentistry isn’t about waiting for something to become a problem, but about proactively keeping problems from developing in the first place. With thorough exams, regular cleanings, and effective at-home care, it’s possible to keep teeth healthy, strong, and free of decay for decades.
Our office protects your teeth through:
- Biannual oral exams
- Professional cleanings
- Fluoride treatment
- Digital and panoramic x-rays
- Patient education
What Can I Expect On My First Visit?
If you’re coming to our office to see us for the first time, we take the time on your first visit to get to know you and your dental health situation. A detailed exam of your teeth, gums, jaw, and neck helps us better understand what health challenges you may be facing. We use digital x-rays, including a panoramic x-ray, to get a comprehensive view of your health beyond the surface.
It’s also important for us to get to know you on a personal level. This helps us understand any problems or concerns you’re facing, your goals for your smile, and how your daily lifestyle impacts your oral health. We love getting to know our patients better, and knowing more about you helps us to address your problems and provide treatment more effectively.
Depending on how long it takes to perform your exam, a dental cleaning may also happen during your first visit. Otherwise, we’ll schedule the cleaning for a later date.
Is It Important to Have Dental Exams Twice a Year?
Having a dental exam every six months offers two major benefits. First, it builds up a dental history the dentist can use for comparison if a potential problem, such as tooth decay or gum disease, begins to show.
Secondly, it makes it easier for the dentist to spot problems early on because there are more opportunities at each visit. This could prevent small problems like plaque and gingivitis from becoming bigger issues, especially tooth decay and advanced gum disease.
What Does the Dentist Look For in an Exam?
Dental exams are all about evaluating your health to see whether there are any signs of short-term or long-term problems. Each exam covers four aspects of your oral health, providing a complete picture that helps the dentist recommend the most appropriate way to address your situation.
What We See: We examine the entire surface of each tooth, including the inner tooth using our digital and panoramic x-rays. This is also where we check the condition of any fillings, crowns, or other restorations.
What We Look For: We look for cavities, cracks, or uneven wear of your teeth. Restorations may also become damaged, dislodged, or the seal around the tooth may be disrupted, which would need replacing.
Gums, Bones, and Tooth Roots
What We See: We check the color and condition of the gums, jaw bone density, and health of the tooth roots to ensure that your teeth are secure and any risk of tooth loss is quickly addressed.
What We Look For: In the gums, we look for signs of inflammation, bleeding, or gum recession. The jaw bone is checked for bone loss, weakness, or fracture. If the tooth roots are exposed or there are pockets near the root, we check for signs of decay or loose teeth.
What We See: We examine how well your teeth meet together when you chew or speak, and whether there is the potential for long-term health problems.
What We Look For: We check for uneven wear on the teeth, misalignments in how they meet. We also check the jaw for difficulty or pain when biting and chewing.
What We See: We evaluate the appeal of your smile, identifying areas that could benefit from cosmetic services.
What We Look For: Common cosmetic issues include stained enamel, chipped teeth, gaps, crowding, worn teeth, and an uneven gum line.
We’re committed to providing dental care for all problems. Digital x-rays allow us to receive results and discuss them with patients in the same visit. We may also use a panoramic exam, which compiles an x-ray of your entire oral structure, including the jaw and neck, in a single wide image.
How Does a Dental Cleaning Help My Smile?
Even when you brush, floss, and use mouthwash every day, it’s difficult to reach every area of your mouth. Over time, plaque builds up on your teeth and around your gums and hardens into tartar. Normal brushing and flossing aren’t strong enough to remove tartar, which is what makes cleanings beneficial.
During a cleaning, the dentist or hygienist uses special tools and training to provide a more effective cleaning than you can do on your own. By removing the tartar, the risk of tooth decay and gum disease is greatly reduced, leaving your mouth feeling clean and fresh.
What Happens in a Dental Cleaning?
Plaque and Tartar Removal – The hygienist uses special tools to remove tartar from teeth above and below the gum line.
Power Polishing – A special flavored polish cleanses surface stains and makes the enamel smooth, lustrous, and healthy-looking.
Professional Flossing – The hygienist flosses between the teeth to remove any plaque and debris remaining.
Fluoride Treatment – Depending on the state of the teeth, a fluoride treatment may be applied to help strengthen them against tooth decay.
Can a Dental Cleaning Reverse Gum Disease?
The earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis, happens when the gums become irritated by tartar and become inflamed. If detected early, the tartar can be removed with a professional cleaning. This, combined with good hygiene habits at home, can allow the gums to become healthy again.
If gum disease advances, however, the gums become infected. At that point, more involved treatment is needed to eliminate the infection and restore the gums.
Be sure to let the dentist or hygienist know if your gums are sore, sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, or if they bleed when you brush or floss.
What is Patient Education and Why Does it Matter?
Even those who are diligent about their oral health can make mistakes and poor choices if they don’t know otherwise. These can include habits like brushing too hard, using floss poorly, or using a type of toothpaste that isn’t right for their oral situation.
As your dental office, we are your partners in your oral health. We want to ensure that you have all the tools and information you need to provide yourself with good dental care between visits to our office. That’s why we take the time to help you understand your health, good hygiene, and what you should avoid to promote strong, healthy teeth.
Our Top 7 At-home Dental Care Tips!
Taking great care of your teeth may feel like an overwhelming commitment, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Even small steps add up to make a difference for your dental health.
Here are some of our best tips for giving your teeth great care at home!
- Brush twice a day.
- Floss once a day.
- Limit sugars and acidic foods.
- Don’t use your teeth as tools.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Change your toothbrush every three months.
- Chew sugar-free gum with xylitol.
If you feel guilty for the steps you aren’t yet taking, remember that even small, infrequent care is better than nothing at all! Continue practicing the basics and be open to opportunities to do more, and you’ll be on your way to a healthier, more beautiful smile.
Working Toward Brighter Future Smiles
At Ellerslie Dental Studio, we’re passionate about helping you enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles. You’ll see the difference in the care and compassion we put into our work, even in our simplest services.
Give yourself the confidence and peace of mind that comes with keeping your smile healthy and whole.
Contact our office and make an appointment today!