Oral Hygiene & Cleaning
At Antigonish Family Dentistry Oral Hygiene and Cleaning is anything but routine. Regular dental exams and quality cleanings can help detect and treat problems like tooth decay before they become serious.
When we clean your teeth what we’re actually doing is removing soft (plaque) and hard (tartar, calculus or stains) deposits from your teeth to help prevent or delay the progression of periodontal diseases.
Our complete dental examinations take about an hour and include:
- A soft tissue examination
- A screening and examination for periodontal diseases
- A detailed charting of cavities, existing restorations (fillings and crowns), and other tooth conditions
Why is a soft tissue exam a good idea? Two words: Early Detection.
A soft tissue examination is often used as an early detection tool for pathological changes in the tissues that line the inside of the mouth. While the vast majority of pathology in the mouth is benign, precancerous and cancerous changes in the oral tissues may be found with a regular soft tissue exam.
A thorough soft tissue examination should include a visual inspection and finger exploration of the tongue, under the tongue, roof of the mouth, salivary glands, insides of the cheek, and the back of the throat. The tongue should be moved to allow for the inspection of its sides and base; the face, head, and neck should also be examined, and any enlarged lymph nodes identified.
What’s a periodontal exam?
At Antigonish Family Dentistry, we’ll use a periodontal probe to measure the band of gum tissue that surrounds the tooth. The purpose of this examination is to detect gum disease at the early stages when prevention is most effective.
The third aspect of a complete dental examination is the inspection of every tooth surface for the presence of new decay and the status of existing restorations.
How often should you see the Dentist?
Truth be told, the frequency of your oral hygiene exams and cleaning will depend on the health of your teeth and gums. We recommend that children and adults have their teeth cleaned at least once every 6-12 months.
If you’re concerned that you may be at risk because of your age, tobacco use, rate of accumulation of deposits, personal oral hygiene practices, or medical conditions such as diabetes, your teeth may need to be cleaned more often.