If you’re brushing and flossing regularly at home, you’re doing yourself a huge favor. That effort is the first step in maintaining optimal dental health — but it’s only the bare minimum.
Professional teeth cleanings are necessary to complement the work you do at home and prevent serious dental diseases. If you live in or around Rolla or Salem, Missouri, you can get your teeth professionally cleaned at Wedgewood Dental and walk away knowing you and your teeth were cared for by skilled and experienced experts.
Our team, led by Dr. Linda Westmoreland, not only clears away stains and bacteria, but we also examine your teeth and mouth to identify any potential problems so you can avoid complications in the future. Here’s what we do.
You don’t have to study for your dental exam, but you will be graded. Our hygienists start your twice-yearly cleaning visit with a thorough look into your mouth, searching for signs of gum disease that we measure with a numerical rating system according to the depth of the pocket between your gums and teeth.
Swollen, red gums that are tender to the touch and tend to bleed indicate that bacteria have infected the tissue.
If left untreated, gingivitis advances and the bacteria get into your teeth and the underlying bones. This is called periodontitis, and it can lead to bone loss or severe infection that enters your bloodstream.
If you pass this exam, we move on to the next step.
Getting rid of tartar and plaque
If you don’t do an efficient job of brushing and flossing at home, the bacteria left on your teeth after eating hangs around and transforms into a sticky substance called plaque. Left to its own devices, plaque eventually hardens into tartar.
The only way to remove these bacteria-laden substances is to scrape them off with a special tool in the skilled hands of a dental hygienist, which is another reason you need to come see us a couple of times a year.
Microscopic bacteria can creep into those tight places between your teeth, which is why we ask you to floss everyday and clear away whatever lurks. But even the most diligent flossers are not as proficient as our experts here at Wedgewood Dental.
We get deeper under your gums and scrape away any remnants of bacteria, plaque, and tartar that think they’ve found a safe haven in some nook or cranny you can’t reach. Nothing escapes our reach.
Once all the plaque and tartar are scraped away, we brush your teeth for you. You may wonder why we bother, since you’re perfectly capable of brushing on your own.
The answer is in the professional-grade toothpaste we use. Our gritty, high-powered formula may taste like the stuff in your tube at home, but it will certainly feel different.
The sandy texture buffs and polishes your teeth, getting rid of surface stains and leaving you with a bright, shiny smile. But don’t try this at home — more than twice a year will damage your enamel.
Finishing with fluoride
You’ve probably heard about enamel since it’s the primary selling point for most kinds of toothpaste and mouthwashes, but do you know why you need it?
The hard outer shell of your teeth — the enamel — is strong and durable, but not invincible. Age, wear-and-tear, acidic foods, trauma, and disease all work to destroy your enamel.
When that happens, the yellowish-brown dentin layer underneath begins to peak through, making your teeth look old and dingy. And bacteria gets a wide-open door to enter the inner sanctum of your teeth.
Fluoride is a mineral that restores the calcium and phosphorus your enamel loses. As the enamel absorbs the fluoride, it becomes stronger and more resilient. You get some fluoride in the water you drink, but it’s important to get an external dose as well, which is why we cover your teeth in fluoride for a minute or so before you leave.
During your professional teeth cleaning visit, we may also take care of a few more issues, such as X-rays if you need them (typically only once a year unless necessary); examining crooked, lost, or discolored teeth; and checking the health of any fillings, crown, dentures, veneers, bridges, or implants.
Clearly, a professional cleaning goes far beyond your daily dental routine and keeps your mouth safe from the potential dangers of gum disease and tooth decay. If you haven’t been to a dentist in a while, there’s no time like the present. And don’t worry, we won’t judge you — we just welcome you warmly and care for your teeth compassionately and professionally.
It’s easy to get started, just call or book your appointment online today.