Brushing and flossing daily are excellent habits for maintaining good oral health, but they cannot replace dental cleanings and exams. Dental appointments are recommended every six months to ensure a healthy mouth, and Kids First Dental is available in Columbia to help you achieve oral health.
A comprehensive dental exam at Kids First Dental will consist of a thorough evaluation of your teeth, gums, and overall oral health. Your dentist will check for signs of plaque and cavities. Your gums will also be checked for signs of gingivitis, such as inflammation or tissue loss. Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, so detecting it early can prevent tooth decay and even tooth loss as the gums can start to recede from the tooth root. X-rays are normally taken once a year to get a closer look below the gum line.
A general cleaning will follow the exam. It is usually performed by a dental hygienist. The first step will be to remove plaque and tartar that has collected. Special dental tools such as a scaler will be used to clean the tooth surfaces as well as along the gum line and between the teeth. After removing this debris, your hygienist will brush your teeth using a high-powered electric toothbrush. A special toothpaste is used at the dentist office that differs from the one you use at home because it is grittier in consistency, allowing it to gently scrub and polish the teeth and ensure that traces of tartar are removed. An expert flossing will follow the toothbrushing to remove leftover plaque and toothpaste. Flossing the teeth can also alert your hygienist of potential trouble spots where bleeding is observed. The cleaning will end by rinsing the mouth, usually with a rinse that contains fluoride.
Oral diseases can be tricky to detect because they do not present obvious symptoms as other diseases of the body do. Only your dentist will be able to detect issues while they are in their early stages when they are easier to treat, and he or she can only do this if you keep regular dental appointments twice a year. Contact Kids First Dental in Columbia to take care of your oral health.