Get in the habit: Regular dental exams and cleanings in Clearwater and Seminole, FL support a healthy smile
Your mouth is “home” to around 700 species of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, according to the National Institutes of Health. Researchers with the University of Michigan report microbes replicate every five hours. The good news is there are many things you can do to minimize microbial growth and the build-up of bacterial plaque. As plaque forms, it irritates the gums that support and protect our teeth. It also erodes the teeth themselves. If allowed to harden, plaque becomes calculus or tartar. Hardened plaque can only be removed during professional cleanings at Boulevard Dental. Exams generally follow cleanings at our Clearwater and Seminole, FL offices.
A healthy routine
The American Dental Association recommends that you visit your dentist every six months. Professional cleanings by our skilled hygienists and exams conducted by our dentists, Drs Wujick, Moss, Kopakin, Castillo, and Shoopak, are an essential part of these six-month checkups. These regular visits are also a cornerstone of oral health. The idea is to protect the health of your teeth, gums, and other oral structures, and to prevent problems that can threaten the integrity of those structures. For a healthy person without risk factors for oral disease, appointments at these intervals are usually sufficient. During these check-ups, our trained hygienists use special dental instruments to remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar. Even patients who brush and floss consistently and thoroughly cannot possibly catch all plaque, especially in “hidden” or hard-to-reach spaces. Plus, tartar is stubborn. It can only be removed with our team’s special skills and tools.
During these cleanings, an instrument is used to measure the space between your gums and teeth. These pockets tell us a lot about your gum health. Larger pockets indicate the presence of gum disease. Generally, healthy attachments measure between one to three millimeters. As we talk to you during these appointments and notice different things about your mouth, recommendations for oral care products or changes to cleaning techniques may be suggested. These suggestions depend on your specific needs. Our patients love how minty-fresh their mouths feel after a great cleaning and polishing! After all, professional cleaning is a terrific way to keep your teeth looking great, because our tools and techniques help to lift stains.
One of our dentists will then examine your teeth and gums for potential problems. They are trained to notice symptoms of disease before the patient suspects a problem. Early-stage gum disease, for instance, is often silent or has very subtle symptoms. We will also screen for abnormalities, such as lumps and bumps, that may warrant further investigation at a specialist’s office. Our dentists’ diagnostic allies are sophisticated imaging equipment, which helps to detect decay and other abnormalities that can’t be seen even with the keenest eye. Early detection is the key to early treatment, which minimizes costs, time spent chairside, and trauma, and helps to preserve your natural teeth.
One-of-a-kind care for one-of-a-kind patients
Some patients may be at increased risk of developing gum disease or aggressive forms of periodontal disease. Risk factors include pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes. Depending on your risks, we may recommend that you visit us more frequently. Patients with active gum disease will also need to see us for follow-ups. Standard cleanings may be insufficient to resolve disease and restore health; you may require a deeper periodontal cleaning such as scaling and root planing.