The dental term for a cleaning is a prophylaxis. The definition of prophylaxis is: measures designed to preserve your overall health and prevent the spread of disease beginning in your mouth.
Nearly 50% of Americans (approximately 65 MILLION people) have signs of gum disease; of which 2/3 are adults aged 65 and older.
It is not JUST a cleaning. Be sure to maintain your cleaning appointments. The typical patient will come in twice a year, every six months. However, some patients must come as often as every three months.
At your cleaning the following occurs:
• Oral Screening – the dentist will check the condition of your gums, cheeks and throat
• Oral Cancer Screening – with the aid of the oral cancer light your mouth and lips are examined to see if there are abnormalities (areas of irritation, sores, white patches)
• Blood Pressure & Pulse Screening – the hygienist will check your blood pressure + pulse
• Medical History Update – review your medical history (recent surgeries, change in medications)
• Bone Loss Evaluation
• X-rays – taken one time per year in order to detect cavities, fractures, tumors, infections and abscesses, failing restorations and bone loss.
• Prophylaxis – disruption of the bacteria that colonizes and releases toxins into the blood stream and removal of tartar
• Proper brushing and flossing instructions
• Make and provide recommendations for home care – floss threaders, super floss, nproxybrushes, rubber tips, oral irrigators, sulca brushes, Prevident, MI Paste
Good oral hygiene can save your life. Here are five things that a dental cleaning can do for you:
1. Prevent Cavities – The white film that builds up on your teeth is called plaque and is the leading cause of tooth decay. If left unattended, plaque can lead to cavities.
2. Stop Tooth Loss – Gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. As gum disease advances, plaque moves further down the tooth where it can destroy the supporting bone in your jaw, causing teeth to loosen and fall out.
3. Brighten your smile – Drinking coffee, tea and wine or using tobacco can stain your teeth.
4. Freshen Your Breath – Good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent persistent bad breath.
5. Boost Your Overall Health – Studies have shown a connection between oral and overall health. Regular dental cleanings may help lower your risk for diseases, like hearth disease and stroke. Many medical conditions, some life threatening, can be detected by your dentist during a routine oral exam.
Please remember it is not JUST a cleaning and it is never too late to get back on track! Call your dentist