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One of the key recommendations of the American Dental Association is that patients undergo professional dental cleanings every six months or so. This I just a general guideline, as certain patients with ongoing health conditions may need to see a dentist more frequently.

These semi-annual cleanings are important for a number of reasons. Today our Saint Louis dentists are giving you more information about what happens at these appointments. We hope that this gives you a better idea of the benefits of professional dental care!

During your semi-annual appointment, our team will perform a number of assessments on your smile:

  • We’ll check your natural teeth for signs of cavities and enamel damage
  • We’ll examine any restorations you may have, in order to ensure that they are in good shape
  • We’ll complete a gum disease assessment
  • We’ll screen your smile for signs of developing oral cancers

As you would imagine, prompt identification and treatment of these kinds of oral health issues vastly improves the patient’s prognosis.

During your appointment, our team will also complete a dental cleaning. The goal of this cleaning is to give your smile a clean slate, which you’ll then work to maintain until your next appointment.

  • The first step is to clear away newly developed plaque—this the sticky bacterial film that coats our smiles throughout the day.
  • Then, we’ll remove tartar, which is plaque that has calcified onto the smile. Tartar cannot be removed at home, so it’s crucial that patients undergo regularly scheduled professional cleanings, so that tartar is not able to build up.
  • Finally, we will polish the teeth, to further freshen the smile and minimize discoloration.

 Many people are surprised at just how much better their smiles look and feel after a simple dental cleaning. Even if it has been years since you’ve been in to see a dentist, our Saint Louis dental team is here to help you get back on track. Give us a call to get started! 

It’s cold and flu season, and, in the coming months, many of us will be battling pesky head colds, and more. We know that illness can really sap your energy, but it’s so important that you take steps to care for your smile, even when you’re sick. Keep reading to learn more from our Saint Louis dentists!

One of the absolute best things that you can do when you’re sick is to maintain your morning and nightly dental cleaning routines. If fatigue is making it difficult to do a thorough job of this, try keeping floss and mouth rinse by your bed, within easy reach.

It’s also helpful to get into the habit of rinsing your mouth with water or a gentle mouth rinse multiple times throughout the day. This will help refresh your smile, and it will probably help you feel a little better, too!

You want to take special care rinse your smile if you are sick and vomiting. When stomach acid makes its way onto your smile it can weaken oral tissues and teeth. Gently rinse your smile to limit the amount of time that acid is able to sit in your mouth. Do not brush your teeth immediately, as your enamel will be temporarily softened due to acid exposure.

Another important thing to do is to switch out your toothbrush after illness. Obviously, toothbrushes are designed to keep your smile clean, but they can actually start to harbor bacteria over time. So, to minimize your risk of re-infection, it’s best to start fresh with a new brush.

There’s no cure for the common cold, but that doesn’t mean that you’re helpless when you’re sick! As always, our Saint Louis dentists are here to answer any questions that you may have, and to give you advice on caring for your smile all year long. We look forward to speaking with you! 

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