Professionally-completed preventive treatments can help you avoid aesthetic and structural oral health issues down the road. Our Saint Louis dentists provide a number of preventive treatments and therapies to help patients of many ages care for their smiles. Today we are going to be answering your questions about some of the in-office treatments that we use to protect smiles.
Q: Why do I need to come in for a cleaning? I already brush and floss at home.
A: Brushing and flossing as recommended by your dentist is great, and will go a long way toward protecting your smile. However, you are simply unable to clean your smile as effectively as we can using professional tools and techniques. That is why the American Dental Association recommends that dental patients see their dentists for professional cleanings every six months. During these cleanings our team rids your smile of accumulated plaque and tartar. Then, you do your best to maintain these results until your next six month appointment!
Q: What are dental sealants?
A: Sealants are thin protective layers of resin that are applied over a patient’s dental surfaces—generally the biting surfaces. Because your molars have pits and grooves for chewing, they can become prime spots of bacteria accumulation. Some patients have sealants placed over this uneven dental enamel, in order to prevent bacteria from colonizing in hard-to-reach spots and causing cavities. Your dentist can give you more information about whether sealants may be appropriate for you.
Q: I haven’t been to the dentist in a long time—what is going to happen at my cleaning?
A: We see many people who have temporarily lapsed in their professional oral hygiene routines! The best thing that you can do is to schedule an appointment and get back on track as soon as possible. At your appointment your dentist is going to thoroughly clean your smile and clear away calcified plaque from your teeth. Your dentist will also perform an oral cancer screening, and check your teeth and oral tissues for signs of infection.
As always, our Saint Louis dentists are here to answer any additional questions that you may have. Call our office to speak to a member of our helpful team!