Although these two conditions are largely preventable, dental decay (caries) and periodontal disease, which is more commonly known as gum disease, represent the two biggest threats to your oral health. As part of an effective program of preventive care, thorough periodic cleanings at the dental office along with guidance in the best methods of brushing and flossing at home, play an essential role in warding off the development of cavities as well as the onset and progress of periodontal disease.
A routine dental cleaning as performed by the dentist or dental hygienist involves the thorough removal of any accumulated plaque and tartar from areas that your toothbrush and floss have not reached. Since dental plaque harbors the bacteria that are responsible for cavities and gum disease, its removal prevents these disease processes from occurring. Following a dental cleaning and polishing, which is performed to remove any superficial stains from your teeth, your mouth will feel fresh and clean.
Checkup and cleaning visits also represent an important opportunity to educate patients in the best oral hygiene homecare methods and routines to maintain a healthy smile. Your dental team will carefully explain and demonstrate proper techniques for brushing, flossing and other oral care practices at your initial dental appointment and subsequent recall visits.