Serving patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville, TN
When it comes to our oral health, prevention is key. There is a reason why the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that everyone brush their teeth twice per day using fluoridated toothpaste, and floss daily. However, there is another important factor that impacts our oral health – dental cleanings or prophylaxis, and routine examinations.
What is prophylaxis?
A prophylaxis is a professional dental cleaning in which our experienced dental hygienist gently removes plaque buildup, something that every person gets, from your teeth and around your gum line. Your teeth are flossed, and then polished using mildly abrasive toothpaste, only meant to be used during these dental cleanings.
Why do I need a dental cleaning?
Everyone needs a dental cleaning, even small children as young as one year of age or when their first teeth appear. The purpose of a dental cleaning is to remove stuck on plaque that cannot be removed by brushing. Plaque accumulates as a result of the foods we eat, and from the bacteria that naturally reside in our mouths. Even with daily brushing and flossing, we all accumulate plaque to some degree. If plaque buildup is not removed, it eventually leads to cavities, and gum disease – the leading cause of tooth loss.
What does the examination include?
During this visit, we conduct an oral cancer screening, as well as document any changes in your health and oral health history. We may need to take digital X-rays so that we can see what is going on under the gum line, and between your teeth – areas that we could not see otherwise. Any issues that we find can be addressed at this time as well. The dentist will also examine your oral health, and discuss any issues or develop a treatment plan as needed.
Who should see the dentist and how often?
The ADA recommends that everyone receive routine dental cleanings and checkups beginning as early as one year of age or when your child gets his or her first tooth. These visits should occur at least once every six months, and continue throughout life. The purpose of these visits is to prevent dental problems from developing, and at the very least, take care of any problems while they are small, instead of waiting until you have extensive tooth decay or a dental emergency that may result in a lost tooth or expensive repairs.
Prevention is not expensive, neglect is! It’s an adage that rings true in all facets of health, including our oral health.
If you neglect your oral health, you run the risk of developing concerns that affect your mouth, and your body such as:
- Sore or bleeding gums
- Tooth decay
- Gum recession
- Gum disease
- Lost teeth
- Tooth pain
- Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
- Higher risk of stroke
- Increased risk of diabetes
- Risk of preterm birth (for pregnant women)
- Risk of low birth weight in babies (for pregnant women)
Avoid these risks by maintaining optimal levels of oral health and receive your routine dental cleanings and exams as recommended by your Greeneville dentist, as well as the ADA.
Family Dentistry in Greeneville
If you would like to learn more about protecting your oral health, please contact Tusculum Dental Care by calling (423) 639-7575 to schedule a consultation.
Tusculum Dental Care welcomes patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville, Tennessee.