March 4, 2018
Have you done your spring cleaning yet? No, we’re not talking about sweeping out the garage, washing the windows, or shampooing the carpets. (Though if you are doing all of that too, good for you!)
We are talking about scheduling dental spring cleanings for you and your family. If you are due for your twice-yearly cleaning and exam, call Davenport Dental Group. We have two locations in Laredo, TX for your convenience. You may reach Junction Drive at 956-242-6745 or Winfield at 956-517-2695.
Don’t Skip It
We get it. You’re busy. A dental appointment is just one more thing to fit into the schedule. And your teeth and gums look and feel just fine. Is it really necessary to schedule that checkup? Yes, it is. Even if you aren’t experiencing any apparent problems with your oral health, a professional cleaning and exam every six months is vital.
If you are a meticulous brusher and flosser you will still get some buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth that’s impossible to remove at home. If not eliminated, it will lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
You may have problems brewing and not even realize it. Many dental issues, including gum disease and cavities, don’t exhibit obvious symptoms at first. We can diagnose you early on so you can get started with treatment in a timely manner.
So as tempting as it may be, don’t let your dental checkup slip through the cracks.
Dental Checkup Basics
You put on a bib, you recline in a chair, and open your mouth wide — and keep it open while people poke around and do their thing. But do you know what’s really going on during your dental appointment? Here’s an outline.
- One of our dental hygienists will gently and meticulously clean your teeth with her well-honed skills and a few special tools. She will remove sticky plaque and hard tartar from your teeth and under the gumline. Your teeth will be expertly flossed and your enamel will be polished with a special professional toothpaste so that it gleams.
- One of our dentists will thoroughly examine your entire mouth. He will probe for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and screen you for oral cancer.
- We may have you sit for digital X-rays of your mouth. These enable us to see issues below the surface and in hidden areas of your mouth. X-rays may reveal abscesses, cavities between teeth, impacted teeth, cysts, and tumors. Digital X-rays involve much less radiation than conventional X-rays, and they are “developed” immediately. We can enhance them and show them to you on a computer screen.
- If we do find tooth decay, gum disease, or other problems, we will advise you on the best course of treatment.
Additional Preventive Services
We offer a few optional preventive services that you may want to consider for yourself or your children.
- Athletic mouthguards are required for some children’s sports, but they are an excellent idea for any kid or adult who participates in activities that could result in an injury to the mouth. Unlike the type sold at drugstores, our mouthguards are custom made from impressions of your mouth, so they are molded perfectly to your teeth and gums. This ensures they are completely comfortable to wear.
- Dental sealants are generally thought of as a procedure for children, but some adults may benefit as well. A dental sealant is a plastic coating that’s painted onto the chewing surfaces of the back molars. It creates a barrier that protects the enamel from bacteria and the harmful acids they produce. The procedure is simple, painless, and benefits the teeth for years. The Centers for Disease Control has said that kids without dental sealants have three times the number of cavities as kids with sealants.
- Fluoride, as you may know, is a mineral that is vital for keeping tooth enamel strong and able to resist bacterial acid attacks. It, along with other minerals, is also continuously shed from the teeth and must be replenished in a process called remineralization. You may get fluoride through toothpaste and many municipal water supplies. We offer fluoride treatments so you can be sure you and your family members are getting an adequate amount of this essential nutrient.
Keeping Your Teeth Healthy at Home
Once you’ve had your dental spring cleaning, be sure to keep up your oral hygiene so your smile remains bright and healthy.
- Brush twice every day for two minutes at a time. Hold the brush at a forty-five degree angle to the gums and reach all surfaces of the teeth (don’t miss the backs)! Use fluoride and gentle pressure, as brushing too hard will actually wear down the tooth enamel and injure your gums. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, which harbors lots of icky bacteria.
- Floss every day. While many people like to floss at night to remove whatever food bits are lingering form the day, the ADA says what time of day you choose to floss is not important. It’s just important that you do it. Keep the floss taut against the enamel to help remove bacteria and plaque.
- It’s best to keep your eating to mealtime, but if you do snack, avoid foods high in sugar and other carbs as these promote the growth of damaging bacteria. Dental-health-friendly snack options include cheese, apples, crunchy raw veggies, and nuts.
- If you have a habit of reaching for carbonated soft drinks, sports drinks, or juice when you’re thirsty, make an effort to replace these sugary choices with water, instead. And diet soft drinks aren’t much better, as they are high in acids that will destroy your tooth enamel. Water keeps your entire body hydrated, and is important for keeping your mouth healthy, too. It neutralizes acids and rinses away bacteria and food particles stuck between your teeth.
If you are ready to schedule a spring cleaning and exam for you or a family member at Davenport Dental Group of Laredo, TX, get in touch with us through our convenient online form. Or call either one of our offices: Junction Drive at 956-242-6745 or Winfield at 956-517-2695.