Dental check-up and clean Crows Nest
It is recommended you have your teeth checked and cleaned by a dentist every six months. By having your teeth checked regularly, it allows your dentist to detect any small issues, so those issues can be addressed before they become larger, and considerably more expensive to address.
A thorough check of your teeth will usually involve taking dental x-ray films periodically so as to check areas of the mouth which cannot be seen just by looking at your teeth and gums. Of course, your dentist will also check on the soft tissues of your mouth, including the lips, cheeks, tongue and gums, for problems such as gum disease and oral cancers.
Why do I need a professional dental clean?
A professional clean reduces the number of bacteria present on and around the teeth far more than regular at-home brushing can. When bacteria accumulate around the teeth, they form a substance called dental plaque. Plaque is a complex structure which includes bacteria and their toxic sewage products. Yes, sewage products – sounds lovely, doesn’t it? The toxins produced by the plaque bacteria are what causes inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), which is most often evident by bleeding of the gums when you brush or floss your teeth. If left untreated, gum inflammation may progress to gum disease and the destruction of supporting bone around the teeth. This can eventually lead to tooth mobility and even tooth loss.
Plaque bacteria also convert sugars from your diet into powerful acids, and these acids dissolve minerals from your teeth in the process known as tooth decay.
Benefits of teeth cleaning
Teeth cleaning helps to prevent tooth decay and problems with the gums and bone that support the teeth. Teeth cleaning can also remove superficial tooth stains related to diet and smoking so your teeth can look their natural best. In fact, teeth cleaning is the first thing that should be done for anyone who is interested in teeth whitening.
Further to this, the inflammation caused by dental plaque has now been linked to all kinds of other serious health issues including diabetes and heart disease. The links between your oral health and your overall health make a six-monthly trip to the dentist all the more important.
Of course, the professional teeth cleaning you’ll receive at Dental On Clarke is only one part of a much bigger picture. It’s important you clean your teeth well at home with a soft toothbrush and dental floss. Brush your teeth twice daily, and ideally use floss at least once daily. You might notice some initial bleeding from your gums when you floss, but keep going! Regular flossing will reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth, which will reduce your gum inflammation. When gum inflammation goes away, so does gum bleeding. Ask us for tips on how to use floss easily and we’ll happily demonstrate. Some people really like mouthwashes as well, and for most people mouthwashes are fine but not essential. Mouthwashes are certainly not a substitute for thorough and effective teeth cleaning with a toothbrush and floss.
What to expect at your dental check-up
First and foremost, your dentist will conduct a physical examination; they’ll be looking for any signs of gingivitis or decay, as well as oral cancers. They may also need to take x-rays, with your consent.
Secondly your dentist will begin to use a scaler to remove built up tartar and plaque from around your gumline, and between your teeth. Tartar (calculus) is a cement-like build up comprised of plaque and mineral deposits from your saliva; it can only be removed by your dentist.
Once all of the tartar and plaque has been removed, your dentist will begin to polish your teeth either using a high powered electric brush and professional toothpaste, or an air abrasion handpiece. Air abrasion is like a high pressure hose specifically designed for cleaning teeth.
The final step in your cleaning is the application of a fluoride treatment, which will help to protect your teeth and fight off cavities in the coming months.
Saliva is important for combatting bad breath as it washes away any dirt or bacteria in your mouth. At night when you are asleep, your mouth produces less saliva leading to dry mouth which allows for the odour-causing bacteria to grow. Snoring and mouth-breathing will also dry out your mouth faster providing the bacteria with an excellent environment to thrive. These odour-causing bacteria are generally the culprits and will leave you with bad breath when you wake up.
Whilst morning bad breath is not a sign of anything abnormal and can’t be avoided, if you are experiencing constant bad breath, there may be more going on and you should visit your dentist ASAP as this could be a sign of disease and infection. To avoid bad breath (not caused by infection and disease), you should:
- Clean your mouth: Make sure you brush and floss your teeth every day to remove food particles which the odour-causing bacteria feed on to grow and multiply. Your dentist might suggest rinsing with mouthwash to kill bacteria as well, depending on your circumstances.
- Brush your tongue: Many of these odour-causing bacteria can be found on the tongue, especially towards the back. Brush your tongue to remove the bacteria and keep your breath minty-fresh.
- Get regular cleanings: Visit your dentist at least once every 6 months for a check-up (to check for disease and infection) and a professional cleaning to remove any built-up plaque and tartar.
- Avoid or limit eating pungent foods: Foods such as onions, garlic, etc. are quite pungent and will leave an aftertaste and bad breath. Limit your intake of these foods (or avoid it completely) and remember to brush your teeth or rinse with mouthwash after consuming it to reduce any odours it may have left behind.
You may be unaware of this, but the tongue holds a lot of odour-causing bacteria and food particles, all trapped under a thin layer of mucus. Without regular cleaning measures, the bacteria can begin to multiply, and the food particles can begin to decay causing bad breath. Brushing your tongue with your toothbrush and some toothpaste or using a special tongue scraper can help remove the odour-causing bacteria and food particles, and should leave you with a cleaner mouth and fresher breath.
Bad breath is not only caused by dental disease and infection. If you have constant bad breath and your dentist has ruled out gum disease or other dental infections, then your bad breath could be the symptom of another problem, such as:
- Dry mouth
- Certain medications (which could cause dry mouth)
- Post-nasal drip
- Chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD or GORD)
- Respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis
- Chronic sinus infections
If your persistent bad breath has no dental causes, a trip to your doctor is advised since bad breath could be indicative of other general health issues.
It is important to have regular dental cleanings to help remove stubborn plaque and tartar from your teeth. Whilst maintaining a proper home care routine will help keep your teeth clean, your brushing or flossing may not always get to those hard to reach places in your mouth. These spaces are where the plaque hardens into tartar, and once this happens, it is very difficult to remove with normal brushing. Dentists make use of special tools designed specifically to remove dirt and bacteria and leave your teeth clean and healthy. That’s why it is so important to supplement your home care cleaning routine with regular dental visits and cleaning.
Dental cleanings are generally fairly painless; however, you may feel some sensitivity or slight pain and discomfort should you have hardened plaque or tartar. This will require the dentist to apply more pressure to remove it, which may cause some of the pain but in most causes the dentist can apply a numbing agent to the area, if necessary, to keep you feeling comfortable. Any sensitivity, soreness, or discomfort caused should disappear within a few hours following the cleaning.
You should be getting your teeth cleaned at least once every six months. Teeth cleaning is generally done after every dental check-up (which you should be going for once every six months) so if you maintain your regular dental check-ups, you will have your teeth professionally cleaned regularly which can help keep them healthy and you happy.
Yes, it is! A professional teeth cleaning is safe for every member of your family and is actually recommended by dentists. They use special tools which are designed for proper and safe cleaning of your child’s teeth. The noises of certain dental tools may be unfamiliar to children, but they are completely safe and your child’s dentist can explain what sensations to expect prior to the cleaning procedure.
There are a few preventative measures you can take when it comes to combatting bad breath at home:
- Practice superior oral care
- Drink plenty of water
- Have a healthy diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables
- Brush your tongue
Yes and no. Like most medical conditions, there are varying degrees of halitosis. It is normal to have the occasional bad breath after waking up or eating certain foods. Though in saying this, chronic or severe bad breath usually requires special medical attention.
There are several causes of bad breath. These can range from consuming garlic or suffering from gum disease. If you are suffering from bad breath and are unsure of the cause, your dentist will likely help you determine (and treat) the underlying issue.
At a check-up, your dentist will examine your teeth, and remove plaque and tarter from your teeth and gums with a special tool known as a scaler. They will usually take some dental x-rays of certain areas of your mouth to check for any issues or abnormalities that are not visible during the examination. Your dentist will have a thorough look at the soft tissues of your mouth, including the lips, cheeks, tongue, and gums to check for gum disease or signs of oral cancer. It is advisable to go for a dental check-up every six months so that your dentist can detect any small issues before they worsen.
A professional clean is very helpful in reducing the number of plaque-causing bacteria on and around the teeth. Plaque can lead to inflammation of the gums, which can lead to gum disease and the deterioration of supporting bone around the teeth if left untreated.
Any tarter and plaque that has built up on your teeth and gums will be removed, before your dentist polishes your teeth with the use of a high-powered electrical brush and professional toothbrush. In some cases, an air abrasion headpiece may be used. A fluoride treatment is then applied to help protect your teeth from cavities.
You only need to floss your teeth once a day as part of a thorough oral hygiene routine. The time in which you choose to do so is completely up to you. You can floss morning, noon or night. We suggest flossing in the evenings to ensure that debris and food are not trapped between your teeth overnight.
You are able to floss your teeth before or after you brush your teeth though it can be beneficial to do so before you brush. This is because it will make it easier for the fluoride from your toothpaste to reach between your teeth if you have flossed them prior to brushing.
A little bit of bleeding is normal during flossing, though you should monitor this: if it occurs in multiple locations twice a week or more, or it is more than a small single drop of blood, it may be an indication of an underlying issue and you should consult your dentist. If your gums are bleeding when you floss, you should also take care to ensure that you are using a gentle technique when flossing your teeth.
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time. Brush your teeth morning and night after meals.
Aim to floss your teeth at least once a day. It is up to you whether you would like to floss in the morning or I the evening. Similarly, it is up to you if you would like to floss before brushing or after.
Yes. If you have been slacking on brushing your teeth, you will experience tartar build-up. Your dentist will easily be able to pick up on this. So it is best to stick to a twice a day brushing schedule!
Not necessarily. You can get a great clean with both! Although in saying that electric toothbrushes do indeed make cleaning your teeth a whole lot easier.
No. Some toothpastes do not contain fluoride and therefore it is important that you check the ingredients on a tube of toothpaste prior to purchasing it to ensure that it does contain fluoride in its composition.
Yes. Toothpaste expires, but using toothpaste past its expiration date isn’t harmful. It just isn’t beneficial. That’s because the active ingredients become less effective over time. To ensure you are getting the most from your toothpaste, check the expiration date!
When was your last check-up and clean? If the answer to that is more than 6 months ago, then it’s time to call us and book your appointment!