The continuing care appointment is a critical component to your overall dental health. We recommend this appointment be made at least twice yearly. Under some conditions, we recommend a more frequent recall interval depending on your individual desires and health. In addition to your professional cleaning and periodic exam, other services provided include an oral cancer screening, blood pressure screening and a review of your medical history. If necessary, we will take digital dental x-ray images that allow us to diagnose and prevent dental decay, periodontal disease and other dental, as well as systemic, disorders. We will also measure and monitor the space between your gums and teeth to ensure they are healthy and free of disease.When all of your diagnostic criteria has been met, we can compare data from your previous exams to monitor or hopefully prevent disease progression.
We want you to maintain a healthy, disease-free mouth, and the best way to achieve that is with proper oral home care. We recommend brushing your teeth after all meals using an electric toothbrush, flossing nightly and rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash. Brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush removes the soft, white build-up on the teeth known as “plaque.” Plaque is made up of thousands of bacteria living together in colonies that attach to the teeth. These bacterial colonies consume the food that you eat and produce acid. This acid can sit on a tooth and weaken it until a hole develops, commonly known as a “cavity.” Once a tooth has a hole in it, the only way to keep the bacteria out of the tooth is to then put a filling or crown in/on the tooth and seal it up.
Flossing is the only way to remove the bacteria from in between the teeth. We recommend flossing nightly to minimize the acid buildup that can occur while you sleep. Brushing and flossing can be enhanced by using a mouthwash intended to kill bacteria, thereby reducing the amount of acid produced. The bacteria in your mouth can also cause irritation and inflammation to the gums surrounding the teeth, which can cause them to be sore and bleed easily. This can lead to a condition called “gingivitis,” characterized by red, swollen gums.
If left on the tooth, dental plaque can harden from the minerals in your saliva to form tartar, which can then only be removed by a dental hygienist at your recall appointment. People have varying levels of enzymes and minerals in their saliva, which can influence the amount of tartar produced and how quickly it can be formed. Brushing and flossing properly will keep tartar at a minimum to ensure you are healthier longer.