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Why you should have dental cleanings and screenings

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Brushing twice a day, or after every meal can help keep your teeth looking their best. Flossing is even better, using floss removes plaque from hard to reach crevices. It's hard to clean above the gumline without flossing. Even when we are able to get deep, hard to reach areas, there's still a significant amount of bacteria hiding from our dental tools. This bacteria can cause serious problems for oral health.

Dental Screenings
Screenings are an important part of any dental care routine. The American Dental Association recommends that children and adults visit their dentist twice a year for screenings and cleaning. The screenings allow the dentist to look for signs of decay (cavities), gum inflammation, bone deterioration, and oral cancer.
Screenings can catch problems before they become serious. Cavities that are caught early can be reversed by mineral enriching washes or varnish. If the dentist finds that the gums are inflamed an exam can check the depth of gum tissue. This exam involves using a tool the measure the gum tissue before the tool reaches the jawbone. This exam can be uncomfortable for people that have advanced gum disease. The importance cannot be stressed enough, this exam can help a dentist find out how advanced gum disease is and if periodontal disease is beginning.
Oral cancer caught early can be treated aggressively. Prompt, aggressive treatment can stop the advance of oral cancer- cancer of the tongue, gums, or other tissue. The dentist will refer those with signs of oral cancer to a specialist who can help treat the disease.

Dental Cleanings
Routine cleanings are vastly superior to the cleanings we do at home. The tools a dentist uses remove all traces of plaque, the sticky film of bacteria covering teeth. This film can harden into tartar which hides even more bacteria that promotes decay. One sign of decay and hidden bacteria is persistent bad breath. This halitosis does not go away with brushing, flossing, or mouthwashes.
Your dentist will clean your teeth, gums, and decide if you need deeper cleanings. For people suffering from gum disease and periodontal disease, deep cleanings involve scaling and planing of the teeth. The teeth are cleaned deep under the gums to remove tartar and bacteria. Roots are smoothed to help avoid plaque sticking to them. The dentist may place antibacterial medication in each pocket of gum around the roots to fight off bacteria and decay.

Every Reston dentist visit is important to help promote oral health. The dentist will give you information on how to maintain your teeth between visits to Expressions Dental Care for optimal dental health.

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