Dental Hygiene/Exams

Why is Dental Hygiene Important?

If your teeth are not properly cleaned, harmful bacteria can develop in your mouth and cause diseases, such as gingivitis, which is characterized by bleeding gums and a foul odor in the mouth, or periodontal disease, in which teeth become loose and fall out. Good dental hygiene prevents the buildup of harmful oral bacteria in your mouth.

Practicing proper dental hygiene requires avoiding sugary and sticky foods, as well as a regimen of regular brushing and flossing at home, combined with routine dental exams and professional cleanings.

What happens during a routine dental exam?

When you come in for a routine checkup at O’Connor Dental Care, one of our friendly dental assistants will take comprehensive X-rays of your mouth. Then, Dr. Patrick or Dr. Emily will perform a thorough examination of your teeth and gums, as well as your entire oral cavity.

Among other problems, we will be checking for such things as:

Cavities, which are tiny holes in the teeth that may require a filling.
Malocclusions, which may appear as crooked or overcrowded teeth that may require specialized orthodontic treatment.
Mobility in the teeth, which means the teeth are becoming loose and may indicate a more serious periodontal problem.
We will also examine your gums and soft tissue for signs of disease, such as oral cancer and other soft-tissue conditions that may require further medical attention.

Our dentists will also explain the state of your dental condition thoroughly, as well as your treatment options for managing your oral health. We’ll also suggest measures that you can take to care for your mouth and teeth at home.

How is a professional dental cleaning performed?

Our licensed, professional dental hygienists are highly skilled and experienced and provide the most thorough and gentle professional cleaning procedure available in our area.

During the dental cleaning process, which takes about 30 minutes and is generally painless, tooth surfaces are scrubbed individually and stubborn stains are removed using the latest technology in the field. Our hygienist will also remove any plaque and tartar that may be sticking to oral surfaces. This is usually done manually using a specialized instrument. We will also disinfect your teeth and mouth using an antiseptic fluoride rinse that kills bacteria while eliminating bad breath.

Once your dental cleaning is completed, your mouth will feel fresh and clean, and your teeth will be white and gleaming.

How often are routine dental exams recommended?

Depending on the general condition of your teeth and gums, you should plan to see your dentist regularly at least every 6 to 12 months. If you have an oral health issue, such as bleeding gums, gingivitis, tooth decay, cavities, periodontal disease, tooth mobility, chronic abscesses, or infection, you will need to schedule more regular visits per the doctor’s specific recommendation.

At O’Connor Dental Care we don’t treat oral health care as a one-size-fits-all but rather as a customized process where we help each patient individually to achieve the highest possible standard of oral health.