Regular dental exams and teeth cleanings are very important because according to Statistics Canada, only 37.5% of Canadians brush their teeth twice per day and floss as recommended. Uh oh! Just remember if you're not maintaining your dental oral hygiene by removing plaque outside of our office, you're not doing all that you can to maintain your oral health.
When you brush and floss, you're working to remove dental plaque (sticky bacteria) that has built up on your teeth. If you miss some along the way that can turn hard and that's called dental calculus or tartar.
Your first defense against dental disease is to increase your daily brushing and flossing. However, you still need regular checkups and cleanings at our Langley dentist office to make sure you address any problems that can’t be fixed with brushing and flossing. This includes things in dentistry like infections, tooth loss or root sensitivity.
What is a Teeth Cleaning?
A dental hygienist is trained to clean both dental plaque and calculus off of your teeth and often will use special ultrasonic tools to remove these deposits from your teeth.
Once complete, he or she will use a dental polisher to brush your teeth and remove any excess missed tartar during the initial teeth cleaning. The services procedure above is based on a non-deep cleaning. If you maintain your oral health and make all of your dental checkup and teeth cleaning appointments, you'll have a much faster experience. But if you're not consistent with your dental exams, you may need what is known as a "deep cleaning" at our dentist office.
What's a Deep Cleaning
A deep cleaning is exactly what it sounds like in dentistry: a more involved cleaning. We recommend this cleaning at our Langley dentist office when you haven't been to the dentist for a screening in a long time. The cleaning includes:
When the dental cleaning is taking place, the dentist do an exam and look for signs of potential teeth cavities. If we believe that a fluoride treatment would be beneficial, we'll apply the treatment to:
What a Dental Hygienist Can Find During a Teeth Cleaning Exam
A dental hygienist is a highly trained dental professional. When your cleaning exam is taking place at our Langley office, she will also be looking for any critical issues with your dentition and recommend dental services needed with the help of the dentist. The hygienist can tell a lot about your oral health during the cleaning exam and screening, including:
Infection: Many patients have a dental infection and don't know it when they enter our office. We'll look for gum infections and tooth abscesses using our digital dental X-rays. During exams the dentist may come in for further inspection, and antibiotics may be prescribed. Antibiotics can help clear or stop the infection from spreading before a procedure is performed.
Nerve issues: We'll also be on the lookout for inflamed nerves or necrotic nerves. If a nerve is damaged, we'll have to perform a root canal to remove the nerve. In addition, you'll often feel sharp pain or discomfort when drinking or eating cold or hot foods because of the exposed dental nerve.
Of course, we're also able to identify less serious issues during your screening exam. For example, cavities, yellow stained teeth, chips, cracked dental veneers, crooked teeth or broken teeth can be identified. These dental issues may require us to drill in the tooth and fill it with a filling.
If the tooth is broken, cracked or chipped, the dentist may need to put a dental crown or cap on the tooth. The dentist may also recommend sealants be applied to your molars. The sealant is 100% painless and offers additional protection for your mouth against cavities. If you want to reduce your risk of tooth decay, sealants and additional treatments can offer protection against dental decay.
When combined with normal brushing and flossing habits, these dentistry treatments are quite effective at protecting your teeth.
Our custom made PMMA night guards also very effective at protecting your teeth from wear and soothing a sore TMJ joint. We use the latest industry standard to make a custom thin guard that is highly resistant to stain and fracture.
Concerns If You Need Dental Surgery at Our Langley Dental Clinic
The word "surgery" scares a lot of patients. However, if you have a severe case of periodontal disease or another serious dental issue, dental surgery may be the only option but we do have sedation services at our Langley office to help you relax. In addition, their are a wide range of surgeries that can be used to restore your smile with our dentist.
A few of the dental procedures that are performed during dental surgery are:
Bone grafting is recommended when the bone near the tooth's root has been damaged by gum disease. The bone will be replaced with either donated, synthetic or your natural dental bone.
Flap surgery is required when calculus has moved beneath the gums and cannot be reached even with a deep cleaning. A periodontist will perform a small surgical incision in the gum, pull the gum back and clean off the calculus and bacteria. After, he or she will stitch the flap of gum back in place.
Tissue graftsare an option if you have significant receding gums. In this case, a periodontist will remove a piece of the gum tissue, and then reattach a donor tissue to the now missing gum.
Tooth extractions are also considered dental surgeries because the dentist will be removing the tooth permanently. Extractions are a last resort, and our dentist will always recommend trying to save a tooth. Your natural tooth structure is the best option for your teeth.
Other reasons we may recommend a tooth extraction dentistry is if a root canal was not successful, teeth are impacted or your wisdom teeth came in and are causing dental pain.
Replacing a Missing Tooth
We want you to maintain a proper bite and to be able to chew properly. Removing a tooth can lead to teeth moving toward the extracted tooth or even an improper bite. If back molars are removed, it can lead to difficulty chewing, especially when eating tough foods. Whether an accident, extraction or disease led to you missing teeth, we can replace the tooth with:
If you opt for dental implants with us, the dentist will place a titanium post in your jaw and allow the gums and bone to heal. Once you heal, we can attach the artificial tooth to the post. Dental implants are the best option for missing teeth.
The dentist will customize the implant to ensure that it looks and feels as natural as possible.
Dental bridges, which attach to surrounding teeth, are another option to restore your bite and smile but the dentist will be able to explain the best option for you at your appointment.
Risks of Not Going for a Regular Prophylaxis at our Langley Clinic
A regular dental exam and teeth cleaning (prophylaxis) at Blue Water Dental centre in Langley, just twice per year, is the best way to reduce your risk of tooth decay and screening for periodontal disease. If allowed to progress, periodontal disease will start to damage the bones supporting your teeth. Eventually, the tooth may become loose and treatment will be necessary to save your teeth. If you allow periodontal disease to progress untreated, it will lead to risks and complications that may include the following:
Serious health risks also increase, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. In addition, if you're pregnant, dental issues can worsen, and you may experience complications. In the worst-case scenario, a tooth abscess can start to spread to your neck and head.
If you don't seek treatment with a dentist for an exam and cleaning, the dental infection can eventually lead to sepsis or even blood infection. No one wants to experience a life-threatening infection because they didn't go to their teeth cleaning at their dentist office.
How to Keep Your Teeth and Gums Healthy
If you haven't realized it already, maintaining your dental and oral health is much easier than undergoing major cosmetic dental procedures. We want you to have the best oral health possible, and this means following these simple dental steps below prior to your dental exams and cleaning:
Brush at least twice per day
Floss at least once per day
Schedule a teeth cleaning every six months at our Langley office with the dentist
Limit the number of sugary drinks and snacks you eat
Avoid tobacco products that damage and stain teeth
What Foods Contain High Amounts of Sugar?
Foods that you eat daily can have high levels of sugar. The high sugar amounts can cause your teeth to decay. While we don't expect you to cut out these tasty foods completely, reducing your intake can help a lot. A few of the high sugar foods that you're likely to have in your diet are:
Condiments that make bland foods taste good
Canned fruits have added sugars
Pasta sauce is acidic and often contains sugar
Flavored yogurts often have high sugar content
Drinks, such as sweet tea, soda and sports drinks
Juices and juice blends
Cereal and granola bars have a lot of sugar
Muffins, even those that sound healthy, may have lots of sugar
Be conscious of these foods, and be sure to brush after eating them. If you eat acidic foods with sugar, be sure to wait for a half-hour before brushing as the acid softens tooth enamel.
Children's Oral Health
Children should be taught about oral and dental health at a young age prior to seeing a dentist. Between the ages of 5 and 11, 20% of kids will have at least one tooth that has tooth decay. If you start seeing a dentist early on and teach your kids good dental hygiene, you can reduce their risks of cavities and dental issues in the future.
You should start seeing a dentist after your child's first birthday for an exam screening and cleaning. Children that are bottle-fed are known to have cavities because the sugar sticks to their enamel after feeding. If you bottle feed your child past the age of one, this will further increase their risk of cavities.
Avoiding tooth decay should be a top priority as a parent. You can avoid tooth decay even if you're bottle feeding by:
Using a soft baby brush to brush your child's dentition once your child has a tooth or several teeth (use only water and no toothpaste)
Inquire about dental sealants
Schedule regular dental visits once teeth grow in for a screening
Men and Women: Gum Disease
Men and women both need to take care of their oral health, but men are less likely to care for their mouths properly. In fact, men don't brush, floss or see a dentist as much as women. Ultimately this leads to a higher risk of periodontal disease and several forms of cancer.
Women commonly have swollen gums or sores in their mouths when they first begin menstruating. Hormonal changes also put women at higher risk of dental issues. Pregnancy, and morning sickness, can further damage teeth. Saliva changes and vomiting can amplify or cause tooth dental decay. And even when menopause hits, you'll be at risk of gum disease because your estrogen levels fall.
You can start to change your habits today to reduce your risk of dental decay, tooth loss and gum disease by visiting the dentist regularly.
Call us today at our Langley dental clinic to schedule a checkup and cleaning.