Good at-home oral hygiene practices, regular dental exams, and professional cleanings are the foundation of good oral health. While it is integral that you brush your teeth at least twice per day, floss at least once per day, it isn’t enough to just practice good oral hygiene at home.

Professional dental care is about so much more than filling cavities. Preventative care forms the majority of the work your dental team performs. Regular dental visits allow your dentist to identify and address problems such as tooth decay and gum disease as early as possible, and give your teeth a more thorough cleaning than you can do at home.

How Often Should I Visit The Dentist?

Most patients should visit their dentist at least every six months. These semi-annual visits allow your dental team to examine your teeth and gums, ensure that your at-home oral hygiene routine is meeting your needs, tackle any plaque buildup, and address any questions or concerns that you may have.

When was your last dental exam?

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What to Expect During Your Visit

We understand that not everyone loves visiting the dentist. That is why our friendly team works hard to ensure that you have a calm, comfortable, and anxiety-free visit.

Your dental visit is broken up into two main parts: The dental exam and the dental cleaning.

The Dental Exam

A dental exam allows your dentist to check the health of your teeth and gums. During your exam, the dentist will inspect each tooth for signs of decay, damage, disease, or other potential problems. They will also examine your bite, which ensures that your teeth and jaw are aligned correctly.

Depending on how long it has been since your last exam your dentist may also take some x-rays of your jaw. X-rays allow your dentist to review the structure and health of your jaws and teeth, and examine the portions of your teeth that fall below your gum line.

Even if your teeth and gums are healthy and free of disease and decay, you should still visit the dentist at least once every six months. Dentists and dental hygienists are specially trained to detect oral health issues in their early stages before you begin to experience symptoms. This allows your dental team to begin any necessary treatments as soon as possible.

One of the main goals of your dental team is preventative care. If your dentist or dental hygienist notices that something might be wrong, they can take preventative steps right away. It is always easier to prevent problems before they begin than to fix them after they have occurred.

Regular dental exams empower you and let you approach your oral health proactively.

Brushing and flossing at home play a critical role in maintaining your oral health, but you should still have your teeth professionally cleaned approximately every six months. Dental practices like West 85th Dental have the specialized skills and tools to give your gums and teeth a thorough cleaning and address hard-to-reach places that you may be missing during your regular brushing and flossing routine.

Brushing and flossing removes plaque, but it can’t remove tartar. Tartar forms when plaque is allowed to sit on our teeth. During your professional cleaning, your dental hygienist will use special tools to remove both plaque and tartar from the hard-to-reach places and tight crevices that you might not be able to reach on your own. This thorough, professional cleaning is key to preventing gum disease and tooth decay.

Most dental appointments begin with scaling, a procedure that uses small metal tools to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and from beneath your gum line. Once all of the plaque and tartar has been removed your dental hygienist will floss between your teeth and then brush your teeth with a special gritty toothpaste. After a quick rinse, your dental hygienist may treat your gums and teeth with fluoride. Fluoride acts as a sealant, protecting your teeth from decay.

Specialized Dental Exams & Cleanings

At West 85th Dental we want all of our patients to leave our practice with a smile. To help keep you relaxed and comfortable we offer a variety of tailored dental exams and cleanings for children and nervous patients. These specialized exams allow us to ensure that your unique dental needs are met, and to minimize anxiety and stress for you or your child.

For more information about our dental exams, dental cleanings, and other dentistry services, or to book your next appointment, please contact us.