Looking back on your last dental cleaning, you probably remember a lot of pressing on your teeth and requests to “open wider” as the overhead light illuminated the depths of your mouth. What was your dentist looking for?
At Chester Family Dentistry in Warren, Ohio, Ana Chester, DDS and Amy Caicco, DDS want you to know that a cleaning is just the first step in a routine dental hygiene visit. It’s their job to check out the entire surface and every crevice of every one of your teeth to find invisible issues and treat them before they turn into dental emergencies. Here’s what you can expect from a bi-annual visit to Chester Family Dentistry.
There’s no clean like dental office clean
When you show up at the dentist, you know you’re in for some scraping and scrubbing, even if your at-home oral health routine is impeccable. The best, most methodical brusher and flosser can’t do quite the same job as a practicing dental hygienist.
You’ll get a great scrub that reaches every angle, and a flossing that goes further and deeper than you probably attempt at home. Any plaque or tartar will be mercilessly chased down and eradicated along your gum line. Once your mouth is sparkling clean, it’s time for Dr. Chester or Dr. Caicco to look for hidden issues.
Signs of disease and decay
The mirror on a stick and pointy pick are tools of the trade and are designed to give our dentists a 360-degree view of the inside of your mouth. They’ll apply pressure on your teeth to look for any sensitivity, and peer into every crevice looking for discoloration. It’s not just your teeth, however — your tongue, cheeks, palate, and gums are also on the line for inspection.
Dr. Chester and Dr. Caicco will look for:
- Spots or patchiness on the inside of your cheeks, on your soft palate, and on your tongue (signs of infection or precancerous cells)
- Any redness or irritation on your gums (signs of gingivitis, or early-stage gum disease)
- Separation of your gums from your teeth, or “gingival pockets” (signs of periodontitis, or mid-stage gum disease)
- Tartar build-up below the gumline (which can cause irritation and gingivitis, leading to periodontitis and bone loss)
- “Soft spots” or dark spots on your teeth (signs of a potential cavity-forming)
- Loose teeth (signs of gum infection or bone loss in the jaw)
- Pain when teeth are pressed on (signs of dental decay, infection of the tooth pulp oir the gums, or damage to the tooth root)
If everything comes up fine, you’re good until your next appointment. If our dentists see something that isn’t quite right, they can order X-rays or other tests to identify any issues and recommend further treatment.
How long has it been since your last cleaning? If the answer is more than six months, give us a call at 330-331-9026 or request an appointment online using our easy scheduling tool.