During your dental check ups, it’s common to see both your hygienist and dentist in Sparks. Ideally, these check ups happen twice a year so your dental team can keep a close eye on your oral health and catch any problems early before they have a chance to become a bigger, more serious problem, and while they’re still usually treated easily. But what exactly do your dentist and dental hygienist do during check ups?
Before any type of dentistry begins, your dental team will get an update on your overall and oral health. They’ll want to gather information such as if there has been any changes to medications or newly diagnosed conditions. It’s important to be honest during this conversation as many whole-health problems are also linked to oral health, so the more your dentist knows, the better care they can provide. You should also mention any concerns you may have about your oral health such as any pain, sensitivity, or cosmetic services you may be interested in.
First Steps During an Appointment
While the order of how things happen during your appointment may vary depending on the office, the following is a typical outline of what happens during the first stage of a dental check up.
- Initial Exam
Your dental hygienist may begin your appointment by taking a peek inside your mouth and looking at your teeth and gums. They’re looking for any signs of gum swelling or redness as well as any visual areas of decay. Additionally, some hygienists will also measure gum pockets to monitor for gum disease.
Next, your hygienist will get to work thoroughly, yet gently, cleaning your teeth. This is a more in depth process than brushing and flossing at home. Special tools are used to remove plaque and tartar buildup from your gums and teeth, which can’t be done at home. They may also gently poke at teeth to check for cavities.
Following your cleaning, your hygienist will polish off your pearly whites using a special tool and paste. Polishing can help remove leftover plaque from your teeth and can even remove surface tooth stains.
Dental x-rays don’t usually happen at every check up, but they will be taken if it’s been a year or more since your last radiographs or if your dental team needs to see below the surface of your teeth to more closely check out any areas of concern. Dental x-rays are safe and emit very low levels of radiation.
Meeting with Your Dentist in Sparks
After your hygienist conducts an initial exam, cleans your teeth, and takes any necessary x-rays, your dentist will come in to check things out. If there are any areas of concern, they’ll take a closer look at the area and any accompanying x-rays or images. Your dentist will also evaluate your jaw, bite, and teeth for any signs of decay.
Dental health can change quickly, so it’s important to get a check up every six months. If you’re overdue, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Sparks today.
If you’re embarrassed by your teeth, you’re not alone. More than 50% of Americans are insecure about their teeth. This may mean that you cover your mouth when you laugh or smile without your teeth showing in photographs. A lot of the time, smile insecurity is due to the color of teeth. While many things can cause tooth staining, your dentist in Sparks wants you to know that there are several ways you can stop tooth staining in its tracks.
One of the main things that cause tooth discoloration is smoking and using other forms of tobacco. Tobacco, along with other ingredients in cigarettes and even smokeless tobacco, is known to cause the yellowing of teeth. Additionally, since tobacco products also contain addictive ingredients, it’s not uncommon for these products to be used several times throughout the day. This means that teeth are constantly exposed to the staining ingredients. Additionally, tobacco stains are harder to remove. While your dentist in Sparks supports quitting smoking and using other tobacco products, we understand that they are difficult to quit. Keep in mind that tobacco use is a leading cause of oral health problems, including oral cancer.
Certain foods and drinks such as red wine, tea, coffee, soda, and even pasta sauce can cause tooth staining. But there are also some foods that can actually help reduce staining. Snacking on raw vegetables and fruits such as apples, celery, or even some types of cheese can gently scrub away surface stains.
Brush Your Teeth Often
Your dentist in Sparks will always recommend that all patients brush their teeth twice a day, every day, for two minutes. However, brushing your teeth after meals, particularly the ones that can contribute to tooth staining, is also important. If you can’t thoroughly brush your teeth, try rinsing your mouth out with water to help remove staining ingredients.
If you find yourself in a position where you can’t rinse your mouth out with water, find some sugarless gum and chew it for a little while to remove even more food particles.
Straws Can Help
While it may seem silly, a simple straw is a great way to reduce the risk of tooth discoloration when drinking a tooth-staining beverage. Straws help the liquid bypass teeth and decrease the likelihood of staining. There are several reusable straws you can buy and carry with you in case you run into a situation where straws aren’t available.
To be frank, tooth discoloration happens, sometimes even if you try your hardest to prevent it. But the good news is that there are several cosmetic dentistry options available for whitening teeth and even reversing discoloration. From smile whitening treatments to cosmetic dentistry solutions, like dental veneers, your dentist in Sparks will help you find the best way to whiten your teeth.