Our practice employs a knowledgeable and compassionate hygiene team that enjoys taking excellent care of our patients’ oral health. If you are in need of a dental cleaning, reach out to our Corpus Christi, TX, dental office. Led by Drs. Charles A. Robertson and Nicholas Perry Orchard, we are committed to helping our patients retain their natural teeth for a lifetime. One of the simplest ways we can do this is through preventive dental care, including six-month checkups. To schedule a dental cleaning for yourself or a family member, contact us now to make an appointment.
The Importance of Dental Hygiene
Hygiene refers to cleanliness for the purpose of disease prevention and good health. Dental hygiene, then, encompasses daily brushing and flossing at home, using fluoridated toothpaste, and attending professional checkups and cleanings with your dentist. The American Dental Association suggests a minimum of two checkups and cleanings per year for people with good oral health. At these appointments, our dental hygienists will evaluate your oral health and identify any conditions that need professional treatment. They may also order X-rays for diagnosis, as well as an oral cancer screening using a VELscope® to aid in diagnosis. VELscope® provides the most powerful technology available for assisting in discovering oral mucosal abnormalities and early detection of oral cancer.
On the day of your appointment, one of our highly trained hygienists will perform your dental cleaning. Our hygienists have earned their certification in dental hygiene and can explain how bacterial infection causes cavities, gum disease, and even tooth loss. Furthermore, the hygienist can teach you the most effective way to brush and floss your teeth, as well as advise you on which at-home products are best suited for your oral health.
What to Expect at Your Cleaning
If your gums show no signs of gum disease (periodontitis), we will perform a regular dental cleaning. This appointment takes about an hour. The hygienist will evaluate your gums, gently assessing the depth of pockets between your gum tissue and teeth. We will record this and other information in your chart. Your hygienist will clean your teeth by removing plaque (the sticky yellow substance formed by bacteria) and tartar (the hard, calcified form of plaque that is not easily removed by brushing). Afterward, they will polish your teeth and provide information that will help you take good care of your teeth and gums at home.
If you suffer from gum disease, you will need a deep cleaning. Expect the appointment to last about an hour and a half to two hours, and know that multiple appointments will probably be required. Deep cleaning involves scaling, which is the removal of tartar from teeth. The second procedure in a deep cleaning is root planing, which is the removal of rough surfaces beneath the gum line. Together, scaling and root planing eradicate disease-causing tartar so that gum tissue can heal and reattach to the teeth. The gum pockets will be sterilized, and in some cases, an antibiotic is administered.
About Gum Disease
People who smoke, have dry mouth, are experiencing hormone fluctuations, use an albuterol inhaler for asthma, take certain medications, or do not maintain daily oral care at home are at a heightened risk for developing gum disease. However, anyone can experience gum disease. Sometimes, faithful dental hygiene patients develop gingivitis – the first stage of gum disease.
Research has shown a connection between gum disease and systemic health conditions, ranging from diabetes to Alzheimer’s and heart disease. A chronic condition, gum disease can be suppressed and its effects repaired, but once a person develops the disease, there is a good chance of recurrence. Untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis, which is the primary cause of adult tooth loss in the United States.
While many people don’t notice symptoms of gingivitis, some early signs include sore gums, bleeding gums during brushing and flossing, discolored gum tissue, and gum recession. Through preventive care and regular dental cleanings, we can reduce your risk for gum disease.
Schedule Your Cleaning
If you have not had a dental checkup or cleaning in six months or longer, contact us and reserve your appointment today. In the meantime, don’t neglect twice-a-day brushing, daily flossing, and a healthy diet.