Scheduling a regular hygiene appointment is a great way to keep your smile healthy for the long run. These visits allow our team to check up on your oral health and catch small issues before they become pesky problems down the line. Our team looks forward to keeping your smile strong with preventive care!
Preventive dental cleanings, also known as prophylactic cleanings, are routine cleanings for patients with healthy gums. The American Dental Association recommends two cleanings per year for healthy patients. This gives our team a chance to remove plaque and tartar build up, so your smile can stay healthy and beautiful for longer.
Flossing gets rid of plaque on 40% of your tooth surfaces!
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Our office invests in the best technology for your oral health! That includes VELscope, a small hand-held tool that detects abnormalities in the mouth that are often invisible to the naked eye — including oral cancer.
To start things off, we’ll perform a complete cleaning of your teeth and gums, using special tools to remove any plaque and tartar that may have built up along the gumline. Essential aspects of your cleaning will include thorough flossing between your teeth in all those hard-to-reach places, and scraping off plaque that has accumulated along the gum line. To finish the cleaning process, we’ll polish your teeth, leaving you feeling refreshed, revitalized, and ready to smile.
If you’re new to the office or haven’t had dental x-rays in a while, your dentist will recommend that you take some during your preventive care appointment. Dental x-rays let us see what’s going on beneath the surface of your smile, giving us the ability to find issues that may not be visible otherwise. With x-rays, we’re able to make more accurate diagnoses and create more effective and efficient treatment plans.
Your Littleton dentist will review your x-rays and then take a thorough look at your teeth, gums, and the rest of your mouth. If we spot any issues, we’ll take the time to educate you on our findings, so you can keep your dental health on the right track. We make it our goal to keep you educated about your oral well being, so you can make the right decisions for your smile.
Using the information we’ve gathered with your exam and x-rays, we’ll work together with you to craft a treatment plan customized for your unique oral health needs, budget, and lifestyle. If everything looks good, we’ll simply schedule your next routine cleaning and checkup.
Our team is here for you! No matter what kind of treatment you schedule, our team is standing by to answer any questions you may have about insurance, financing, or anything else dental-related. We’ll do everything possible to make sure your every visit is straightforward and stress-free.
Self-ligating braces appear almost identical to traditional braces, but utilize clips.
Regular teeth cleanings and hygiene appointments are the foundation of preventive dental care. During your cleaning, we will thoroughly cleanse your teeth and gums, removing any plaque or debris from every surface in your mouth. We will even be able reverse minor stains to keep your smile bright and beautiful. We recommend scheduling routine cleanings and exams every six months for most patients.
However, good oral hygiene shouldn’t stop when you leave our office. Keeping up with your at-home brushing and flossing routine is equally as important as attending professional cleanings, and is the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Use a fluoride-rich toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time; and don’t forget to floss! Flossing at least once every day, ideally before going to bed, helps to get rid of food particles, plaque, and bacteria that can’t be removed with brushing alone.
Digital x-rays are safe, quick, and comfortable. Using the latest technology, we can create crisp, high-resolution images of your mouth’s structure, so we can make accurate diagnoses and treatment plans. Digital x-rays use only a fraction of the radiation as traditional film x-rays, so you can rest easy.
Fluoride treatments are one of the best ways to keep dental decay at bay. A simple, non-invasive procedure, fluoride treatments help to keep your enamel strong. After your cleaning, we’ll apply a fluoride-rich varnish or gel; we may ask you to refrain from eating or drinking anything for 30 minutes or so following your visit. Fluoride helps kickstart a process called “remineralization,” which restores essential minerals like calcium and phosphates to your teeth, keeping your enamel hard and resistant to acids that cause tooth decay.
Dental sealants are a great way for patients to protect their teeth from decay. Dental sealants are often recommended for children, but can still be a great option for patients of all ages. Plus, dental sealants can provide protection for your teeth for years after being applied.
Applying dental sealants is a quick, non-invasive procedure that utilizes a dental resin that is applied to the molars. The uneven surface of molars, which are located in the rear of the mouth, are filled with grooves where plaque and bacteria can flourish. After application, the resin is cured with an LED light, causing it to harden into a powerful barrier between your teeth and the foods, drinks, acid, and bacteria that lead to decay.
Gum disease is extremely common, and can result in an array of oral health problems if left untreated, even including bone resorption and tooth loss. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. It's also the only stage that can be truly reversed with deep cleanings and good at-home hygiene. If you are diagnosed with gingivitis, it is still possible to regain control of your oral health by staying on top of your regular cleanings, checkups, and at-home care.
More advanced stages of gum disease, called periodontitis, have irreversible effects on your oral health, such as gum recession and bone loss. However, the progression of periodontitis can be stopped in its tracks, even if the effects cannot be reversed, though it requires more advanced and frequent treatment. Most patients will require deep cleaning sessions every three to four months. Treatments can include deep cleanings or scaling and root planing, and can help preserve your oral health.
Oral cancer screenings are a part of every preventive visit, and are a quick way to fortify your peace of mind. Through consistent exams, we can catch oral cancer early on, which gives us a better chance at treating it before it spreads. A routine oral cancer screening can even save your life!
Your dentist will examine your gums, tongue, and the rest of the soft tissues in your mouth, keeping an eye out for lesions and other abnormalities like lumps and discolorations. If there is anything that concerns us, we may recommend getting a biopsy, which will be analyzed by a specialist to determine the cause of the abnormality. Regular oral cancer screenings allow us to identify any potential problems before they become major issues.
Unconscious teeth grinding and clenching, known as bruxism, is a common issue that tends to happen at night while patients are asleep. However, night guards can help patients alleviate symptoms of bruxism by creating a barrier between your teeth that protects them from grinding-related damage. Depending on the severity of the case, night guards can be made from several different materials with varying degrees of softness.
To get fitted for a night guard, you will receive impressions or digital scans of your teeth and gums that we will use to custom-craft a mold that will then be sent to the lab. Your night guard will be created to match your exact specifications and measurements for a perfect fit. Night guards ease tension in your jaw, alleviating the painful headaches and preventing dental damage caused by clenching and grinding. Night guards can keep your smile healthy and help you get the restful sleep you need.
25% of adults in the U.S. have at least one cavity.
Prophylactic cleanings, also known as “regular cleanings, ” are the cleanings you receive during your routine dental appointments. They are essential in helping to prevent decay and keep your breath fresh, and should be scheduled every 6 months. During your cleaning, we’ll remove any plaque, tartar, or bacterial buildup from your teeth and floss between them to ensure the continued health of your smile.
Periodontal cleanings are only necessary for patients with periodontal, or gum, disease, and are sometimes referred to as “deep cleanings.” These cleaning sessions are more thorough than regular cleanings, and are meant to halt the progression of gum disease. Your dentist or hygienist will carefully scrape away any plaque or tartar buildup from between your teeth and gums, and carefully smooth out the roots of your teeth, to eliminate pockets that can trap bacteria and allow gum disease to flourish. An important part of every periodontal maintenance routine, deep cleanings can help those suffering from gum disease to preserve their oral health.
Keeping up with good brushing habits is integral to your oral health, and using the proper technique can help keep your mouth free from decay. Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle and use small, circular strokes to clean the front, back, and chewing surfaces of each tooth. You should spend about 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth. Use toothpaste that is ADA-approved and rich in fluoride, and don’t forget to replace your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every 3-4 months, or when the bristles start to look frayed or worn.
Daily flossing is the best way to dislodge plaque and bacteria to keep gum disease at bay, and can be easy once you know the proper technique. Begin by gathering about 24 inches of dental floss, wrapping most of it around one index or middle finger. Wind the remaining few inches around the index finger of your other hand, keeping about 1-inch of floss taut between your fingers and thumbs. Gently glide the floss between your teeth. If you’re having trouble getting the floss between your teeth, try not to force it, as it can slip and cause damage to your gums. Instead, use a gentle side-to-side rocking motion to get the floss where it needs to be. Once the floss is between your teeth, slide it into the gum line while following the c-shaped curve of the tooth. Repeat this process for both sides of every tooth. To help prevent the spread of bacteria, be sure to wind a new 1-inch section of floss before moving on to the next tooth.
Save yourself money, time, and future dental pain by keeping up with your preventive care.