Dental Cleaning: A Key to Optimal Oral Health
Welcome to Art of Pediatric Dentistry, where we prioritize your child's oral health and well-being. Our primary goal is to provide top-notch dental cleaning services that go beyond the surface to ensure a lifetime of healthy smiles. Dental cleaning, also known as prophylaxis, plays a pivotal role in maintaining oral health. Let's explore the primary goal of dental cleaning and its associated benefits in detail.
What is the primary goal of dental cleaning?
The primary goal of dental cleaning is to prevent and treat common dental issues, ensuring your child's oral health is in excellent condition. It involves the removal of plaque and tartar buildup from teeth, which is essential in preventing cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems. Beyond this fundamental objective, dental cleaning offers several key benefits:
- Improved Oral Health: Regular dental cleanings help maintain a clean and healthy mouth, reducing the risk of dental issues and the need for extensive treatments.
- Fresher Breath: Dental cleanings remove bacteria that can cause bad breath, leaving your child's mouth feeling fresh and clean.
- Early Detection: Dental cleanings allow our expert team to spot early signs of dental problems, such as cavities or gum disease, enabling timely intervention.
- Preventative Education: During cleanings, our dental professionals provide valuable guidance on oral hygiene practices, ensuring your child knows how to maintain their oral health between visits.
- Brighter Smile: Removing surface stains and discoloration during a cleaning can enhance the appearance of your child's smile.
Laser Frenectomy – How Does It Work?
A soft tissue laser does not cut. Instead, it vaporizes tissue with light energy almost painlessly. In addition, the laser procedure causes almost no bleeding. Lasers sterilize at the touch and therefore cause less risk of infection. Healing is very quick—a laser stimulates bio-regeneration. The result is beautiful tissue and less chance of relapse.
What Does It Really Mean?
Ankyloglossia, or tongue-tie, is the restriction of tongue movement as a result of fusion or adherence of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. A tongue-tie is caused by a frenum that is abnormally short or attached too close to the tip of the tongue.
Normal tongue function is important for multiple reasons. Among the many benefits, normal tongue function allows a baby to latch adequately and breastfeed efficiently, promotes normal speech development, makes it possible for a child to self-cleanse the mouth during eating, supports adequate swallowing patterns, allows for proper growth and development, and makes fun little things like eating ice cream, kissing, or sticking your tongue out to catch snowflakes possible.
Challenges That Can Occur With A Tongue-Tie
- Inability to open mouth widely, affecting speech and eating habits
- Inability to speak clearly when talking fast/loud/soft
- Clicking jaws
- Pain in jaws
- Protrusion of the lower jaw (inferior prognathism)
- Effects on social situations such as kissing, licking ice cream
- Dental health complications such as a tendency toward inflamed gums and increased need for periodontal surgery
- In the elderly, difficulty in keeping a denture in place
How Can A Lip-Tie Affect My Child?
A LIP-TIE OCCURS WHEN THE UPPER LIP REMAINS ATTACHED TO THE UPPER GUM. CHALLENGES THAT CAN OCCUR IN CHILDREN AND INFANTS WITH MODERATE TO SEVERE LIP-TIES INCLUDE:
- Pain with breastfeeding
- Inability to adequately flange the maxillary lip upward during breastfeeding, affecting an infant’s latch and ability to create a good seal
- Formation of a large gap between the maxillary central incisors, called a diastema
- Difficulties with brushing and flossing
- Increased risk of dental decay
- Repeated trauma to the maxillary frenum because it is so low and prominent
What tools are commonly used during a dental cleaning?
During a dental cleaning, our skilled dental hygienists employ a range of specialized tools to ensure a thorough and effective cleaning process. Commonly used instruments include:
- Ultrasonic Scaler: This device uses high-frequency vibrations and water flow to remove plaque and tartar from teeth.
- Dental Mirror: A small mirror helps our hygienists see difficult-to-reach areas in the mouth.
- Scaler and Curettes: Handheld instruments with sharp edges are used to manually remove stubborn deposits.
- Polishing Tool: After plaque and tartar removal, a polishing tool is used to give teeth a smooth and clean finish.
What is the importance of dental X-rays in exams and cleanings?
Dental X-rays are a crucial component of comprehensive dental exams and cleanings. They allow us to:
- Detect Hidden Issues: X-rays reveal issues not visible during a visual exam, such as cavities between teeth or below the gumline.
- Monitor Growth and Development: In pediatric dentistry, X-rays help track the development of your child's teeth and jaw.
- Plan Treatments: X-rays aid in treatment planning, ensuring the most effective and appropriate care for your child's dental needs.
Steps involved in a comprehensive dental exam.
A comprehensive dental exam consists of several important steps:
- Medical History Review: We gather information about your child's overall health, including any existing medical conditions or medications.
- Visual Examination: Our dentist examines your child's teeth, gums, and oral tissues for any signs of dental issues.
- X-ray Imaging: When necessary, we take X-rays to assess the condition of teeth and supporting structures.
- Oral Cancer Screening: We conduct a thorough examination to detect any signs of oral cancer.
- Discussion and Treatment Plan: Based on the findings, we discuss any necessary treatments or preventive measures with you.
How are cavities detected during a dental exam?
Cavities are detected through a combination of visual inspection, X-rays, and clinical expertise. Our skilled team looks for signs such as visible decay, changes in tooth color or texture, and areas of discomfort.
How often should a patient typically have a dental exam and cleaning?
The American Dental Association recommends regular dental exams and cleanings every six months. However, the frequency may vary based on your child's unique oral health needs. Our team will provide personalized recommendations during each visit.
Are dental exams and cleanings covered by most dental insurance plans?
Most dental insurance plans do cover routine dental exams and cleanings as part of their preventive care benefits. However, it's essential to check with your insurance provider for specific details regarding coverage.
How can patients prepare for their dental exam and cleaning appointment?
To prepare for your child's dental appointment, ensure they:
- Brush their teeth thoroughly before the appointment.
- Provide accurate medical and dental history information.
- Bring any insurance information and identification required for billing.
At Art of Pediatric Dentistry, we prioritize your child's comfort and well-being. Our dental cleaning services are designed to promote excellent oral health while ensuring a positive and enjoyable experience for your child. Contact us at 425-401-1147 to schedule your child's next dental cleaning and join us in creating a lifetime of healthy smiles in Bellevue, WA, and surrounding areas like Redmond, Kirkland, Issaquah, Newcastle, Sammamish, and Renton. Your child's smile is our passion!