There are numerous physical health benefits to maintaining a clean and healthy smile. Routine dental cleanings help to prevent tooth decay and gum disease and allow Dr. Conover and our dental care team to identify problems in their earliest stages.
Professional dental cleaning is an important part of routine preventive care. In our Philadelphia dental office, dental cleaning goes way beyond the standard and plays a huge role in the longevity of your smile. Our hygienists carefully remove plaque from those hard-to-reach spots and ensure the teeth are clean and healthy along the gum line.
Following ADA guidelines, Dr. Conover recommends that patients visit our Philadelphia dentist office for a routine dental care exam every six months. Hygiene visits with us include a comprehensive dental exam and consultation with the dentist. Preventive dental care is a general dentistry service we provide to new and existing patients in Philadelphia, PA.
Our hygiene visits include:
- Professional dental cleaning
- Dental x-rays
- Periodontal screening and charting
- Dental caries (cavities) screening
- Occlusal analysis to examine the position of the bite
- Oral cancer screening
What are the different types of teeth?
There are four types of teeth: incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. Most people have 32 permanent adult teeth that are categorized below.
- Incisors: These are the eight front teeth we use to cut food.
- Canines (cuspids): These are the four teeth on the sides of our mouth that we use for tearing meat and crunching hard foods.
- Premolars (bicuspids): These are the eight teeth in between our canines and molars.
- Molars: These are the last 12 teeth at the back of our mouth that we use to grind food down into a paste before swallowing it. Your third molars are “wisdom teeth”.
Preventing Tooth Decay
It is our goal to help you maintain or improve your oral health. Our dentist in Philadelphia, PA uses the latest breakthrough in decay detection. Diagnodent laser technology detects decay at its earliest stage before it destroys more tooth structures.
Cavities often hide along fissure lines or inside biting surfaces. Microscopic defects in the hard surface of the tooth can allow decay to spread rapidly into the softer tooth structure beneath the surface. Diagnosing with Diagnodent helps us treat the disease before it spreads, making treatment easier and more comfortable for you.
If we detect a cavity, we offer tooth-colored dental composites to restore beauty and strength to the tooth. It is important to treat your tooth cavity as soon as possible. If you ignore it, it will spread and may require much more intense treatment, such as root canal therapy.
Preventing Gum Disease
Periodontal disease, like many diseases, may not be obvious without testing. Your doctor must measure and evaluate your high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar levels. On every visit, we screen for signs of periodontal disease, but every few years, we perform a Comprehensive Perio Charting (CPC).
During this in-depth exam, we take measurements to assess the depth and health of your gum pockets and each tooth. Normal gum pocket depth is 1-3 millimeters. Deeper pocketing, especially with bleeding, is a sign of disease and may indicate additional treatments.
In addition to pocket depths, we look for tooth mobility and gum recession. We put the data we collect into our electronic patient record system during this process. Then we compare it to prior examination results to determine if your periodontal health is improving, maintaining, or worsening.
This information, in conjunction with a review of your most recent x-rays, gives Dr. Doray a more accurate assessment of your bone levels. Often with periodontal disease, small changes happen over time. If identified early, you can more easily manage periodontal disease, and the prognosis for your teeth is much better.
Dr. Conover offers several treatments for gum disease. We will determine the best treatment for your specific symptoms and stage of gum disease.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is dental hygiene important?
Dental hygiene is very important to oral health, and overall health. Practicing good oral hygiene reduces your risk of cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues. These may impact your overall health so it is crucial to practice good oral hygiene for your body.
What are the consequences of ignoring dental hygiene?
Poor oral hygiene may result in excess plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Neglecting your oral hygiene may result in gum disease, cavities, tooth loss, and mouth pain.
What is the most important part of dental hygiene?
When it comes to oral hygiene, water is one of your biggest helpers. It keeps your mouth healthy and also eliminates bad breath and bacteria. The abundance of oxygen in water makes it difficult for bacteria to sustain themselves.
What is decay in teeth?
A number of factors contribute to cavity development, including germs in your mouth, eating and not brushing after, drinking sugary beverages, and poor oral hygiene.
How can I improve my oral hygiene routine?
You can improve your oral hygiene routine by brushing and flossing your teeth three times a day. Brush your teeth for a minimum of 2 minutes. Replacing your toothbrush regularly will also help improve oral hygiene. Your toothbrush can harvest bacteria that can transfer to your teeth if you don’t replace it frequently. Limiting coffee and sugar intake will also help improve oral health and hygiene.
What color teeth are healthy?
The majority of healthy teeth have a yellowish tint. Although people commonly desire whiter teeth, healthy teeth may have a yellow color. The dentin consists of a thick yellow tissue in the center of the tooth, which is why your teeth may have a yellow tint.
How often should I floss?
According to the ADA (American Dental Association), you should brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. Flossing regularly is great for your oral hygiene.
Should you rinse with water after brushing your teeth?
After brushing your teeth, we recommend spitting out any remaining toothpaste. However, patients should wait a few minutes before rinsing with water. The concentrated fluoride in the toothpaste that promotes a clean mouth will wash away if you rinse your mouth too quickly after brushing.