Professional Teeth Cleanings Keep Tooth Decay at Bay
Here's a startling fact: according to the National institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 92 percent of American adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have had some degree of dental decay. Left untreated, cavities can lead to painful abscesses and tooth loss. They can also mean a hit to the household budget, depending the extent of the restorative dentistry needed.
How can dental cavities be prevented? The answer to that question lies in the tested and reliable strategies that your experienced Woodbridge, VA dentist, Dr. Charles L. Sours, brings to his patients.
Dental Cleanings Keep Decay at Bay
In addition to basic home hygiene - twice daily brushing and once daily flossing - professional dental check-ups and cleanings help prevent tooth decay. Accumulation of bacteria-filled plaque and rock-hard tartar on tooth surfaces, and at and below the gum line, decays teeth. The sticky plaque, formed from the build-up of food and saliva on teeth, contains a destructive oral bacteria which secretes acids that eat away at tooth enamel.
While diligent brushing and flossing removes plaque and prevents cavities, it simply is not enough. A skilled dental hygienist can visualize areas of the mouth the patient misses when brushing. They scale the teeth - that is, manually scrape away accumulating plaque, tartar and the bacteria they harbor.
In addition, cleanings and check-ups afford both hygienist and dentist opportunities to thoroughly inspect all tooth surfaces for the signs of decay. Modern x-rays reveal decay at the root and bone level and uncover conditions that predispose an individual to decay, such as overcrowding, impacted wisdom teeth and other enamel-compromising issues. With regular cleanings and check-ups, the dentist catches decay early, so small problems can be more easily resolved before they develop into larger issues.
Other Benefits of Exams and Cleanings
After the hygienist cleans and polishes the teeth, Dr. Sours performs:
- a bite check to evaluate how the teeth are closing together
- a fast and pain-free visual check for oral cancer
- a check on restorations such as fillings, crowns and implants
- a visual inspection for decay
- gentle periodontal probing to assess gum health
For children, Dr. Sours may recommend dental sealants, a plastic coating applied to the deep grooves and crevices on the molars. These sealants, together with fluoride treatments as needed, assist home hygiene and professional cleanings in preventing cavities.
Charles L. Sours, Jr DDS and his team of caring professionals view hygienic cleanings and exams as the cornerstones of preventive dentistry. Simple and comfortable, these dental services help patients win the fight against dental decay.
When was your last dental cleaning and check-up? Call Dr. Sours' Woodbridge, VA office now for an appointment: (703) 491-2131.