Everyone knows how important it is to maintain oral health. The skilled hygienists at Model Smile Dentistry routinely perform pain-free and relaxing cleanings. We know our patients want professionally cleaned teeth without the anticipation of pain or anxiety, and we are proud that we can provide it.
In addition to professional-level cleanings, Dr. Chow will also check your mouth for any signs of trouble. Symptoms of possible problems could be bad breath, canker sores, dry mouth, tooth decay, jaw problems and others. The sooner problems are detected, the faster and easier it is to handle them.
Our patients have busy lives, and we strive to provide a fast but thorough and gentle cleaning procedure when you are here. Rest assured that you will not have a long wait or slow service.
Of course, it is important that you practice regular and proper home maintenance of your oral health with brushing and flossing. Even so, this will not fully eliminate the buildup of plaque and tartar. This is why professional cleanings are necessary every few months. We also make sure our patients receive instruction on how to do oral maintenance at home to get the most benefit. Our friendly and gentle hygienists can show patients, especially young children, how to correctly perform good oral health practices at home.
Teeth Cleaning Procedure
The semi-annual task of professional teeth cleaning is a significant part of an overall dental health routine. At our clinic in Thousand Oaks, we understand the time constraints most people are under; once you arrive, you will be taken to the hygienist immediately. The hygienist will examine your teeth and gums and will report the findings to Dr. Chow either during or after the procedure. If there is anything that needs immediate attention, this will be discussed with you while you are at the clinic. Cleaning begins by using an ultrasonic tool which emits mild vibrations to loosen tartar. Most people find this part of the procedure painless however the tool can be adjusted to ensure patient comfort. Next each tooth is scaled using a handheld instrument to remove tartar that the ultrasonic tool left behind. Once the cleaning is completed, the teeth are polished using a slow speed device much like a toothbrush. There is a rubber cup on the end which is filled with a slightly abrasive paste. This leaves teeth very smooth and bright. This also leaves a surface that is difficult for plaque to stick to.
Monitoring for Gum Disease
A depth measurement of the pockets surrounding each tooth is then done to give Dr. Chow a reliable method of determining if there is gum disease present and if so, to what extent. For patients with ongoing problems, taking a reading every 6 months allows Dr. Chow to monitor the progress of any periodontal disease and to also measure the effectiveness of any treatment.
Gum disease, if allowed to take hold, can be devastating to your teeth, gums, and bone, so it's very important to diligently take measures to prevent it. Your at-home regimen of brushing and flossing, plus regular cleanings at Model Smile Dentistry will go a long way toward keeping your gums healthy.
Because plaque buildup leads to gum disease it is important to floss daily using the right technique. Getting into a daily routine of brushing and flossing will ensure that your teeth remain as healthy as possible between trips to our Thousand Oaks clinic.
It is recommended that patients use about 18 inches of monofilament floss. This type of floss does not shred or snap even when using it in tight areas. It is a little more expensive but easier to use and therefore more likely to develop into a healthy habit.
Floss Each Tooth at the Gum Line
Leave about two inches of floss to work with as you gently work it between the teeth, being careful to floss around the base of each tooth. Work the floss below the gum line. Move the floss along to use a clean section as you progress.
After you finish flossing be sure to brush your teeth thoroughly to remove loose debris. Some people prefer to brush first and then floss. Use whatever method appeals to you as long as you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day to reduce plaque and slow the accumulation of tartar.
Progression of Gum Disease
If plaque and tartar are able to build up, however, bacteria starts to grow at and below the gum line. As it progresses, infection from the bacteria can attack the soft tissues, bone and tooth root. Left unhandled, the result can be red, swollen, bleeding, and painful gums that begin to recede from the tooth. Bone in the jaw begins to break down, and teeth become loose and can even fall out. Moreover, gum disease can spell trouble for other parts of the body and is associated with heart disease, diabetes and other serious conditions.
Our skilled hygienists will always check for any signs of gum disease, and if any is found, Dr. Chow will go over the findings with you. Most commonly, gum disease can be thwarted with scaling and root planing. This procedure, often called deep cleaning, involves scraping the hard tartar that has accumulated above and below the gum line, and smoothing the tooth root (planing) so that bacteria can't hide.
You can have the beginning stages of gum disease (gingivitis) without symptoms, but if you do have symptoms, contact us as soon as possible. The earlier the infection is caught and handled, the easier and less time consuming it is. You can contact us any time of day or night if urgent dental care is needed.
Schedule a Consultation
We welcome the opportunity to help you understand the state of your oral health with a consultation with Thousand Oaks dentist, Dr. Albert Chow. He will conduct a thorough examination and discuss the results with you, ensuring you understand all of your dental options.