PREVENTION THROUGH ROUTINE CHECKUPS & CLEANINGS
Whether you’ve never had a cavity or you have a mouthful of tooth fillings and dental crowns, preventive dental checkups and cleanings are essential to the long-term health of your mouth…and your body.
Our mouths endure extreme pressure, intense temperature fluctuations, and about 600 different types of oral bacteria. This, combined with cavity-causing sugars and starches and highly acidic beverages, can create an increasingly hazardous environment in your mouth every day.
Recent studies show a proven link between gum disease and heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, diabetes complications, and low birth weight. About 80% of Americans have some form of gum disease, and in addition, many more die from oral cancer each year. Early detection, accurate diagnoses, and appropriate dental treatment can literally help save your life.
During a checkup, Dr. Kennedy will look for cavities, demineralization (the precursor to cavities), and structural problems, like cracks or chips on teeth. He will also inspect your existing dental work to make sure it’s holding up well. We will look at your jaw joint function and examine your head and neck, as well as your entire oral cavity (tongue, gums, and soft tissues). If necessary, we’ll take digital X-rays to review and explain our findings with you almost immediately.
During your cleaning, you’ll meet with a registered dental hygienist who will chart information about your gums, look for signs of gum disease, and then thoroughly clean your teeth to remove plaque, tartar (hardened plaque, or calculus), and debris. Because gum disease begins with plaque, six-month cleanings will reduce your risk for developing gum disease. Our hygienist will also talk to you about your oral homecare routine. If you have questions about brushing, flossing, or dental products, please ask. The more you know, the better you can take care of your teeth!