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Cleaning and Prevention

Dentistry is founded on the principle of prevention. All patients are recommended biannual cleanings and examinations. Not only do they help you quash dental problems before they arise, they leave your gums healthier, and your teeth cleaner and whiter. A professional cleaning removes hard plaque that cannot be removed by brushing and flossing alone. It may also involve a fluoride treatment and polish to help protect and soothe your teeth and gums. Even if you haven’t been seen in years for a cleaning, it’s never too late to treat your teeth.

What are some preventative measures I can take?

  • Brush with a fluoride toothpaste

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush 

  • Floss daily before bedtime

  • Use an oral rinse after flossing

  • Avoid sugary and/or acidic foods & drink

A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by Dr. Paxton and his staff at your initial visit and at each subsequent visit. Regular exams are important to your dental health, as well as your overall health. Certain diseases may start or be seen first in the mouth. Dental exams are a part of early detection.

At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will include the following:

  • Examination of diagnostic digital x-rays essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • Oral cancer screening Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Gum disease evaluation Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
  • Examination of tooth decay All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
  • Examination of existing restorations Check current fillings, crowns, etc.

Dental x-rays are an essential, preventative, diagnostic adjunct to the visual exam that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected. The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. We will recommend necessary x-rays only when necessary, based upon the review of your medical and dental history, a dental exam, signs and symptoms, your age, and risk of disease.

A full mouth series of dental x-rays is recommended for new patients. A full series is usually good for five years. Bite-wing x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended as needed (usually once or twice a year) to detect new dental problems.