Maintaining oral health is something many Americans overlook. Even people who brush and floss daily tend to avoid going to the dentist. People cite a lack of time, a fear of the dentist, worries about price, or being unsure where to go. Not maintaining oral health isn’t worth the problems and the cost down the line.
According to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, almost 78% of Americans develop a cavity before turning 17. The CDC reported 40,000 new cases of oral and pharyngeal cancer in 2012 alone. If you want to avoid cancer, cavities, and other ailments, maintaining oral health is critical.
General Dentistry Is Key To Maintaining Oral Health
Visiting your dentist twice a year is a key to maintaining oral health. You should think of general dentistry visits as physicals for your mouth. Even though you might feel or see something is wrong in your mouth, you’re not a professional. A dentist finds the issues you can’t see in the mirror. General dentistry provides the services necessary for maintaining oral health. These visits also determine whether or not you need cosmetic dentistry or restorative dentistry services, as well.
Maintaining oral health is a reflection of your overall physical health. Dentists identify things like lesions that could indicate more extensive problems, like diabetes. Conversely, maintaining oral health also prevents dental problems from spreading. Untreated gum disease or tooth infections cause respiratory and cardiovascular issues after entering the bloodstream. Maintaining oral health now precludes the need for emergency dentistry later.
Signature Smiles’ Services
When it comes to dentistry, there’s no one better than Signature Smiles. The services we provide for maintaining oral health include:
- Exams: A dentist’s examination determines the state of your mouth and what services it needs to achieve perfect health. Exams also let the dentist know if you have cavities or require oral surgery.
- Cleanings: A regular dental cleaning from a hygienist reaches areas daily brushing is unable to reach. Cleanings also remove plaque on the gum line that flossing misses.
- Scaling and planning: Deeper dental cleaning called scaling and planing, use a scaler to remove hardened plaque called tartar.
- X-rays: The dentist sees inside and below your teeth, checking for problems with the teeth, jawbone, and gums. The types of x-rays include:
- Periapical – This type of X-ray shows all teeth in one part of the upper or lower jaw. Periapical x-rays show the entire tooth from the crown to below the root where the tooth attaches to the bone.
- Bite-wing – This type of X-ray shows a view of the upper and lower back teeth.
- Panoramic – This X-ray shows your jaw, nasal passages, sinuses, and jaw joints.
- Occlusal – This X-ray type shows the floor of the mouth.
- Fillings: Cavities tend to occur no matter how often or well you brush your teeth. If you have a cavity, the dentist uses a filling to stop further tooth decay.
- Cancer screenings: A dentist looks for sores or growths indicative of oral cancer. If the dentist finds any suspect sores or lumps, they will biopsy them. The biopsy determines whether or not you have cancer.