Consistent dental hygiene is essential for optimal oral health, and there is no better way to keep your teeth and gums healthy than by implementing a thorough teeth-cleaning routine. At Contemporary Cosmetic Dentistry, we use special dental technology to remove cavity causing plaque from your teeth.
At-Home Oral Hygiene
You must do your part to maintain good dental hygiene and prevent common dental problems by adopting an at-home practice consisting of:
- Brushing your teeth. Your teeth should be brushed at least two to three times a day. When you brush, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to help protect your tooth enamel. Only soft pressure is necessary. Make sure you are using a fluoride toothpaste as well, and brushing for at least two minutes each time.
- Flossing. The only way to remove food particles and plaque from in between your teeth is by flossing. Flossing is one of the most important ways to prevent gum disease. You should use a clean section of floss to get in between each tooth. Be sure to floss along the entire length of each tooth, all the way to your gum line. Floss once a day, every day.
- Avoiding sugary foods and beverages. The bacteria in plaque love sugar and simple carbohydrates. Unfortunately, when these bacteria consume sugars, they produce acids that can quickly lead to tooth decay. Even natural sugars such as those in fruit can cause tooth decay, making it a good idea to brush your teeth after every snack or at least rinse your mouth with water.
Your at-home routine is your first line of defense against gum disease and tooth decay. It can also help keep your teeth white by removing surface stains, keep your breath fresh by removing food particles and bacteria, and help you avoid long-term health problems that have been linked to poor dental hygiene.
Professional Teeth Cleaning
Even a consistent at-home routine is not enough to ensure peak oral health. To help prevent serious issues you need to maintain regularly scheduled visits to our office for general dentistry services.
During these visits, Austin dentist John Schmid, DDS, will thoroughly examine your teeth, gums, and jaw to detect early signs of oral health issues. When detected early, these problems can often be treated with simple procedures such as dental fillings. We also treat advanced stages of decay and tooth damage.
Your general dentistry visits also give us an opportunity to provide you with comprehensive teeth cleanings. These cleanings allow us to remove plaque that has hardened into tartar and to polish away surface stains, helping your smile remain both bright and healthy.
How Often Do I Need Dental X-Rays?
Yearly dental X-rays are no longer recommended to every adult patient. A wide variety of factors — including your age, your current oral health, and your oral health history — now play a role in determining how often you should have dental X-rays taken.
Here are a few general points to keep in mind. Children and teens may require more frequent dental X-rays than average to check for growth and development. Meanwhile, adults with a history of extensive decay may also benefit from more frequent X-rays to monitor for problems like bone loss. However, adults with good oral health are advised to wait longer between X-rays these days.
Are Dental X-Rays Safe?
Many patients worry about the safety of dental X-rays because they involve radiation. However, because the exposure levels are so low, dental X-rays are considered safe for children and adults. According to the American Dental Association, radiation exposure associated with dentistry is minor compared to the total exposure from all other sources.
We put your safety first in everything that we do. Our office uses digital X-rays that produce up to 90 percent less radiation than traditional technology. We take a reserved approach and will only recommend X-rays when you truly need them.
Are Dental Cleanings Painful?
Your regularly scheduled dental cleanings should not cause you pain. However, the process can be a bit uncomfortable if you do not practice good oral hygiene at home with proper brushing and flossing techniques.
You may be dealing with issues such as sensitivity and gum inflammation. These issues can become more apparent during a dental cleaning.
Our dental hygienists are committed to making your cleanings as comfortable as possible. These visits should get easier and easier over time as your oral health improves. If you are concerned about your next appointment, ask us about conscious oral sedation.
How Many Times a Day Should I Use Mouthwash?
Mouthwash can be a good addition to your daily dental hygiene routine. Depending on the ingredients, mouthwash can kill harmful bacteria in your mouth, whiten your teeth, and help with conditions such as dry mouth. Most brands recommend that you use their products twice a day after brushing and flossing.
Bear in mind that using mouthwash more often than directed can do more harm than good. Talk to our dentist if you have any questions about using mouthwash properly.
Are Dental Exams Covered By Insurance?
Most dental insurance policies provide coverage for regular checkups and cleanings. You can usually get these types of preventative services covered at 80% to 100%. Check with your provider to confirm the details of your policy.
Remember that there is a limit to what your dental insurance plan will cover in a year. If you need to get dental exams more frequently than average, or if you need a service such as a deep cleaning, you may have to pay more out of pocket.
In general, these costs are far lower than what you would pay if you skipped your preventive appointments altogether. Patients who wait to schedule a visit until they notice a serious dental issue often require more expensive and involved dental procedures.
Dedicated to Your Oral Health
At Contemporary Cosmetic Dentistry in Austin, we understand each patient has unique needs. Dr. Schmid may recommend you visit our office every six months for cleanings and examinations, but may also increase or decrease the frequency of your visits based on your specific oral health requirements.
We are a patient-focused practice committed to providing individualized treatment plans. Dr. Schmid will work closely with you to develop the treatment schedule that makes the most sense for your teeth and oral health.