Dental Cleaning Q & A
How often should I have a routine teeth cleaning appointment?
Most patients should have their teeth professionally cleaned every six months to help prevent a buildup of plaque and tartar and to maintain optimal gum and tooth health. Having cleanings twice a year also enables the hygienist and dentist to look for early signs of gum disease so treatment can be provided to keep the disease from progressing. Patients who have mild to moderate gum disease might need to have professional cleanings performed more often.
Why do my gums bleed when my teeth are professionally cleaned?
Gums that bleed during professional dental cleanings usually have an accumulation of bacteria. This accumulation is actually the first stage of gum disease, called gingivitis. Gingivitis causes your gums to become sensitive and inflamed. Therefore, they may bleed when the dentist brushes or uses instruments to clean the area. When patients have a deep cleaning or root planning, Dr. Bigelow uses Arestin®. Arestin® is an antibiotic treatment which helps kill bacteria at the source of the condition and is often used to treat inflamed or infected gums.
Will I have x-rays?
X-rays are a great way for Dr. Bigelow to monitor the health of your teeth. While you may not have x-rays at every visit, regular x-rays can reveal any changes or internal damage to your teeth. When necessary, Dr. Bigelow also uses advanced cone beam technology to take images of your teeth. A dental cone beam computerized tomography, or CT, is a subset of the CT used in situations where traditional facial or dental x-rays are not adequate. This type of CT scan employs a special type of technology in order to create three dimensional images of soft tissues, nerve paths, dental structures, and bone in the craniofacial region in just a single scan. Images acquired with cone beam CTs assist to create more successful treatment programs.
What is Dr. Bigelow’s advice for taking care of my teeth and gums?
The key to good oral health is keeping plaque and food decay from building up in your mouth. Plaque and food decay attract harmful bacteria that cause cavities, gum disease, and persistent bad breath. To keep your teeth and gums healthy brush your teeth and tongue twice a day, floss at least once daily, and make regular visits to the dentist for checkups and professional cleaning.