Excellence in Dentistry
Cosmetic and General Dentistry serving Fort Lauderdale and Lauderdale by the Sea
If you brush and floss regularly, you may wonder why it’s so important to see your dentist at least twice a year. Dental cleanings and exams can reveal other developing health issues, such as gum disease or cavities. Early detection and treatment is key. Nancy Rotroff, DDS, MAGD, and Gerard Wasselle, DMD, at Excellence in Dentistry in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, are ready to be your partner in maintaining your dental health. Call the office to book an appointment for your next dental cleaning and exam.
Dental Cleaning and Exams Q & A
What happens at a dental exam?
Dr. Rotroff and Dr. Wasselle ensure that you complete a health survey, asking you to check any conditions that you have or have had in the past. Our doctors examine your health history and all medications that you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Our doctors provide a thorough exam and create a custom dental plan for you depending on your specific dental health. They determine how effective your teeth cleaning has been, look for any decay in your teeth and their roots, and check for gum or bone disease.
Next, your dentist will ask you to open and close your mouth to ensure your bite and jaw are in proper alignment.
If you are due for dental x-rays, those will be updated. You should have a full mouth series X-rays of your teeth every three years. Four bitewing x-rays are advised every year thereafter. Since X-rays are now digital they are fast and easy. The X-rays show how your upper and lower teeth fit together, provide a 3-D picture to show all of each tooth and the adjacent areas, and show areas of developing decay.
Dr. Rotroff and Dr. Wasselle perform a thorough exam for oral cancer. They check your jaw, your lips, inside your mouth, your tongue, and each side of your neck to make sure there are no lumps and bumps that could be dangerous.
If our doctors see signs of tobacco use or significant decay, they will discuss lifestyle and diet choices that affect your oral health.
How does my dental hygienist get my teeth so clean?
Our dental hygienists use the latest technology to clean your teeth, ensuring a sparkling smile.
With an ultrasonic scaler, your hygienist thoroughly cleans each tooth and the areas between your teeth and around your gums. The ultrasonic scaler uses high-frequency pressure to remove stubborn plaque, and hard matter called calculus, which forms when plaque hardens.
When plaque is left on teeth from inadequate brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar or calculus. Only the hygienist can remove calculus, which is why it’s so important to schedule regular dental cleanings. When needed, your hygienist also scrapes the plaque and bacteria buildup around your teeth and gums with a hand scaler. Your hygienist may apply a fluoride treatment at the end of your appointment if decay is an issue.
Next, the hygienist polishes your teeth using a paste and flosses between each one. Finally, she consults with you about the best way to brush, floss, and take care of your teeth.
How often should I see the dentist?
The American Dental Association recommends that you visit your dentist and dental hygienist every six months to ensure your teeth stay healthy and your smile stays beautiful. Regular visits help prevent serious dental problems such as gum disease, which can lead to other health issues. Your oral health is very important to the well-being of your entire body, and while routine brushing and flossing at home is necessary to keep your smile looking its best, visiting your dentist for a comprehensive exam and cleaning is essential.
By routinely seeing your dentist for exams and cleanings, you can:
- Prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath
- Save money by avoiding costly and extensive dental procedures
- Keep your teeth white by reducing staining from food and drinks
- Shorten the time spent in your dentist's office
- Have a smile that will last a lifetime
Dental professionals recommend that you schedule visits every six months for an exam and teeth cleaning. Some patients require dental cleanings or periomaintenance more frequently. Dr. Rotroff and Dr. Wasselle prefer you to schedule your next appointment at the end of your current visit so that it’s already on your schedule and becomes an automatic part of your health maintenance plan.
Why is good dental health so important?
Dental health doesn’t just affect your teeth; it affects your entire body. Many people don’t realize that poor dental hygiene can lead to serious health complications:
- Heart disease: Bacteria from poor oral health can move into the bloodstream and cause hardening of the arteries, leading to heart attacks, strokes, and hypertension.
- Respiratory ailments: Bacteria in the mouth can travel to the respiratory system, causing infections such as bronchitis.
- Blood sugar problems: Gum disease can lead to high blood sugar levels, making diabetes more problematic
- Pregnancy complications: Gum disease can lead to premature birth.
Make your health a priority. Call the office to schedule an appointment.
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