Cleanings & Exams
You may not realize it, but you can take an important, proactive step toward achieving and maintaining good oral health. In fact, we can sum it up in three words: cleanings and exams. In addition to practicing a regular oral hygiene routine every day at home, the best thing you can do toward the goal of having healthy teeth and gums is scheduling an appointment for a professional cleaning and exam. Dr. Williamson would like to remind all of his patients from throughout the San Antonio, Texas area that they need to come in for these routine visits at least twice a year.
What to Expect During a Cleaning and Exam Appointment
Although every patient is different, the majority of people go through the same procedures during a cleaning and exam appointment, including the following:
- Professional cleaning by a hygienist
- Measuring of gum pocket around your teeth (used to determine the health of the gum tissue)
- X-rays, when necessary
- An oral exam by Dr. Williamson, which includes oral cancer screening
Not every cleaning and exam appointment will include all these steps. You may only require X-rays and an oral cancer screening once a year, for example, which means that those procedures won’t be necessary each time you have your teeth cleaned.
The Best At-Home Oral Hygiene Routine
We should begin by saying that even the most diligent patient – one whose at-home oral hygiene routine is the best it can be – will still need to have their teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year. That’s because it’s virtually impossible for you to remove all plaque and tartar buildup on your own; only a trained hygienist can do that for you. But your own hygiene routine is still vital to maintaining good oral health. You’ve probably heard that brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day is recommended. But that’s actually just a minimum for most people. If you really want to do everything you can to enjoy healthy teeth and gums, consider following these steps at home:
- Brush at least twice a day, using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Floss in between teeth after each brushing.
- Use a water flosser device after using regular floss to remove even more leftover food particles (you’ll be surprised at how much remains after you floss!)