Keep Your Smile in Optimal Health with Preventive Care
Proper brushing and flossing, along with regular cleaning and routine dental exams, are a crucial part of preventive dentistry. These factors can help you keep your natural teeth longer and have fewer complex dental treatments. Dr. Sabet and our experienced team can help you achieve a healthy smile you’ll love to share.
At Santa Monica Dental Practice, our primary goal is to provide you and your family with a strong oral health foundation that lasts a lifetime. We are conveniently located on 7th between Wilshire and Arizona on the West side of the street for easy access from anywhere in Santa Monica, Venice, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Brentwood, Marina Del Rey, and West Los Angeles. Call us today to set up your appointment!
CALL US: (310) 393-0743 REQUEST APPOINTMENT
The Goal of Preventive Dentistry
Preventive dental care is designed to keep your teeth and gums healthy and preserve your natural dentition. Some of the treatments we offer that can help you achieve optimal oral health include:
Everyone can benefit from preventive dentistry, no matter your age. It is never too late to start achieving the benefits of prevention. The earlier you start, the better your dental health will be, which means it is always best to start young. For children, this can be as early as the day their first tooth appears. However, even if you have strayed from regular dental care, you can still benefit from getting back on track with routine preventive exams and cleanings. Even adults with dentures will benefit from preventive care to keep their oral health at its best.
Why Cleanings & Preventive Care are Important for Optimal Oral Health
Regular visits and cleanings at our Santa Monica practice are the core of effective prevention. Going to the dentist may not be at the top of the list of your favorite things to do. It can be tempting to skip a six-month exam or cleaning because your teeth and gums look and feel great.
Even though you may be vigilant with your brushing and flossing, there could be problems that you cannot see or feel. Regular cleanings and preventive care can find minor dental issues or gum disease before they grow into more severe issues.
The Best Defense is a Good Offense
Regular cleanings can prevent or catch gum disease in its earliest stage. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque along your gum line and has three phases:
- Gingivitis occurs where bacteria accumulates and causes gum irritation in the form of tenderness, redness, and minor bleeding.
- Periodontitis is the progression of plaque and tartar buildup that causes separation between the gums and teeth and traps bacteria and debris in the open space.
- Advanced periodontitis is when bacteria begin to attack the bone and connective tissue below the gum line, breaking down the support that holds your teeth in place and gives you a healthy bite.
Catching dental issues in their earliest stages during cleaning and preventive care visits help preserve your teeth and gums. It can save you the pain and discomfort of advanced disease and extensive repairs. This also means less money and time spent on more extensive dental treatments. Preventing gum disease from worsening and spreading is also essential for your overall health. Untreated dental infections and inflammation can cause other health problems that could otherwise be avoided.
What Happens During a Regular Cleaning and Exam?
There are multiple parts to regular cleanings and exams. Each part is an essential piece for maintaining your oral health and helping prevent serious problems in the future. During your exam, your teeth, gums, soft tissues, and jaw will be thoroughly examined by our team, and diagnostic tools are used to get the most relevant information.
Digital X-Rays: Digital radiography, known as digital X-rays, use an electronic sensor versus traditional X-ray film to images of your teeth. While conventional dental x-rays exposed you to low levels of radiation, digital X-rays reduce that exposure by up to 90 percent.
Oral Cancer Screening: A routine exam consists of an oral cancer screening. The purpose is to find any abnormal cells in the early stages, when the chance of effective treatment is higher.
Removal of Plaque and Tartar: A professional cleaning during a preventive exam is a must for good oral health. Home brushing and flossing can only do so much. Even the most diligent brushing can miss difficult areas where plaque can accumulate and harden into tartar. Once tartar forms, it can gradually eat away at your enamel and cause decay. Tartar cannot be removed with routine brushing, which makes visiting our office for professional cleanings essential.
Understanding the three Types of Dental Cleanings
There are different levels of gum disease, and each one needs specialized treatment. The type of treatment our team will perform will depend on your particular needs and level of infection. These professional cleaning treatments are the best way to reverse the damaging effects of gum disease.
Regular Cleaning or Prophylaxis - A regular or prophylaxis cleaning is the cleaning most commonly performed. It is considered routine maintenance cleaning for patients who have good oral health, visit the dentists regularly, and practice good oral hygiene. The dental hygienist performing this treatment will clean areas that are often almost impossible to reach with your toothbrush or by flossing. Your hygienist will remove plaque and tartar that has built up since your last cleaning. This is done by using special tools that can get to plaque and tartar in tight spaces or around and just below your gum line. Minor stains on the teeth can also be removed during this cleaning.
Deep Cleaning or Scaling & Root Planing - Deep cleanings or scaling and root planing fully covers the gums, gum line, and supporting structures of the teeth. This cleaning is recommended if you have periodontitis. With scaling and root planing, the surface of the tooth root is smoothed out to remove any existing tartar and plaque. Several visits may be needed to complete this type of cleaning.
Periodontal Maintenance - Individuals who have serious oral health concerns, including periodontitis, may require more frequent visits for cleaning. These cleanings may take place over a specific period or until all the symptoms of gum disease are entirely under control, or the oral health concerns have been resolved.
Finishing Touches and Continued Oral Health Education
Polishing is performed after your routine dental exam to remove stains, plaque, and other microorganisms that may form on the surface of your teeth. The polishing can provide instant results by improving how your teeth look and feel. Our cleanings are only effective on external stains but can still provide significant results.
Our experienced dental hygienist will use a prophylaxis paste for polishing. This paste has an abrasive quality to smooth the surface of each tooth.
Oral Health Maintenance with Expert Brushing & Flossing Instruction
During your cleaning and routine dental exam, will provide brushing and flossing instruction to you or your child. This may include a demonstration of proper techniques and any special instructions you may need. An example of such instructions may include how to:
- Floss properly
- Gently brush thoroughly and carefully
- Scrub your tongue to reduce bacteria
- Use mouthwash to reach difficult areas
- Understand the best times to brush
More Protection with Fluoride Treatment
Our team may recommend having a fluoride treatment during your or your child’s regular cleanings and exams. Fluoride is a mineral that is important for protecting your teeth. It is used to replenish the enamel and add a layer of protection from acids formed by sugar and plaque in your mouth.
In some cases, it can help reverse decay in its earliest stages. In children, fluoride helps with the development of their permanent teeth. During your dental exam, we apply fluoride to your teeth in the form of a gel, foam, or vanish, and may also recommend a fluoride supplement.
Improving Oral Health with Diet Education
Avoiding sugar and sugary drinks is a good start, but there are other dietary choices you can make to help prevent tooth decay. A healthy diet loaded with vitamins and minerals can help keep your teeth strong and your gums healthy.
To maintain optimal oral health, we recommend a balanced diet that consists of:
- Whole grains
- Lean proteins
- Low-fat dairy products
Santa Monica Dental Practice Can Help You Keep Smiling
Everyone can benefit from regular cleanings and preventive dentistry. If you have fallen behind on your dental cleanings or exams, it’s never too late to get started. You can get back on track with your oral health by scheduling an appointment for a professional cleaning and preventive care. Call us today!
CALL US: (310) 393-0743 REQUEST APPOINTMENT