Regular dental exams are an important part of preventive health care. During a dental exam, Dr. Irina will clean your teeth and identify gum inflammation or bone loss. Dr. Irina will evaluate your risk of developing tooth decay and other oral health problems, as well as check your face, neck and mouth for abnormalities. A dental exam might also include dental X-rays or other diagnostic procedures.
During a dental exam, Dr. Irina will likely discuss your diet and oral hygiene habits and might demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques. Other topics for discussion during a dental exam might include:
- Any medications you're taking
- Use of tobacco products
- Consequences of tooth loss
- Benefits of crowns, fixed bridges or dental implants
- Use of dentures
- Cosmetic procedures
Brush up on how to brush your teeth
You brush your teeth every day, but are you doing it properly?
Here's how to brush: Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle against your teeth and brush with short back-and-forth motions. Remember to brush the inside and chewing surfaces of your teeth, as well as your tongue. Avoid vigorous or harsh scrubbing, which can irritate your gums. Or use an electric toothbrush. Either way, brush your teeth at least twice a day: in the morning and before you go to bed.
Do I really need to floss?
Yes. Floss removes plaque and debris that sticks to teeth and gums in between teeth, polishes tooth surfaces, and controls bad breath.
Floss at least once a day and spend at least two or three minutes.Yes. Floss removes plaque and debris that sticks to teeth and gums in between teeth, polishes tooth surfaces, and controls bad breath. Flossing is the single most important weapon against plaque and, in some ways, more important than the toothbrush. By flossing your teeth daily, you increase the chance of keeping them for a lifetime and decrease the chance of getting gum disease. Many people don’t spend enough time fl ossing and many never have been taught the proper way to floss.
Floss at least once a day and spend at least two or three minutes.
Which type of floss is the best?
Dental floss comes in many forms: waxed and unwaxed, flavored and unflavored, wide and regular. They all clean and remove plaque. Wide floss, also known as dental tape, may be helpful for people with a lot of bridgework and is usually recommended when the spaces between teeth are wide. Waxed floss might be easier to slide between tight teeth with very little space between. The unwaxed floss, however, makes a squeaking sound to let you know your teeth are clean. Bonded unwaxed floss does not fray as easily as regular unwaxed floss, but does tear more than waxed floss.
How should I floss?
The spool method: Take an 18-inch piece of floss and wind the bulk of the floss lightly around the middle finger. (Don’t cut off your finger’s circulation!) Wind the rest of the floss similarly around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger takes up the floss as it becomes unusable. Maneuver the floss between teeth with your index fingers and thumbs. Bring the floss up and down several times forming a “C” shape around the tooth being sure to go below the gum line.
The loop method: This method is suited for children or adults with less nimble hands, poor muscular coordination or arthritis. Take an 18-inch piece of floss and make it into a circle. Tie it securely with three knots. Place all of the fingers, except the thumb, within the loop. Use your index fingers to guide the floss through the lower teeth, and use your thumbs to guide the floss through the upper teeth, going below the gum line forming a “C” on the side of the tooth.
Do I need a water pick?
Water picks should not be used as a substitute for brushing and flossing. They are effective, however, around orthodontic braces that retain food in areas a toothbrush cannot reach. Unlike flossing, water picks do not remove plaque.
A dental exam also gives you the opportunity to ask questions to Dr Irina about your oral health.