The best way to prevent the need for root canals, tooth extractions, advanced gum disease, and other oral health concerns is to combine your adherence to good habits at home with twice yearly visits to us at Old Orchard Dental. Of course, the foundation of strong, healthy teeth and vibrant gums is in eating nutritiously, avoiding excess sugar, brushing after meals, and flossing daily. The biggest enemy of your teeth and gums is plaque. Brushing and flossing will remove most of it, but what remains hiding between teeth and in gum pockets can harden, becoming tartar. Once that happens, you cannot remove it at all except with a professional teeth cleaning. That’s why we recommend that you come in for a full dental exam with our Skokie dentist every six months.
Being thorough starts with a physical inspection of your teeth and gums to detect obvious problems like loose teeth, fillings, or restorations and gum redness. X-rays give a more detailed look at what’s going on inside your teeth. Even small cavities will be detected and filled before they can grow and put you at greater risk for an infection or even losing the tooth. Our Skokie dentist will also check your occlusion (bite) to ensure that it is aligned properly. Signs of gum irritation or redness may indicate the first stage of gum disease, which is called gingivitis. Fortunately, it can usually be reversed with a teeth cleaning or two. Speaking of which, a full cleaning will eradicate any remaining plaque, tartar, and food particles that have managed to evade your at-home oral hygiene efforts. It’s like hitting the reset button on your dental well-being. You leave with a mouth that feels fresh, because it is.
Finally, our Skokie dentist will also screen you for oral cancers. As with anywhere in your body, cancer found in and around the mouth typically has the best outcomes when it is detected early. If any signs are found, you will be referred to an appropriate specialist for follow-up. Remember that all tobacco use (smoking and smokeless) are linked to oral cancer, as is heavy alcohol consumption. It’s also a very good idea to use sunscreen on your lips whenever you’re outside. With two exams per year, you can feel confident that your teeth and gums are being taken care of as best as possible.