When you smile, you want to do so freely, authentically, and without reservation. You want to feel good about the appearance of your smile. You also want to feel comfortable when you chew and go about your daily activities. Pain when biting or chewing can put you in a position of constant discomfort. Even if you tend to feel anxious about seeing the dentist, your ideal situation is probably one in which you don’t have to live with chronic pain, unattractive teeth, and bad breath. Here at Flat Rock Family Dentistry, it is our objective to help you enjoy all of the benefits of lifelong oral health.

The dentists and team at Flat Rock Family Dentistry are dedicated to understanding your needs and inspiring you to achieve the highest level of health you desire. We do so through personalized dental care at each and every visit. Please contact us today at (864) 756-5576 to schedule your visit or to learn more about our services, including sedation dentistry!

Why Are Professional Teeth Cleanings Important?

Your hygiene visits, which are scheduled every six months, give you and your dentist or hygienist the opportunity to prevent unnecessary problems. The purpose of your regular hygiene visits is to clean away the debris, plaque, and tartar that can increase your risk of cavities, inflammation, and other uncomfortable problems. These visits are important because, without them, it is very likely that you may accumulate some degree of unhealthy biofilm on your teeth and around your gum line. By maintaining the recommended schedule of hygiene visits, you are reducing your chances of developing problems that are preventable. In preventing cavities and other conditions, you are also setting yourself up save money and inconvenience. Your routine hygiene visits remove plaque and tartar, which can also brighten your smile so you feel more confident, too.

What Happens When Plaque & Tartar Aren’t Removed?

Dental plaque and tartar are different forms of the same biofilm that naturally accumulates on your teeth. Each contains food debris, saliva, and bacteria. Bacteria are living organisms that feed on the debris in plaque, resulting in the production of acidic byproducts. The acid produced by oral bacteria demineralizes teeth and weakens the gum tissue. Each of these actions works against your long-term oral health,  your comfort, and your general health. If you do not remove plaque and tartar on a regular basis, you have a significant risk of developing cavities, gum disease, deep infection in your teeth and gums, and also various health conditions that are associated with the spread of oral bacteria into the body.

Knowing the implications of poor oral health is an important step, but not one that should lead to unnecessary fear. Your dentist and hygienist are interested in making your visits comfortable and rewarding. The biggest reward is that you can enjoy good health throughout your lifetime.

What Treatments Are Available for Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is a progressive condition. It is not something that appears out of the blue, which is beneficial because we have time to address the problem if you schedule a visit early. If your dentist or hygienist identifies signs of gum disease, such as swollen, red gums, or bleeding when you brush and floss, treatment may be as simple as a routine hygiene cleaning and some discussion of how your oral hygiene practices can improve. Treatment may not be necessary unless your infection has advanced to a point at which your gums are receding, you have chronic bad breath, or are experiencing other dental problems. For more advanced gum disease, your hygienist will perform a procedure called scaling and root planing. This treatment is performed using a local anesthetic, just like if you were to get a dental filling. During the cleaning process, they will address plaque and tartar building along the gum line and in the area of gum recession, and will smooth out the root surfaces that have been made rough by the acid of unmanaged bacteria.

In many cases, scaling and root planing is the last step in managing gum disease. However, if treatment is not sought early enough in the infection process, it may become necessary for the dentist to explore the need for periodontal surgery. This action is usually needed when the infection is threatening the stability of one or more teeth. Keep in mind that, regardless of the periodontal treatment that you need, our team will work with your comfort and optimal outcome in mind.

What Are the Benefits of Regular Dental Checkups?

There are several benefits to keeping your routine hygiene visits. One that is easy to overlook is that seeing your dentist and hygienist regularly reduces the anxiety that you may feel before each visit. When you maintain six-month intervals for your visits, there is also less time for unhealthy conditions to settle in. Your hygienist is more likely to acheive outstanding results from basic cleaning. The ongoing care that occurs with a six-month schedule can keep your smile looking more vibrant, your breath smelling fresh, and your confidence high!

What Happens During Professional Teeth Cleanings?

During your hygiene visits, you can expect a thorough cleaning, polishing, and flossing. Your visit may coincide with your routine dental exam, during which your dentist will examine each tooth, the gums around each tooth, and your restorations, such as fillings or crowns. Your hygienist will use special instruments to remove plaque and tartar as needed. This biofilm does not always form around every tooth but may be present around several teeth. This portion of the hygiene visit should be comfortable and may take just a few minutes. Another special instrument, a rotating polishing head, is used to “brush” your teeth. This portion of the visit removes surface debris and can even reduce mild discoloration. Finally, your hygienist will floss your teeth, allow you to rinse your mouth, and send you on your way. During this visit, please ask whatever questions you have about your oral health, your oral care, and how you can promote an optimally healthy smile.

Schedule Your Visit Today

We are dedicated to healthy smiles! To schedule your visit at our office in Greenville, SC, call (864) 756-5576.