Regular Dental Care From a Santa Barbara Dentist
A preventive dental program is a cooperative effort by the patient, dentist, and dental staff to preserve the natural dentition and supporting structures of your teeth. Good oral hygiene and a balanced diet are vital first steps to preventing the onset, progress, and recurrence of dental diseases and conditions. Dental health is also maintained in the dental office by the efforts of your dentist and dental hygienist to promote, restore, and maintain your oral health. Prevention also includes regular dental exams, cleanings, and x-rays. Sealants and fluoride are also great preventive treatments that help protect the teeth. Prevention helps avoid serious and costly dental problems and is the key to having a healthy, confident, and beautiful smile.
What Is a Dental Cleaning?
Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) and prevention methods are usually performed by Registered Dental Hygienists and include:
- Removal of calculus (tartar) on the tooth and under the gum line: Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for extended periods of time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
- Removal of plaque on the teeth: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the indicator of the start of periodontal disease.
- Teeth polishing: Removing stains and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.