Keeping up on prophylaxis, or preventive dental care, means making time for regular cleaning appointments. It also means avoiding issues like bad breath, tooth decay, and even heart disease. At Zenith Dental Arts in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, Lior Neuman, DDS, offers regular dental exams and other prophylactic care to keep his patients healthy and educated. To schedule your cleaning, call the office or make an appointment online today.
Prophylaxis Q & A
What is prophylaxis?
Prophylaxis is a term that refers to preventive care. Anything that you do to maintain your oral health and protect yourself from decay and infection falls under the umbrella of prophylaxis. This includes:
- Dental exams
- Scaling or root planing
- Brushing or polishing
- Fluoride treatments
Some of these treatments clean your teeth to promote oral health, while others examine them closely for disease, decay, or damage.
Why is prophylaxis important?
Keeping your teeth clean by coming in twice a year for regular exams is important not only for your oral health but for your general health, too. Even if you brush your teeth and floss several times per day, a sticky substance called plaque builds up on your teeth. Plaque is made up of mostly bacteria, so it can lead to a variety of problems in your mouth. If you don’t keep up with regular cleanings and exams you are at risk of developing:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Persistent bad breath
- Oral cancer
Alarmingly, poor oral hygiene is also linked to health conditions that aren’t confined to your mouth. Keeping an unclean mouth can contribute to pregnancy complications, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Bacteria left in your mouth can easily reach your bloodstream by way of your gums and affect other parts of your body, so dental cleanings and exams are important to your overall health.
What happens during my regular prophylaxis appointments?
Your dental exam appointments involve two main steps: examination and cleaning. During the exam, Dr. Neuman looks at your teeth for signs of cavities and other issues. He may suggest using an X-ray to see between and inside of your teeth, too. Then, he looks at your gums and measures the space between them and your teeth. If you have deep spaces between your gums and teeth, it could be a sign of gum disease.
After Dr. Neuman examines your mouth for signs of disease, a hygienist uses special tools to thoroughly remove the plaque from your teeth through a process called scaling. Then your hygienist polishes your teeth with a gritty toothpaste-like substance before flossing between them. When your appointment is over, your mouth feels refreshed and immaculate.
For fresh breath and a healthy mouth and body, keeping up with your regular dental cleanings and exams is absolutely necessary. To schedule your exam or learn more about taking care of your mouth at home, call Zenith Dental Arts or use the convenient online scheduling tool today.