Cleaning & Check Up

Cleaning and check up appointments in the office of Dr. Sperber and Dr. Portnoy are an important part of your oral hygiene and dental care. When you call to make an appointment for a routine visit, you will be given an appointment with one of our highly trained dental hygienists. At your appointment the hygienist will take x-rays and clean and polish your teeth. During this visit, the doctor will examine your teeth and advise you whether further treatment is necessary.

We follow the recommendation of the American Dental Association and advise that you visit our office at least every six months. If you have insurance, each insurance company has their own requirements as to how frequently you can schedule a routine exam. Please take these limitations into consideration when making your appointments.

During your cleaning and check up appointment one of our hygienists will be providing your treatment. A dental hygienist is an important professional in the dental care field. The hygienist is the preventative oral health-care specialist who:

  • has knowledge and clinical skills to prevent and detect diseases of the oral cavity.
  • reviews your medical and dental history.
  • takes and reviews your x-rays.
  • will remove calculus (tartar), stains and plaque from above and below the gumline.
  • is experienced and knowledgeable in all facets of modern dentistry.

The American Dental Association recommends that patients visit their dentist once or twice a year, although the frequency of routine visits should be based upon individual needs. Some people need to see a dentist more often than others. It is preferable to avoid getting cavities than having to restore the tooth after disease has occurred. Preventive dentistry is very important for maintaining a healthy mouth.

People at greater risk for oral diseases include diabetics, pregnant women, and tobacco and alcohol users. Patients who have these increased risks factors should have dental check-ups more frequently than twice a year. People with certain medical conditions should have more frequent exams as well. You should discuss your medical concerns with your dentist to find out if you would benefit from more frequent exams.

The American Dental Association recommends visits to the dentist at least once every six months for a professional exam and cleaning. These regular exams are necessary to keep both your teeth and gums healthy. Early detection is key to avoiding costly and potentially painful dental problems. In fact, the major cause of tooth loss in adults is gum disease (periodontitis), which can be prevented with scheduled dental care.

Many experts also believe that periodontal neglect can contribute to more serious health issues, such as heart disease. Oral bacteria can affect the heart when they enter the blood stream and attach to fatty plaques in the heart’s blood vessels. This can contribute to the formation of clots which can obstruct normal blood flow.

When you go for your regular dental check up and cleaning, your dentist and hygienist are also screening for oral cancer, which is highly curable if diagnosed early. According to The Oral Cancer Foundation, someone dies from oral cancer, every hour of every day in the United States alone.

For good oral hygiene, the American Dental Association recommends the following:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush every 3 or 4 months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. You should also change your toothbrush after you have had an upper-respiratory infection such as a head cold or sore throat.
  • Clean between your teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner. Tooth decay causing bacteria still linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. This helps remove the sticky film on teeth called plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
  • Eat a balanced diet and limit between meal snacks.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.

ADA accepted antimicrobial mouth rinses and toothpastes have shown to reduce the bacterial count and stop bacterial activity in dental plaque, which can cause gingivitis, an early reversible form of periodontal disease. Fluoride mouth rinse is not recommended for children age six or younger because they might swallow the rinse. Consumers should always check the manufacturer’s label for precautions and age recommendations.

Visiting our office for preventive care allows us to monitor your health and catch problems early – when they are easier and less expensive to treat.