Dental exams, x-rays, cleanings, and screenings are all part of the preventative dentistry we provide at Smiles on Broadway, serving the Long Island, NY, area. Through regular exams and cleanings, we can help patients maintain optimal oral health while also treating and diagnosing possible concerns before they require a more complex procedure. Drs. Steven M. Katz, Sultan S. Salem, and Dilmarys J. Peña place a strong emphasis on the importance of preventative dentistry and patient education.
The Main Components of Preventative Dentistry
Biannual Exams and Cleanings
Even patients in relatively good oral health should schedule a dental cleaning and exam every six months. Our professional cleanings remove plaque and tartar that build up in the places you may have missed with regular brushing and flossing. By removing these deposits, we reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Through regular exams and cleanings, we can help patients maintain optimal oral health while also treating and diagnosing possible concerns before they require a more complex procedure.
Regular dental exams allow us to monitor changes in your oral health. If you are diligent about undergoing an examination every six months, we can usually spot signs of cavities or gum disease before you begin exhibiting symptoms of these issues.
We generally take digital x-rays once per year in conjunction with one of your biannual exams. These x-rays, which emit far less radiation than traditional x-rays, allow us to monitor any fillings for changes. We can also detect early signs of decay and gum disease, and assess your jaw and bite. Even slight bite misalignment can cause painful symptoms such as inflammation of the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) and headaches.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer screenings are another important component of a dental exam. The frequency of these screenings will depend on certain risk factors, such as tobacco use and your medical history. We use the VELscope® to screen for potentially cancerous growths that are not typically visible to the naked eye. This allows for early and immediate treatment, which can significantly improve your chances of overcoming the disease.
At-home Oral Care
In addition to regular exams and cleanings, a major part of preventative dentistry depends on your daily oral hygiene habits. A good oral care routine should include brushing your teeth twice a day, every day. You should also floss between your teeth once per day. Our hygienists can instruct you on how to brush and floss your teeth properly. We also recommend rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash once or twice per day. This can help eliminate bacteria in harder-to-reach spots in order to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
The Importance of Preventative Care
Preventative care should begin at an early age and continue throughout your adult life. This is the easiest and best way to maintain optimal oral health and avoid painful symptoms and extensive, costly procedures. When decay and signs of gum disease or oral cancer are detected in their earliest stages, we can better treat and manage those conditions. Your oral health is also closely linked with your physical health, making preventative care even more important.
Schedule Your Next Exam and Cleaning Today
If it has been more than six months since your last cleaning and exam, contact our office today to schedule your next appointment. We are prepared to help you maintain a lifetime of healthy smiles.