Preventive Dental Care in Fredericksburg, VA
Our goal at Blue Bird Dentistry in Fredericksburg, VA is to provide you with all the information and support you need to maintain optimal health. An essential part of achieving that goal is providing preventive dental care and excellent dental services to stay on top of potential oral health problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Patient education is an integral part of prevention, so our dentist and staff are always happy to answer your questions. We also use state-of-the-art technology, like intraoral cameras, that enable us to share images with you so you can see the problem for yourself and understand why treatment is necessary.
What Happens During a Dental Exam?
During your comprehensive dental exams at Blue Bird Dentistry, Dr. Mohamed Elnahass, DDS will:
- Check for tooth decay and note changes in condition on your patient record.
- Examine restorations to ensure they’re in good condition.
- Take high-resolution digital x-rays to detect decay, bone loss, tumors, or cysts.
- Perform an oral cancer screening.
Why Do I Need Routine Dental Cleanings?
Brushing and flossing at home are essential if you want a healthy smile, but you still need professional dental cleanings to stay disease-free and prevent a dental emergency due to infection or the need for a root canal.
During your teeth cleanings in Fredericksburg, your hygienist will:
- Remove plaque – The sticky film that coats your teeth throughout the day is plaque, a combination of food debris, saliva, and bacteria. We need to remove plaque because if it is allowed to feed on the sugars in your mouth, it produces acid that attacks tooth enamel and causes cavities.
- Remove tartar – Plaque that sits on your teeth eventually hardens into a deposit called tartar (calculus). Calcified tartar adheres to your teeth above and below the gum line, and only a skilled hygienist can remove it with specialized dental instruments.
- Floss your teeth – After your hygienist flosses your teeth, it is a great time to ask for pointers to make sure you’re getting the most out of your at-home flossing routine.
- Polish your teeth – The final step in your professional cleaning is polishing your teeth to leave you with a squeaky-clean smile.
Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Brush?
Bleeding when you brush is one of the symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease, and it’s an indication that bacteria-filled plaque and tartar have caused a gum infection. Other symptoms of gum disease are:
- Tender, inflamed, or swollen gums
- Teeth that feel loose
- Tooth loss
- Receding gums
- A change in your dental bite
- Bad breath that won’t go away
However, gum disease can compromise your oral health without any noticeable symptoms. Ensuring that your gums are healthy is another reason we stress the importance of preventive exams and dental cleanings.
Gum Disease Treatment
In its earliest stages, gum disease is called gingivitis, and treatment typically involves a thorough cleaning with one of our skilled hygienists. They will point out problem areas during this visit and give you tips for improving your oral hygiene and nutrition.
If gum disease is not treated early on, the infection starts to break down the supporting structures that hold your teeth in place. This stage of gum disease is called periodontitis, which requires a deep cleaning treatment called scaling and root planing.
During scaling and root planing (SRP), your hygienist scrapes away all the plaque and tartar that linger on your teeth in places your brush and floss can’t reach. They also smooth the exposed root surfaces to eliminate rough areas where bacteria can collect and provide a surface where the gums can reattach.
We can control periodontitis, but the damage done to the bone in your jaw cannot be undone, which makes early detection of gum disease critical.
Preventing Gum Disease
Aside from visiting us for preventive exams and cleanings, you can take the following precautions to stay a step ahead of gum disease:
- Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss or use an interdental cleaner to get between teeth.
- Ask us about germ-fighting mouth rinses.
- Follow a healthy diet and cut back on sweets.
- Visit us twice a year or as recommended.
Schedule an Appointment at Our Dentist Office in Fredericksburg, VA
The best way to maintain a healthy smile is to visit the dentist every six months at our Fredericksburg, VA dental office. Contact Blue Bird Dentistry today at (540) 373-1641 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Elnahass!