Cleanings & Prevention
Keeping Smiles Healthy with Dental Cleaning & Prevention in Escondido
Diligent at-home oral hygiene, preventive dental care, and patient education are the foundations for achieving truly healthy smiles. While always encouraged by your dental professional, regular brushing and flossing alone are not enough to permanently ward off oral health issues or diseases.
At the Escondido dental practice of J.R. Pulido, DDS, Dr. Joe, and his team know all too well the importance of good oral health. That’s why we do all we can to provide you and your family with the professional cleanings, thorough exams, and preventive dental treatments you need to maintain healthy and happy smiles for life. For more information about our available services, appointment times, or to schedule your preventive visit, contact our team today!
CALL US: (760) 745-4451 REQUEST APPOINTMENT
Why is Preventive Dental Care Important?
When it comes to ensuring the health of your teeth, gums, and other aspects of your smile, prevention is not only smart, it’s essential.
Twice daily brushing and flossing once a day help remove dental plaque from the surfaces and in between teeth, keeping your smile feeling and looking cleaner, longer. A healthy diet, low in sugar and refined carbohydrates, not only helps keep acids found in these foods from sticking to your teeth and causing cavities and tooth decay, but it is also beneficial for whole-body health.
Regularly scheduled dental exams and routine cleanings can also help prevent the need for more extensive and potentially costly treatments in the future. After all, early prevention is the critical element to helping minimize serious oral health complications that can impact overall well-being.
What Can Professional Cleaning and Prevention Services Do?
With professional dental hygiene and prevention services, we can:
- Diagnose oral diseases and infections
- Understand our findings with X-rays and diagnostic tests
- Deliver proper disease prevention and oral health awareness
- Create treatment plans designed to preserve and restore oral health
- Monitor the health, development, and growth of teeth, gums, and jaws
- Consult about lifestyle habits, diet, and oral hygiene practices
Who Can Benefit from Dental Prevention?
From newborns to senior adults, anyone can benefit from oral health awareness and dental prevention. Complications like decay, infection, and disease do not discriminate against age. Luckily, it’s never too early or too late to practice prevention.
Regardless of the extent of your needs, our Escondido dentist has the comprehensive services and skill to address various oral health concerns.
What Will My Preventive Appointment Include?
During your visit, our dentist first takes the time to get to know you and your smile personally, discussing your specific needs, concerns, and goals for treatment. From then, Dr. Joe evaluates your medical and dental history. This often also includes our dentist asking you about your diet and lifestyle habits as well.
Once we gain a complete understanding of your smile and all contributing factors, you can expect your appointment to involve:
Our office uses these images to help reveal underlying problems which often cannot be detected with the naked eye. These can include jawbone damage or wear, abscesses, deeply damaged teeth, tumors or cysts, and decay between teeth.
A thorough dental examination
Our dentist conducts a full examination of your teeth, gums, tongue, jaws, facial structures, and neck, looking carefully for any signs of concern that have displayed themselves in the mouth.
A complete dental cleaning
We use special tools to gently, yet effectively remove plaque and tartar, which can lead to issues like bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. Then, your teeth are polished and flossed by our skilled dental hygienist.
Dental x-rays are important diagnostic tools that provide valuable information that is not noticeable during a regular dental examination. Our team uses this information to accurately and safely detect dental abnormalities that could have otherwise gone undetected during your dental exam.
How Often Do Dental X-Rays Need to be Taken?
How often you may need x-rays depends on your specific dental and oral health needs. While a full series is recommended for new patients, for existing patients, our team will consider your medical and dental history, your age, and risk for disease when determining your need for dental x-rays.
Our Escondido dentist performs comprehensive dental exams at your initial dental visit. At routine check-ups, your oral health examination often includes:
Understanding Why Dental Exams are Necessary
Regular dental exams not only help protect your oral health but are essential for preserving your overall well-being.
For example, signs and symptoms of systemic diseases, like complications with diabetes, heart disease, lupus, and even Alzheimer’s, can often show up in the mouth. This makes our team the first medical professionals to find warnings of serious overall health concerns, so we will suggest you schedule an appointment with your doctor sooner rather than later.
Oral health exams also give us the chance to catch problems at their earliest stages — when they're the most treatable.
How Often Should I Schedule My Dental Exams?
Whether you need a routine exam or require full smile rehabilitation, we recommend you schedule your oral health examinations every six months. These bi-annual evaluations are essential for monitoring the health and functions of your smile.
I’m Nervous About My Dental Exam - How Can I Prepare?
If you’re a new patient with us, or routine dental care makes you nervous, we encourage you to discuss your feelings with us. We will be happy to adjust procedures and alter treatments to ensure you feel completely comfortable during visits. The last thing Dr. Joe and his team want is you coming into our office dreading your care.
Professional Dental Cleanings
Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) can be performed by our dentist or registered dental hygienists.
Along with a thorough dental exam, your dental cleaning will include the following:
Plaque is the sticky, white film that forms on the surfaces of your teeth and is the growing colony of bacteria, saliva, and leftover food debris. When not removed properly, bacteria found in plaque produce toxins that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the very beginning of periodontal disease, also known as the early stage, gingivitis.
Removing tartar (calculus)
Calculus, or tartar, is plaque that has been left to harden on teeth for some time and cannot be removed with regular brushing or flossing. This calculus forms along and below the gum line and can only be removed with professional cleanings and tools.
Once your teeth are free of plaque and minimal surface stains, we’ll polish your smile so you can leave our office feeling clean and refreshed.
Fluoride is often administered to younger, more vulnerable teeth, and is an incredibly effective treatment for helping prevent tooth decay. It is also a mineral that is naturally present in many foods and water supplies.
How Does Fluoride Work?
Fluoride treatment can work in two ways:
- Topical fluoride helps strengthen young teeth once they have emerged by applying the mixture to the outer surfaces of the enamel, making children’s teeth more resistant to decay.
You can further help your smile against the risk of cavities and decay by using dental products containing fluoride such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and gels.
- Systemic fluoride strengthens erupted teeth as well as those that are still developing under the gums. Systemic fluoride is often gained through foods and water supplies. It can also be prescribed as a gel or supplement by our dentist.
Sealants are thin, body-safe plastic coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of your molars, premolars and deep grooves (fissures) of your teeth. Because dental decay often begins in the deep grooves of teeth, we use sealants to protect teeth by sealing these fissures, providing you and your loved ones with a smooth, easy to clean surface.
While sealants can protect teeth from decay for many years, they’ll still need to be checked for wear and chipping during regular dental visits.
Reasons for Needing Sealants
Child and adolescent teeth – As soon as the first permanent back teeth or six-year molars erupt, your child is more prone to developing decay from the ages of six to sixteen.
Adult and senior teeth – Sealants can be a great preventive option for adult or older teeth without active decay but have deep wear in grooves or fissures.
Baby teeth – Sealants are occasionally applied to young teeth for protecting deep grooves or if your child is cavity prone.
What Does Treatment with Sealants Involve?
Sealants are applied by our dentist with the process only taking a few minutes to complete per tooth.
Your teeth in need of sealing are thoroughly cleaned and surrounded with cotton to keep the area dry. A special solution is applied to your enamel’s surface to ensure the sealant bonds well to your teeth. Your teeth are then rinsed and dried. The sealant material is carefully painted onto the surfaces of your teeth to cover the deep grooves or fissures.
With good at-home hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits to our office, your new sealant should last and protect your teeth for many years.
Protect Your Smile Today! Contact Us
At the dental practice of J.R. Pulido, DDS, we work hard to give you all the tools you’ll ever need to help yourself and your loved ones achieve beautiful smiles that are healthy and functional. Our Escondido dental team provides skilled and compassionate dentistry to Escondido, Rancho Bernardo, Poway and all of Northern San Diego County.
Contact us to schedule your professional dental cleaning and examination today!
CALL US: (760) 745-4451 REQUEST APPOINTMENT