Dental Cleanings in Colorado Springs
If you are like most people, you’ve got better things to do than sit in the dentist’s chair!
Dr. Gary Moore and the staff at Stetson Hills Dental understand this, and that’s why we offer our patients a new, faster dental cleaning in Colorado Springs.
Why does my dentist use an electric handpiece for cleanings?
A handpiece is simply the tool that the dentist or hygienist uses to remove decay from a patient’s teeth. Older tools were air-driven. Electric handpieces are much stronger than air-driven handpieces, because they contain a motor. This makes the process of removing decay much quicker.
What causes tooth decay?
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria and food that build up on teeth. It is important to get your dental cleaning in Colorado Springs at Stetson Hills Dental at least twice a year, because problems only get worse if bacteria is allowed to remain on teeth due to untreated tooth decay.
What happens if tooth decay isn’t treated?
Tooth decay begins with a build-up of plaque. Plaque, the icky material you feel on your teeth at the end of the day, results when sugary or starchy food remains on your teeth. Bacteria in plaque makes acid, which causes tooth decay. Plaque can also form under the gumline.
If plaque isn’t removed effectively by brushing and flossing at home, it hardens into tartar. Tartar contains even more bacteria, and it can lead to even more and worse cavities near the roots and gum damage. Tartar can only be removed at your dentist’s office.
If teeth aren’t cleaned well and tartar removed, eventually the patient may develop gum disease. This is a painful inflammation of the gums, and if it isn’t treated at the early stages the gums can begin to move away from the teeth. Debris and bacteria collect in these “pockets” between the gums and teeth, and eventually the teeth can become loose and fall out.
How can I avoid tooth decay?
Dr. Moore and the staff at Stetson Hills Dental can help prevent these problems with teeth, with a thorough exam and a cleaning with an electric handpiece.
But there are things you can do to help keep your teeth healthy and to avoid decay:
- Stay away from foods that are sugary or starchy (like crackers and potato chips). Starchy foods break down into sugar and can damage teeth.
- Make sure you brush twice a day and floss once a day.
- If you’ve had a sugary snack and can’t brush your teeth, gargle with some water.
- Drink lots of water, which will help to wash debris off of teeth.
- Eat crunchy fruits and veggies, which stimulate saliva and help rinse teeth clean.
- If you have diabetes or another condition that can increase your risk for tooth decay, talk to your doctor and dentist about how you can protect your teeth.
- Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco, which can harm teeth.
Another thing you can do is if you are especially prone to cavities, talk to Dr. Moore about fluoride treatments or sealants.
What is a fluoride treatment?
Fluoride is a mineral that can be found in many foods and in water. Some toothpastes and mouthwash have extra fluoride, but some people still don’t get enough to protect their teeth.
Fluoride helps to keep teeth strong by building up tooth enamel. It protects teeth by making them resistant to bacteria, and can even help to reverse early tooth decay.
It is very important that children get enough fluoride when their teeth are developing, because it can help keep teeth strong and healthy for the rest of the child’s life. However, adults need fluoride too!
If you are prone to tooth decay, Dr. Moore may recommend that you have a fluoride treatment. This treatment is done in-office and is a special gel, varnish, or foam applied to teeth. He may also prescribe a special fluoride liquid or tablet for you to use at home.
What are dental sealants?
Teeth have microscopic pits and grooves that trap food and debris, causing tooth decay.
A sealant is a plastic coating that is brushed onto teeth, which hardens into a protective coating. Sealants cover the pits and grooves, giving teeth a smooth surface. This makes it easier to clean debris off of teeth. Sealants are usually used on the premolars and the molars, the back teeth where decay is often found. They not only help prevent cavities, they can even help protect teeth that already have early signs of decay.
Dr. Gary Moore and the staff at Stetson Hills Dental have many tools available to help patients have healthy teeth! And thanks to modern technology and tools such as electric handpieces, getting healthy and clean teeth takes no time at all.