Why are routine dental hygiene services important?
Dental hygiene services are those that provide preventative care. This means evaluating the teeth and gums, cleaning the teeth, and examining oral health with imaging services such as dental X-rays. All of these are handled by our oral hygienists at Life Smiles Dental Care in Phoenix, Arizona. They clean the teeth and arrange for X-rays, while our dentists, including Drs. Paul Nielson, Timothy Schmidt, and Jared Bishop examine the smile and educate the patient on their oral health and any concerns that may have arisen since their last appointment.
Benefits of Regular Dental Hygiene Visits
The American Dental Association recommends visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning and evaluation at least every six months, and our team highly recommends this as well. However, patients with certain dental issues, such as periodontal disease, may need to come in every three to four months to monitor the condition and bring their smile back to health.
There are many benefits of regular dental hygiene visits, including:
- Early detection of dental caries (cavities)
- Early diagnosis of gum disease (periodontal disease)
- Time to educate patients on home dental care habits
- Ability to evaluate the smile for oral cancer
- Deep cleaning performed by a professional
- Education on various treatment options that may suit your needs
Types of Services Offered by a Dental Hygienist
Some of the more common dental hygiene services provided by our hygienists and dental team include:
- Dental evaluation and exam
- Professional dental cleaning (prophylaxis)
- Dental X-ray imaging
- Dental Education
What to Expect During Your Appointment
When you visit us for regular appointments, we ensure you are comfortable before our dental hygienists begin your prophylaxis or dental cleaning. The dental hygienist will remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums and polish the teeth. Then, our dentists will evaluate the smile and bring any concerns to the patient’s attention. In some cases, dental X-ray imaging may be done to assess the health of the teeth and bones, which is not visible to the naked eye.
Tips for Maintaining Good Oral Health at Home
Our dental team can educate you on ways to keep the smile healthy at home and between oral hygiene visits. Patients should:
- Brush after each meal and snack, or at least twice a day, with a good fluoride toothpaste
- Floss teeth after each meal or at least once a day
- Use mouthwash as an extra step in cavity and disease prevention
- Contact their doctor if any issues arise between appointments
- Maintain regular visits at least every six months for a cleaning and evaluation
Cost and Insurance Coverage for Professional Cleanings
If you have dental insurance, you may qualify for cleanings and examinations for free or at a lower cost. Our front office team at Life Smiles Dental Care can help you fully understand the benefits of your dental insurance plan to ensure you get the most out of your money! Without insurance, we accept out-of-pocket payments by cash, check, and credit card and can provide financing options for those seeking more complex or extensive dental work.