Maintaining Your Oral Health
Today’s dentist has many wonderful services available for patients. But maybe the most important service today’s dentist or dental hygienist provides is promoting and encouraging appropriate home care. The finest dental care will be eventually lost without proper daily care.
In addition to good home care, we believe that regular professional cleanings and exams are also necessary to keep you healthy. We customize these appointments to fit your unique needs. The intervals of care may vary greatly from individual to individual. For some, yearly intervals may be appropriate, where others may need to come in every six weeks. If you were put on a ‘one size fits all’ schedule, you could conceivably come too often while a friend or loved-one might not come often enough.
Usually, professional cleanings and exams are scheduled with one of our registered dental hygienists and Dr. Patrick. At this appointment, we will update your medical history, including any changes to medications you’re taking. We will discuss changes you have noticed or concerns you have relating to your oral health. A blood pressure screening, oral cancer screening, and visual exam of your gums, bone, bite, TMJ (jaw joints), and teeth will take place.
The dental hygienist will gently and carefully perform a thorough cleaning for you, removing disease-causing plaque or tartar. She will respectfully coach you on how to improve your home care effectiveness, if needed. If additional home cleaning aids or prescriptions, such as fluorides or other medications, are needed, they will be provided. There is a fine balance between a thorough cleaning and a gentle cleaning. Our dental hygienists understand this and have the desire and experience to do both!
Brushing and Flossing
As important as routine checkups are, maintaining good oral health starts at home with a quality brushing and flossing routine. Dr. Patrick recommends brushing twice daily with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. He also recommends carefully flossing once a day. For extra protection, you can rinse with an antibacterial or fluoride mouthwash. Brushing and flossing, in combination with routine checkups, will help you protect your teeth from bacteria and plaque, which can cause gum disease and tooth decay.
Athletic Mouth Guards
If you’re an athlete, you probably protect your body with pads and helmets during play. You likely stretch before workouts and games to prevent muscle injuries, but what are you doing to protect your smile? Dr. Patrick offers comfortable, custom-made mouth guards to safeguard his patients’ smiles while they are in the game. Whether you bicycle, box, perform martial arts, or are involved in team sports, protecting your invaluable smile with a custom-made mouth guard should be a priority. Oral injuries are common among athletes, and a custom mouth guard can prevent these tragedies.
How long has it been since your last dental checkup? Most patients should see a dentist twice a year for a cleaning and exam. Call our Athens, Georgia, office if it’s been more than six months since your last appointment with Dr. Patrick. We look forward to serving you.