The American Dental Association recommends that you get an oral exam and teeth cleaning every six months. Routine oral exams help you save time and money, prevent common dental issues, and give you peace of mind.
During your appointment, the dental team at North Billerica Smiles will take x-rays to help diagnose any small, hidden issues. We’ll clean and floss your teeth using professional-grade tools, and your dentist will examine your mouth to look for signs of oral health issues. If you’ve got a clean bill of health, we’ll simply schedule your next routine visit in another six months at our office in Billerica. If you need a follow-up, your dentist will discuss next steps with you and schedule the care you need.
Fluoride treatments involve applying a layer of fluoride varnish, gel, or paste to your teeth. This is applied directly to your enamel, usually right after a teeth cleaning. Fluoride is a natural substance that strengthens your teeth by attracting certain beneficial minerals to your enamel. Routine fluoride treatments are often recommended for cavity-prone children, but are appropriate for patients of all ages.
Dental sealants use a special type of liquid resin to coat your teeth and protect them from decay. Your dentist at North Billerica Smiles will apply the resin directly to your rear teeth, then harden it using UV light. This forms a durable barrier that protects your enamel from decay for up to 5 years or longer.
We offer a full suite of periodontal care services to prevent and treat gum disease. If we find that you have gum disease during your appointment, this means you will need a “deep cleaning” (also known as scaling & root planing) to remove harmful substances from between your teeth and gums.
This is a special type of cleaning that involves using specialized dental tools to remove plaque and tartar from your mouth. Your tooth roots will also be smoothed out to eliminate bacteria “pockets.” This treatment takes two appointments because your mouth will need to be numbed and only one half can be cleaned at a time.
With proper at-home oral care and antibiotics, this is often enough to halt or reverse minor to moderate cases of gum disease. If you suspect you have gum disease, it’s important to come and see our doctors in Billerica right away. The sooner you get a deep cleaning, the better your outcome will be.
Oral cancer is often hard to detect unless it’s caught early by a dentist, so our doctors use advanced tools like intraoral cameras to look for signs of oral cancer at each six-month visit. With oral cancer screenings from North Billerica Smiles, you can get peace of mind, particularly if you have risk factors for oral cancer like excessive sun exposure, smoking, or HPV infection.
The ADA recommends that every patient regardless of age should attend routine dental appointments every 6 months for check-ups and cleanings. However, many people wonder if this is really necessary or may even wait a few years between appointments, only to find that they have more cavities than they expected when they return.
At your preventive bi-annual appointments, we perform oral exams, dental cleanings, oral cancer screenings, and may take x-rays if necessary. This helps us prevent serious oral health problems like tooth decay and gum disease by removing plaque buildup from above the gum line.
This is what causes tooth decay and it can harden into tartar within 24 hours. Tartar is what causes gum inflammation, leading to gum disease and gum recession. By regularly attending these appointments, we can practice early detection methods that increase your chance of catching oral health problems early enough to reverse them.
Preventive dentistry saves you time and money on more invasive treatments. We also brighten and freshen your smile by removing surface stains and removing bacteria from the mouth that could be causing a foul odor.
To prevent cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer, regular preventive treatments are not optional. Scaling removes plaque and tartar buildup that would otherwise lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
We also brush and floss your teeth to remove food particles and other bacteria, leaving you with a cleaner oral environment that shows when you smile. Finally, we finish with a fluoride treatment that strengthens your tooth enamel and prevents cavities by preventing bacteria and acids from penetrating the teeth.
Dental sealants can be placed on the first and second primary molars to prevent cavities in these teeth that have excess pits and grooves, making them easier to clean and sealing out harmful bacteria.
Yes, preventive dental treatments are the most widely covered by dental insurance and at the highest rate. Most insurance plans will cover preventive treatments like cleanings, x-rays, fluoride treatments, dental sealants, and oral cancer screenings at 80 to 100% of the cost. Contact your insurance provider directly to find out what they cover and what limitations there are.
When you aren’t at the dentist, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene at home. You should brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes. Only use a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
Brush in gentle circular motions around all of the surfaces of the teeth. A toothbrush with a small head can help work into harder-to-reach areas of the mouth like small crevices. Floss your teeth at least once a day with thread floss or a water flosser.
If you have braces or tooth restorations like dental bridges, a water flosser can be more effective at removing plaque and bacteria. Drink a lot of water and eat a balanced diet. Limit frequent snacking and excess sugar as well as highly acidic drinks, which can all increase cavity risk. We recommend drinking fluoridated water or using a fluoride rinse to protect your teeth.