Routine Dental Exams in Monroe, NC
A visit to Union County Center for Comprehensive Dentistry in Monroe, NC is bound to be unlike any other visit to the dentist. Dr. Leonard Hess stresses the importance of a comprehensive evaluation to screen for dental problems like tooth decay, periodontal (gum) disease, and occlusal disease.
Identifying problems in the earliest stages allows the dentist to recommend the most conservative treatment options. We want to save you from potentially uncomfortable and expensive procedures. We can also offer more accurate treatment options by providing these extra screenings for your routine dental exam.
We aim to provide the most effective and appropriate treatments to solve your unique dental issues and get you back to your life with a healthy smile. Dr. Hess provides general dentistry options to Monroe, NC.
A routine visit to the Union County Center for Comprehensive Dentistry will include:
- Thorough teeth cleaning performed by a dental hygienist
- Digital dental x-rays
- Oral cancer screening
- Periodontal screening (for gum disease)
- Occlusal analysis to check jaw joints and bite alignment
- One-on-one consultation with the dentist to discuss concerns, goals, and treatment options
Dental Health Tips
The American Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), and Dr. Hess offer these dental health tips to keep your smile healthy and bright:
- Floss daily – this is the single most important factor in preventing gum disease. Flossing dislodges debris from the crevasses of your teeth. Debris that is not removed harbors bacteria and plaque that eat away at tooth enamel.
- Brush twice daily – spend two to three minutes brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. If your gums bleed during toothbrushing, try brushing more gently with a new soft-bristled toothbrush. If this does not help, talk to your dentist about bleeding gums.
- Change your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. A fresh brush helps keep your mouth free from harmful bacteria.
- Avoid sugary drinks – but if you enjoy them, use a straw to minimize the risk of developing cavities.
- Limit or eliminate carbonated beverages. Moderation is key to a healthy overall body.
- Chew sugarless gum that contains xylitol. This element helps clean the mouth and increase saliva production. However, sugarless gum DOES NOT replace toothbrushing.
- Visit the dentist at least once every six months. This, along with brushing and flossing at least twice a day, will almost guarantee that you won’t develop oral health issues.
Teeth Cleaning Cost and Dental Insurance
We provide several financial services to make your family dentist visit as easy and stress-free as possible. Many of our patients have dental insurance. As a courtesy, we will submit your dental insurance paperwork with the reimbursement to be sent directly from the insurance company.
You may qualify for interest-free financing if you do not have dental insurance or if dental insurance does not cover your treatment.
The Importance of Preventative Care
Preventative care provides the basis for your oral health. It’s what we built our practice on. We use preventative care to maintain oral health, prevent diseases and damage, and detect problems before they become serious. The only way to do this is to visit the dentist regularly and ensure you follow proper oral healthcare procedures at home between appointments. It takes care of both areas.
At home, brush at least twice daily and floss at least once daily. This prevents the buildup of bacteria and food particles. If these build up, they create a sticky film over the teeth called plaque. If that isn’t taken care of, the plaque hardens into a substance called tartar, which is difficult to remove. Flossing takes care of food particles and debris that get stuck between teeth, attracting bacteria.
Just home oral care can’t keep your smile completely safe, though. Our office has specialized tools to get into the difficult nooks and crannies your toothbrush can’t reach. Without visiting the dentist, those areas aren’t getting clean. Even if you’re brushing and flossing diligently, you’re still at a higher risk for tooth decay and gum disease because plaque and tartar continue to build up in these areas.
Thorough dental cleaning isn’t the only thing you need at the dentist. The exam is also crucial. We have training to help us recognize the early warning signs of dental conditions you may overlook. Many people in the US have the early stages of gum disease because they don’t realize they have it. Diagnostic tools increase this benefit, as we can see things in your mouth that you can’t with the naked eye alone.
Routine Dental Care FAQs
Everyone needs routine dental care to maintain optimal oral health. Read on to learn more about routine dental care with answers to these commonly asked questions.
What does routine dental care entail?
Routine dental care means you’re coming into the office for checkups and cleanings, even without pressing dental problems. Just because you don’t notice any direct oral health problems doesn’t mean you don’t need to go to the dentist. Routine care helps prevent dental problems and discover others before they become serious.
Which is better, an electric or a manual toothbrush?
Both are effective for oral care as long as you use them properly. Electric toothbrushes are ideal for those with limited mobility and can be better for those with orthodontic appliances. Some have built-in timers to ensure you’re brushing for the proper length of time. Manual toothbrushes are more easily accessible and affordable, so they’re good for everyone.
Does bristle hardness matter?
Yes. You may see bristles at the store that are soft, medium, and firm. And you may think that firm bristles will clean better than the others, but this isn’t true. Harder bristles can be too hard on your teeth and gums, leading to gum recession and erosion. It is possible to brush your teeth too hard. Stick to soft bristles. They’ll also ensure that restorations, like dental crowns or porcelain veneers, are not scratched up.
Do rinses and mouthwash help my oral health?
Yes, they come as a supplement to flossing and brushing your teeth. They don’t replace brushing your teeth. You’ll still need to do that. Different rinses can help with bad breath, cavity prevention, or gum health, and others are meant to assist with dry mouth. Use them only as directed, and talk to your dentist about the best ones for your needs.
Does my diet impact my oral health?
Yes, possibly more than you realize. Most of us know that too much sugar or acidic drinks harm our teeth. But things we think are healthy, like dried fruit, can also cause issues for oral health. Fresh fruits and vegetables are essential to assist saliva production and get debris out from in between your teeth. Talk to your dentist about the best foods and drinks for your oral health at your next appointment.
Do all teeth need fluoride?
Fluoride helps strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay at every age. Children are more prone to cavities and tooth decay, so we recommend regular fluoride treatments at preventative care appointments. We also recommend patients of all ages use toothpaste with fluoride in it.