Cleaning And Prevention

Mint Dental

Young Kim, DDS

Family Dentist & Cosmetic Dentist located in Edgewater, NJ

The key to beautiful, healthy teeth that last a lifetime is a good cleaning and prevention plan that begins at a young age. At Mint Dental in Edgewater, New Jersey, Young Kim, DDS, provides children and adults with comprehensive prevention programs that include at least two professional dental cleanings each year. With more than 20 years of experience, Dr. Kim customizes a professional treatment plan and advises you how to best care for your teeth at home. Being proactive in your oral health care routine prevents serious dental issues and helps you keep your healthy, confident smile for a lifetime.

Cleaning and Prevention Q & A

What can I expect during a professional dental cleaning?

At Mint Dental, Dr. Kim and your hygienist perform a comprehensive dental exam and professional cleaning that includes:

  • Diagnostic digital X-rays to detect decay, tumors, and bone loss in your jaw
  • Oral cancer screening of your face, neck, and mouth
  • Gum disease evaluation for signs of periodontal disease
  • A thorough examination for signs of tooth decay
  • Check of existing restorations for any needing repair

During your cleaning, your hygienist removes plaque and tartar from your teeth and along your gum line where it tends to collect. This is an important part of your cleaning because it removes bacteria from your teeth and prevents gingivitis, the earliest type of periodontal disease. Children are particularly susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease because their enamel is 50% thinner than enamel on adult teeth.

Once your hygienist thoroughly cleans the plaque and bacteria from your teeth, the next step is polishing and flossing your teeth. Polishing removes surface stains and helps your teeth look and feel healthier between professional cleanings. Dr. Kim and her team explain how you can maintain good oral hygiene at home with effective brushing and flossing techniques.

Depending on your oral health and if your teeth are prone to decay, Dr. Kim may also recommend a topical fluoride treatment or a dental sealant to help prevent cavities between dental visits. Kids are good candidates for sealants as added protection for the chewing surfaces of their teeth.

How do fluoride treatments and sealants help prevent cavities?

Topical fluoride strengthens your enamel to make it more resistant to tooth decay. Both children and adults benefit from fluoride applications at the end of a professional cleaning.

Typically, your hygienist applies the fluoride treatment by painting a varnish coating on the surface of your teeth. The fluoride varnish hardens immediately and stays on your teeth. You may need to avoid certain foods for a few hours after application.

Dental sealants help protect the uneven chewing surface of molars. Since decay is common in the deep grooves in your teeth — especially during childhood — a sealant helps prevent cavities from forming. Sealants are a thin, plastic coating that seals the grooves and makes it easier to clean the chewing surface of your teeth.

While fluoride treatments and sealants help prevent tooth decay between dental cleanings, it’s still important to maintain good oral hygiene habits at home.

At what age should my children begin a dental cleaning and prevention plan?

Early dental visits help prevent future problems. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), you should bring your children for their first dental checkup as soon as their first tooth appears, and no later than their first birthday. Additionally, the AAPD recommends using a soft-bristled, infant-sized toothbrush to clean your child’s teeth at least once a day at bedtime.

Early dental visits help establish a good relationship between your children and Dr. Kim. When they have a pleasant experience, they grow up understanding the importance of good oral hygiene without fear of dental visits. Bringing your children for their first dental cleanings at a young age sets them up for a lifetime of optimal oral health.

How many times a day should I brush to prevent cavities?

According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. Brushing helps remove plaque and food particles so they don’t linger on your teeth, turn into tartar, and attract bacteria. Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste keeps your teeth clean and your enamel strong between regularly scheduled dental checkups.

To schedule a cleaning, call the office or book online.