Making the Most of Your Dental Appointment

Our goal at State Street Smiles is to provide our patients with the tools for dental success. A healthy and lifelong smile starts with good oral habits. In addition to your at-home oral care routine, our dental team is here to provide additional support and assistance in maintaining your health with our professional exams and cleanings. 

In dentistry, prevention is the first line of defense — keeping your smile from becoming damaged in the first place can keep you from needing invasive reparative procedures. That’s why we recommend coming in to visit us every six months for a regular checkup.

What to expect during your appointment

family of a dad, mom, a daughter, and a son stand in a park and smile
Pro-Tip
Pro-Tip

Do dental cleanings really help?

Yes, it’s important to get a professional cleaning because tartar and plaque can’t be removed with just brushing and flossing alone. We use special dental instruments to remove that harmful bacteria. If they’re not removed properly, it can lead to a variety of dental problems from cavities, to tooth decay, or even periodontal disease. 

Visiting the dentist regularly can help prevent oral health complications from developing. Even if you have a small cavity, we can treat it before it becomes a larger issue. This means you won’t have to undergo invasive procedures and can retain as much of your natural smile as possible.

Standard Cleaning & Exam

Visiting us for cleanings and exams every six months is important for keeping your smile healthy and beautiful. Even if you clean your teeth every day, there are areas of your mouth that are easy to miss. The plaque in these areas can harden and become difficult to clean at home.

That’s where we come in. State Street Smiles can thoroughly clean all the plaque off of your teeth, even if it’s hardened. We’ll also give your teeth a polish so they can shine when you smile.

We’ll always examine your oral health to make sure you haven’t developed any cavities or other oral issues. We do this every six months because we may be able to discover a problem when it can be easily fixed, rather than requiring more invasive treatment.

Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer is a prime example of a health issue that needs to be detected early on for effective treatment. The exam itself consists of a visual check for lesions and abnormal patches of white cells, a short physical inspection of the neck and jaw, as well as use of a VELscope.

A VELscope allows us to more easily detect abnormal tissue in your mouth and throat that may be cancerous. All this device will do is emit a safe blue light into your mouth, which activates tissue layers. If you’re healthy, your tissue will appear bright green, while suspicious regions are dark.

blonde woman lays in dental chair smiling at the camera
toothbrushes with bamboo handles sit in a white cup on the bathroom counter top
Pro-Tip
Pro-Tip

What type of toothbrush should I use?

The brand of the toothbrush is not as critical as the type of bristle and the size of the head. A soft toothbrush with a small head is recommended because medium and hard brushes tend to cause irritation and contribute to recession of the gums, while a small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums. It’s unnecessary to “scrub” the teeth as long as you are brushing at least twice a day and visiting your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings.

We do find that electric brushes often do a better job than manual brushes. Ask us which toothbrush is right for you!

Oral Hygiene Tips

A good at-home oral hygiene routine is the first line of defense against cavities and oral disease. While we can thoroughly clean your teeth at our office, we usually only see patients twice a year unless other issues require additional visits. To keep your smile beautiful, proper at-home care is essential.

Some of the most important tips to keep your smile sparkling are:

  • Use dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste and mouthwash.  Fluoride helps prevent cavities and protects your teeth. Generally speaking, it’s advisable to use any toothpaste you prefer as long as it contains fluoride. 
  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste. 
  • Floss at least once a day or use another type of interdental cleaner approved by your dentist. Many people neglect the areas between their teeth, but food can easily become stuck and lead to cavities in these places. Regular flossing can also prevent bleeding and gingivitis.
  • Rinse with an appropriate mouth rinse. Your dentist can provide guidance on what type of mouthwash may be best for you.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How long do dental exams take?
How often should I get a dental exam?
Do dental cleanings hurt?
How long do dental exams take?

Dental exams normally don’t take very long. A regular appointment takes about 30 minutes to one hour, but the time varies depending on your unique situation. A six-month dental appointment consists of both an examination and a cleaning.

Our advanced dental technology allows our dental exams and cleanings to be quick so you don’t have to spend as much time in the chair.

How often should I get a dental exam?

Regular exams are important to your dental health because you may not notice if you have a dental issue. Some people wait until they feel pain to go to the dentist, but at that stage, you may require more invasive procedures. We recommend dental exams once every six months, or at least twice a year.

Do dental cleanings hurt?

Cleanings may be slightly uncomfortable but they should never be painful. If you experience any pain during your dental cleaning, it’s important to let Dr. Jackson know immediately. Pain can be an indicator of an underlying issue.

Make an Appointment

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Contact State Street Smiles for Elevated Dental Care

State Street Smiles serves as your dental support team. We want to provide you with high-quality care that prolongs the life of your smile. To schedule an appointment, contact us by calling (201) 487-7030 or by filling out the online contact form available on this page. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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