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Spring is a time of cleansing and clearing out and we think that’s a great reason to schedule a ‘spring clean’ with your dentist as well. Tiffany’s Centre dentist Dr Lino Cericola tells us what you can expect from your regular check ups and what to do in between.

(Courtesy of Get It Online) According to Dr Cericola regular dental visits are vitally important for keeping your teeth, gums and body healthy.

 

He says that while the examination is about making sure everything is okay, dentists also perform routine maintenance to prevent problems from occurring. A good cleaning, called a “scale and polish” is also essential. Plaque is a clear, sticky layer of bacteria, which , if not removed, can harden and become tartar. You cannot remove tartar with brushing and flossing, it can only be removed by a dentist. If plaque and tartar build up on your teeth, they can cause oral diseases, and damage to your gums and teeth, which results in bleeding gums, gum recession and bone and tooth loss. The polish also removes the stains on the surface of your teeth from the food and beverages we indulge in.

How often should you visit the dentist?

“You should visit a dentist at least every six months for a dental check-up and clean. If you are pregnant, diabetic, HIV positive or undergoing chemotherapy you should visit your dentist more regularly. Your child’s first visit to the dentist should be at the age of eight months. We don’t charge for this appointment, but find it is critical to get them used to the dentist, and to pick up if any problems are developing. From the age of two, the six-month standard check-up kicks in.

”What can you expect from a regular dental check-up? “

There are two parts to a regular dental visit; the check-up and the cleaning (scaling and polishing). A check-up and scale and polish costs under R500 at medical aid rates. If you need X-Rays this could go up to R800 in total. For the check-up part of the appointment, your dentist will assess the state of your mouth, tongue, gums, teeth and jaw. X-Rays enable a dentist to observe what’s happening in areas we normally cannot see.

What’s next? “

We will fix any cavities that need to be fixed, and deal with any other issues you may have. If you require more extensive dental work, you will be provided with a proposed treatment plan, which includes treatment options and pricing.

”What should you do between visits?“

Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Floss at least twice a day. Rinse your mouth, or brush your teeth if you can, if you have eaten any sweet or acidic food, or drunk any cold drinks, or energy and sport drinks.”

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