Dental Exams and Cleanings
Regular exams and cleanings are vital for good dental health. At every visit, your hygienist will remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar from your teeth. Plaque and tartar are stubborn substances that even rigorous brushing and flossing cannot fully eliminate. Removing them will dramatically decrease your risk for cavities and gum disease.
Plus, each visit will include a complete dental exam. Dr. Tunney will look for dental damage and other signs of decay. He will also evaluate your gums, looking for inflammation, redness, and other symptoms of gum disease.
Typically, you should visit the dentist every six months. However, if you have ongoing oral health concerns, you may need more frequent visits.
Dental x-rays can accurately reveal decay inside and in between teeth. They can also help your dentist to evaluate dental alignment, look for impacted teeth, assess jawbone recession, and determine whether you have unerupted teeth. Typically, x-rays take place once a year (at every other visit). But if you are experiencing dental pain at other times, x-rays can be an invaluable diagnostic tool.
At New Street Dental, we proudly use digital x-rays, rather than traditional film imaging. Digital x-rays are sharper than standard x-rays, and they are more easily magnified on the computer screen. They are also easy to transfer to specialists and to share with patients for more personalized care. Finally, digital x-rays have about 80% less radiation exposure than film x-rays. This makes them a much safer option.
Along with regular dental visits, daily home care is the other cornerstone of dental health. Brushing twice daily and flossing once a day will help to remove bacteria and minimize the buildup of plaque and tartar. You should also follow a tooth-healthy diet with limited amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Instead, choose whole grains, lean proteins and dairy, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. And drinking water is essential since it helps to flush out food particles.
If you struggle to maintain regular dental home care, or if you are not sure of the right techniques, Dr. Tunney can help. After evaluating your oral health, he can show you the most effective ways to brush and floss. He can also recommend specific toothpastes, toothbrushes, and mouthwashes to give you a bright, healthy smile.
Oral Cancer Screening
Nearly 54,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. Sadly, only about 57% of these individuals are expected to live five years. But this is not because oral cancer is more aggressive than other types of cancer. Rather, it is because it frequently goes undiagnosed until cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
This is another reason that routine dental exams are so important – each one also includes a thorough oral cancer screening. Dr. Tunney will carefully examine your lips, gums, tongue, and the other soft tissues in your mouth. He will look for any redness, white or patches, or inflammation. If he discovers anything unusual, he will typically order a biopsy. Although these symptoms often turn out to be harmless, it is still essential to get these screenings, as an early diagnosis could save your life.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Whether it’s been six months since your last dental visit or many years, take charge of your dental health today! Contact our Bethlehem, PA, office today to schedule an appointment.
You can reach New Street Dental online or call us at 610-867-7112.