Cleaning & Prevention

Come see us in Pekin for a professional dental cleaning

A professional dental cleaning is an important part of preventing tooth decay and promoting good oral health. At David S. Kuban, D.D.S., our team is dedicated to preventing oral health problems before they begin. We want to form a cooperative relationship with all of our patients. Preventing dental problems begins at home with you. Good oral hygiene and a balanced diet go a long way toward preventing many common dental problems. In addition to regular cleanings and exams, our hygienists, and dentist will check your x-rays carefully and provide sealants and fluoride treatments as needed to promote good dental health. 

Oral cancer exam

When we diagnose oral cancer early, it can be effectively treated while still in its earliest stages. Oral cancer begins, often without symptoms, making regular oral cancer exams by a dentist critical. Cancer can begin anywhere in your mouth or the surrounding tissue including: 
  • Lips
  • Mouth
  • Tongue
  • Salivary Glands
  • Throat
  • Gums
  • Face
75% of oral cancers can be prevented by avoiding smoking, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption. If you experience any abnormalities in your tongue, gums, mouth, or the surrounding areas, it's crucial that a health professional evaluate it as soon as possible. Red patches and sores, a hardened white or gray slightly raised lesion appearing inside the mouth, and lumps should be evaluated by an oral health professional. Our oral cancer examination is a painless process. Our dentist will look for abnormality and feel the face, glands and neck for unusual bumps. Should we find any abnormalities, we will implement a treatment plan, and if necessary, a biopsy. An oral cancer exam should be performed at least once a year. 

Sealants

We can apply a thin, plastic coating to the chewing surface of molars, pre molars and the deep grooves of teeth in order to help protect them from dental decay. Such teeth are hard to clean, and are susceptible to decay. The sealant we apply helps to protect the tooth and creates an easy-to-clean surface. They need to be checked for wear and chipping at your regular visits. 

As soon as six-year molars come in in children, we should apply a sealant to help protect them. We can also apply sealants to anyone between 6-16 to protect teeth during the most cavity prone years, adults who have tooth surfaces with grooves or depressions who do not yet have decay, and in some children, we can apply a sealant to baby teeth to help those who are cavity prone. We will thoroughly clean the teeth to be sealed and then dry them. We then use a solution that helps the sealant bond to the teeth, and finally, we paint the material over the enamel surface to cover grooves or depressions. 

Dental exams and cleanings

We will perform a comprehensive exam at your initial visit and during regular exams. You can expect the following:
  • Examination of diagnostic x-rays for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. These also help us to determine root and tooth positions
  • Oral cancer screening
  • Gum disease evaluation
  • Examination of tooth decay
  • Examination of existing restorations
Our registered dental hygienists will perform the cleanings in our office. Cleanings consist of:
  • Removal of tartar (hardened plaque that builds up on the tooth and can only be removed with special instruments
  • Removal of plaque, a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth made up of a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva that can inflame the gums.
  • Teeth polishing, where we'll remove stain and plaque not otherwise removed through brushing and scaling.

Dental x-rays

We take dental x-rays as preventative and diagnostic tools. We then use the information provided by this procedure to diagnose and detect problems that may be hidden so that we can help you with an accurate treatment plan. Dental x-rays may reveal:
  • Abscesses or cysts.
  • Bone loss.
  • Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
  • Decay between the teeth.
  • Developmental abnormalities.
  • Poor tooth and root positions.
  • Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.
We will take a full mouth series of dental x-rays for all new patients, and this series is good for three to five years. We will do bite-wing x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together at checkup visits once or twice a year to check for any more dental problems that may have cropped up. 

Education and prevention measures

We know that prevention is the best medicine; that's why we take great measures to take care of your oral health before it becomes a concern. You'll find that our exams are extremely thorough; we check the health of your gums and teeth, screen for oral cancers, and take care to check our x-rays thoroughly. We also encourage regular cleanings, flossing, sealants, and fluoride treatments. In addition, we take a holistic approach - we'll review your medical records, new medications, and any illnesses that may affect your overall dental health.

Oral hygiene aids and home care

In addition to regular checkups in our office, you should be practicing regular home care routines to prevent gum disease and tooth loss. There are many different oral hygiene aids available on the market today. Here are some of the most common and an explanation of their uses.

  • Dental Floss - This is the most common between teeth and below the gum cleaner. You can purchase it in a variety of types or flavors. The floss helps to remove food particles and plaque from between the teeth. Be aware that vigorous flossing with a holder can cause soft tissue damage and bleeding, so take care while flossing twice daily, after brushing. To safely floss your teeth: 
Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.
Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gum line. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.
  • Interdental Cleaners - Many hygienists and periodontists will recommend you use an interdental brush, available in a variety of shapes and sizes, in addition to dental floss. These are gentle on the gums and extremely effective in cleaning the tooth contours in between gums. 
  • Mouth Rinses - You can purchase two different types of mouth rinses - cosmetic rinses available over the counter to suppress bad breath and therapeutic rinses, which may require a prescription. Many dentists are skeptical about the benefits of cosmetic rinses since studies have shown their effectiveness to be minimal when it comes to combatting plaque. However, therapeutic rinses are regulated by the FDA and can reduce bad breath, plaque, and cavities. Use rinses after brushing.
  • Oral Irrigators - Water Jets and Waterpiks are intended to spray tiny jet streams of water into gum pockets. This helps to remove bacteria and food particles from the area, but they should not be used instead of brushing and flossing. 
  • Rubber Tip Stimulators - This tool helps to remove plaque from the gum line and to stimulate blood flow to the gums. It should be traced gently along the outer and inner gum line once a day. Any plaque on the tip can be rinsed with tap water. Replace the tip as soon as it appears warn and store in a cool, dry place. 
  • Tongue Cleaners - These can remove the buildup of fungi, food debris, and bacteria from the tongue's surface. The bacteria and fungi that hang out on the tongue can cause bad breath and are related to systemic diseases. Tongue cleaning should be done before brushing to prevent ingesting this bacteria and fungi.
  • Toothbrushes - When it comes to toothbrushes, there are many choices. Dentists generally recommend electric toothbrushes because the vibrating motion is more effective than manual brushes at removing plaque and food particles from the gums and teeth. Soft bristle brushes are less damaging to gum tissue, and manual toothbrushes need to be replaced every three months. Brush after every meal, or at least twice a day, to maintain optimal dental health. To effectively brush your teeth: 
  • Place the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums and gently brush using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums.
  • Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
  • Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside of the front teeth.
  • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
Be sure to rinse your mouth with water after brushing and after any meal you are unable to follow with brushing. 
Call our office today for a dental appointment (309) 347-4711
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