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    Left untreated, dental infections and periodontal disease will not only affect the appearance of your smile but, can destroy your oral health. Neglecting routine at-home oral and professional care places you at greater risk of losing teeth and bone density. At some point when you finally do try to “catch up” you may face painful complications that require extensive cosmetic procedures in order to restore the appearance of your smile.
    Prevention is the key to maintaining a beautiful healthy smile. By making your dental care a priority you can save you the future cost and embarrassment of dental disease. At Spokane, Cheney Family Dentist one of our goals is to educate our patients on effective ways to prevent cavities and gum disease. Even the most consistent routine of brushing and flossing is not enough to maintain a healthy smile. Practicing good at-home oral hygiene is vital, but it must be paired with professional dental cleanings to be really effective.
    Many of our patients understand the importance of following good oral health by following proper oral hygiene routines and avoiding damaging food and drinks. As we eat, drink, and speak a sticky bacterial film called plaque coats tooth enamel and oral tissue. Flossing and brushing help to remove some plaque build-up but cannot eliminate it completely. The plaque that is not removed hardens into a substance called tartar. Tartar continues to build up on teeth, causing dental decay, gum disease, and eventually tooth loss unless it is removed through regular professional cleanings.
    You can take control of your dental health in two easy steps:

    Maintain a proactive at-home cleaning schedule (to reduce daily plaque build-up)
    See your dentist for semi-annual professional cleanings (to remove tartar and give you a “clean slate” for brushing and flossing).

    It is never too late to get back on track with your dental health routine. Start by scheduling a visit to Spokane Family Dental Office to give yourself and your family the best possible chance for optimal oral health.

    Our bodies and our health change with age, a fact that of which we all become aware. You may not realize, however, that your teeth are also affected by the passing of years. Maybe you’ve found that you have a harder time keeping your teeth shiny and white as you get older. Even though you’re following the same brushing and flossing routine, it may no longer have the desired effect of maintaining your youthful smile. Perhaps over-the-counter whitening treatments are not removing stains as they once did.

    At Cheney Cosmetic Dentist Office we find many patients don’t understand why their teeth are becoming duller and harder to whiten. There are actually a number of reasons dental enamel can change in appearance over the years. Environmental factors contribute to some extent but more often this dulling is part of the natural aging process.

    You can remove some stains on the surface of dental enamel through regular flossing and brushing. These stains are often caused by discoloring foods and drinks such as soda, coffee, tea, and red wine which can all leave stains on teeth. Use of tobacco products especially can also make enamel appear dark, dull, and discolored. When they are relatively new, these stains can often be removed or effectively bleached away, but will eventually seep into porous enamel, making them difficult to remove.

    The teeth of a young person are covered with a thick layer of white enamel, concealing the inner core of the tooth. As you age, this enamel begins to erode, exposing more of the dentin beneath the surface. Dentin is naturally a darker, yellow color so older teeth often appear dull and yellow in comparison to healthy new teeth.

    Different teeth whitening options are available depending on your cosmetic goals, the extent of discoloration, and urgency with which you need to see results. There are patients who respond well to professional teeth bleaching treatments developed to lighten discoloration using hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. Dental veneers, which completely resurface enamel using thin layers of porcelain, may be a better option for patients with extensive or resistant staining.

    It’s impossible to eliminate all dental staining. Your teeth will naturally change appearance and lose some of their luster over time in addition to accumulating environmental stains. But today’s modern cosmetic dentistry can restore the bright and luminous nature of your teeth, resulting in a more youthful looking smile. Call the Spokane Cosmetic Dentist Office today to learn more about teeth whitening options or to discuss your situation in greater detail.
    For a patient with no serious ongoing dental needs, teeth cleanings are recommended once every six months.   During your regular visit, your dental hygienist will evaluate and identify signs of inflammation and disease and, discuss the findings with you and your dentist. Your Cheney Family Dentist and dental hygienist will then work together to identify underlying issues that could compromise your oral health.

    A plan for treatment will then be developed based on your dental needs. Keep in mind that every patient is unique with their own specific needs and risk factors for gum disease. As a result, more frequent cleaning and a more intense cleaning regimen may be established for at-home oral hygiene.

    During a routine cleaning, your hygienist will remove plaque and tartar buildup above and below the gumline. If plaque and tartar debris are allowed to build up and remain around and below the gumline, it may lead to gum disease or periodontitis. Periodontitis is more advanced than gum disease, or inflammation of the soft tissue.

    Periodontal disease is caused by the overgrowth and accumulation of dental plaque, which causes disintegration of the bone around the teeth, forming pockets between your teeth and under your gums. These pockets become infected and will continue to deepen, causing the boney foundation to disintegrate and your teeth to become loose, putting you at risk for tooth loss. General dentistry and a routine of regular visits to Spokane Dental Care for cleanings can help prevent periodontitis through the removal of soft plaque and hard calculus (tartar) during a cleaning.

    Additionally, a routine dental cleaning will also improve the appearance of your smile by reducing surface staining. Over time, the cumulative staining effect of certain beverages and foods can cause your teeth to become discolored. A regular visit to your hygienist will include polishing of your teeth which will help to reduce the staining.