Cleanings & Prevention

Teeth Cleaning & Preventive Services in Sturbridge & Southbridge

A consistent oral hygiene routine is essential, but prevention and early detection are crucial to avoiding tooth decay and gum disease. Visiting our Sturbridge dental office for examinations and cleanings is the best way to ensure your smile stays healthy and beautiful. For children younger than seven, Dr. Balian works with Olga Restrepo, DMD, a pediatric specialist who is also fluent in Spanish!

At Balian Family Dental Sturbridge, our preventive approach emphasizes education and routine cleanings so you and your family can maintain optimal oral health for a lifetime. Call and schedule a visit with us today!


The Goal of Preventive Dentistry

Portrait of a smiling family at home

Regular dental exams and cleanings give us a chance to provide proactive care. Early intervention allows us to get in front of any complications and make treatment more comfortable and more affordable. Some of our preventive services include:

Why Cleanings & Preventive Care are Important for Optimal Oral Health

Aside from brushing and flossing daily, professional dental cleanings are one of the best methods of practicing preventive dentistry. Here are some important reasons you should prioritize regular dental cleanings.

Prevent Tooth Loss:

In adults, untreated gum disease is a significant factor contributing to tooth loss, and plaque removal is key to halting this disease and healing gums. Ignored plaque spreads across your teeth and under the gum line, leaving the jaw bone susceptible to deterioration. When bacteria start to attack the bone, teeth can loosen and eventually fall out. Effective daily hygiene habits and regular professional cleanings can reduce gum disease and the damage it can cause.

Bacteria found in plaque is the number one contributor to tooth decay. It shows up as a white film on your teeth and produces acidity, which slowly starts to eat away at your tooth’s enamel. Cavities will form wherever plaque is left behind, especially in crevices and in between teeth. Routine cleanings help to remove the build-up of plaque and allow us to check for early signs of cavities.

Regular dental cleanings can help protect against advanced gum disease which can increase the risks of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Routine dental exams also allow us to detect medical conditions in their early stages and increase the likelihood of a successful intervention.

Regular dental cleanings can help protect against advanced gum disease which can increase the risks of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Routine dental exams also allow us to detect medical conditions in their early stages and increase the likelihood of a successful intervention.

Preventive dentistry brings diligence and encourages the resolution of any issues early on, so we can get them taken care of with minimal treatment at a more affordable cost.

What Happens During a Regular Cleaning?

patient getting consultation with dental professional.

Even if you are very diligent in your oral hygiene, plaque and tartar can build up in hard-to-reach places. This calculus contains harmful acidic bacteria that can eat away at your enamel and lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

During cleanings, we use specialized tools to gently remove plaque and tartar from around your teeth and along the gum line. Another tool is used along with an abrasive toothpaste to polish your teeth to remove any remaining particles and smooth the enamel surface to make it more difficult for plaque to stick to. Your cleaning is finished off with thorough flossing and a fluoride rinse to wash away any remaining bacteria residue.

Essentials of the Exam

During your exam, we will ask about any health problems you have or medications you are taking and discuss how they may affect your oral health. Your exam will also include:

  • Visual check of your risk for tooth decay and gum or bone disease, including looking for loose or broken teeth
  • Evaluating your existing tooth restorations (fillings, crowns, dentures, implants, or bridges)
  • Oral cancer assessment by checking the face, lips, neck, tongue, throat, and gums for any signs of problems
  • Checking bite alignment by evaluating the contact between your teeth and verifying proper jaw mobility
  • Using diagnostic X-rays if necessary to detect problems under the surface including decay, tumors, cysts, impacted wisdom teeth, and possible bone loss

For most people, two checkups per year are recommended; however, if you have a high risk of gum disease, it may be more beneficial that you come in as frequently as every three months.

The Oral Systemic Connection

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In recent years, significant studies have revealed the critical connection between oral and systemic health. At Balian Family Dental Sturbridge, we make it a point to educate you and your family about what a proper oral health care routine is and how it can be beneficial to overall health.

Gum disease creates a bacterial infection that produces an inflammatory effect on your teeth and soft tissues. This inflammation can enter the bloodstream, which leads to clotting, or in severe cases, heart attack and stroke. By getting treatment for any periodontal issues, you can create a healthier systemic environment. This connection goes both ways, and anyone with a pre-existing heart condition should be diligent about practicing preventive periodontal care. Neglecting your oral health can cause long-lasting negative implications that can deteriorate over time.

Other Systemic Issues

In addition to heart disease, there are other systemic complications related to your oral health. The spreading of any infection through the bloodstream can exasperate diabetes, osteoporosis, respiratory disease, and cancer. Untreated oral conditions can also cause complications throughout pregnancy, including pre-term labor. By participating in the treatment for gum disease before it reaches advanced stages, you’re minimizing your risk for related health problems.

Additional Preventive Care Options

Little boy in dental chair smiling at the camera

We also offer several other treatments that can protect your teeth between visits. Fluoride rinses help to re-mineralize teeth, strengthening the enamel to prevent tooth decay. Dental sealants can be used on areas that a toothbrush may not be able to reach effectively, like teeth with deep grooves and depressions where bacteria can quickly accumulate.

Kids can be especially vulnerable because their small motor functions may not be developed well enough to let them brush and floss adequately. Sealants add another layer of protection and a barrier against the build-up of plaque and tartar.

With proper dental hygiene and regular visits, sealants will last between three-to-five years. Since sealants will only protect your teeth if they are fully intact, it is vital to have them checked regularly for cracks or chips on the surface.

What Else Can Preventive Care Do?

Natural smiles are meant to last a lifetime. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. Although teeth are durable, they are still susceptible to becoming loose or absent throughout the smile due to trauma, decay, or advanced gum disease. When that happens, it is important to restore as many teeth as possible to maintain proper dental function. Dr. Balian offers a variety of restoration treatment options to bring your oral health back into balance.

What Are Dental Restorations and Prosthetics?

Dental restorations are the various ways we can repair damaged or missing parts of teeth. Dental prosthetics are the different solutions that are custom-designed to mimic healthy, neighboring teeth, or to replace missing ones.

These dental resolutions typically involve the following:

  • Fillings - are the most common type of dental restoration. Often utilized to repair chips, cracks, or other damage to a tooth. They can consist of gold, silver, or enamel-colored materials to properly repair and reshape an affected tooth.
  • Crowns - are a “cap” that is placed over a tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and appearance. Crowns are also an ideal solution for finalizing dental implant treatment as they can restore a single tooth, hold a bridge in place, or be affixed to an implant post.
  • Bridges - are a small set of replacement teeth designed to “bridge” the gap created by one or more missing teeth in a row. Bridges can be anchored on either side by crowns and cemented permanently into place.
  • Dentures - can either be a removable appliance or permanently fixed in the smile with dental implants. They can replace up to an entire arch of missing teeth.

How are Root Canals a Preventive Treatment?

Usually, the enamel and dentin keep the pulp safe from bacteria and decay. However, extensive tooth decay, a traumatic injury, or bacteria that enters through an unnoticed crack in the tooth can result in the pulp becoming damaged or infected. Without treatment, you can lose the tooth and start a domino effect that jeopardizes the health of adjacent teeth. We can perform a root canal procedure to save your tooth and protect your oral health.

What Happens During Root Canal Therapy?

3d render of tooth anatomy,

Inside all teeth is a bundle of nerves and blood vessels, called the dental pulp. This internal network carries nutrients to the teeth, sustaining your overall oral health. By removing the infected pulp and sealing it with a bio-compatible material, most of the tooth structure and the root can remain intact. A custom crown is placed over the tooth to restore structural integrity and complete the procedure.

Saving the tooth with root canal therapy instead of extraction prevents adjacent teeth from drifting out of place and causing alignment problems. Leaving the tooth root in place also provides stimulation to the surrounding tissue and bone to help you maintain your jaw health and keep your facial features youthful-looking.

Eliminating tooth decay and restoring your bite are fundamental aspects of maintaining proper oral health. Delaying this beneficial treatment can increase your risk for additional dental complications, leading to more complex procedures to correct the issue.

Patient Education & Home Care

Close up portrait of joyful girl brushing her teeth with enjoyment.

Educating you during cleanings and exams is another way we provide proactive preventive dentistry. Using digital X-rays, we can show you an accurate picture of what’s going on and explain any problem areas. We include you in each step of the treatment process so you can be confident about all your treatment decisions.

It’s also important for you and your family to know the right way to care for your teeth at home. Proper dental care requires brushing teeth at least twice a day, for a full two minutes each time. Make sure to angle the brush at 45 degrees, and gently brush in circular motions to break up bacteria and food particles. Flossing must be done at least once a day with traditional floss, floss sticks, or electric water picks.

Preserve Your Dental Health with Quality Care

Maintaining good oral hygiene with regular cleanings and exams is essential for your continued overall oral health. Call Balian Family Dental Sturbridge today to schedule an appointment for and your family. We will put everyone back on the right track for optimal oral health!


Contact Us

We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the quick contact form below.