Preventive Dentistry in Wauwatosa

Get a Comprehensive Exam

At the first exam, Dr. McCue will take a detailed look at your teeth and gums to look for signs of infection, decay, chipping or breaking teeth, and tooth position problems. After looking at your x-rays, Dr. McCue will make sure there aren’ any issues to worry about and will record in detail any work you had previously done. At McCue Dental Health we may do things a bit differently to be sure we’re treating you the best we can, so you can also expect to have some photos taken of different areas of your mouth to help document and understand your situation. This is a great opportunity for you to discuss any concerns you have with your dentist, whether it’s a tooth that hurts or just one you wish were a little straighter!

Schedule your Periodic Exam (Checkup)

During this exam, Dr. McCue will review any changes to your medical history, your diagnostic x-rays, and the current condition of your teeth, gums, joint and jaw muscles. This is an opportunity every 3-6 months to discuss anything new that you’ve noticed about your teeth.

Treat Prophylaxis

Your hygienist will remove dental plaque bacteria and stain from your gums and teeth. This helps to prevent dental cavities and gum disease as well as keep your smile clean and bright.

Get your X-Rays

These pictures help Dr. McCue examine the 1/3 of your tooth surface that is invisible during your exam. X-rays are extremely important to your dental health to help find cavities hiding between your teeth while they are small. This helps to prevent more painful and costly problems with your teeth down the road.

Use Fluoride

Fluoride has been endorsed by the American Dental Association and other healthcare research as an effective way to help strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. At McCue Dental Health, we highly recommend using fluoride toothpaste. For those with higher rates of dental decay or difficulty with hard to reach areas, it is also helpful to have a fluoride treatment applied to your teeth during your cleanings.

The Benefits Of Preventative Dentistry

Coming to a dentist like Dr. McCue for preventative care has a number of great benefits, including:

  • Catch oral health issues early – Preventative care allows Dr. McCue to identify any potential oral health issues, and provide you with the proper treatment. For example, minor tooth decay can often be treated with a fluoride treatment and proper oral hygiene, eliminating the need for a filling or crown later down the road. The same is true of gum disease. If you have gingivitis, proper oral care can eliminate the infection altogether and ensure your mouth is not permanently damaged by gum disease.
  • Save time and money – In the long run, coming to a dentist for preventative care will save you both time and money. Treatments like fillings, crowns, root canals and periodontal care can be very expensive. In contrast, a six-month oral exam and teeth cleaning is very affordable. If you have dental insurance, you may even be able to get an oral exam every six months without paying anything out-of-pocket.
  • Keep your smile looking great – Even if you brush and floss properly at home, plaque and tartar can build up on your smile and affect how it looks. When you come in for a preventative appointment, we can scrape away plaque and tartar, and buff your teeth with a special polishing toothpaste, which keeps your smile looking great and ensures that your mouth stays healthy.

 

The Importance of a Dental Home

A “dental home” is an office like McCue Dental Health, where you and your family can get all-in-one treatment, including preventative care, restorative care, cosmetic treatments and more.

Seeing the same dentist for preventative care regularly has a number of benefits. Over time, Dr. McCue will become more familiar with your particular oral health needs and be able to provide customized care. In addition, he can track the health of your mouth over a longer period of time to identify any potential issues that may need to be addressed.

You’ll also be able to develop a personal relationship with your dentist, which will help you feel more comfortable during your appointments and give you more flexibility when it comes to scheduling appointments and after-hours care.

How Often Should I See the Dentist?

No matter how old you are, you should see the dentist every six months for an oral exam and teeth cleaning. If you have gum disease, you may need to see Dr. McCue every three months for a deep cleaning to ensure that your gums remain healthy.

Coming in every six months for preventive care helps you avoid any potential oral health issues like gum disease and cavities. If you wait a year or longer between each appointment, it may be too late to prevent these kinds of issues, so make sure you always make an appointment every six months at McCue Dental Health.

What to Expect During a Dental Cleaning

A dental cleaning begins with something known as scaling. A dental tool called a scaler is used to scrape plaque and tartar buildup from the gum line. Plaque is a yellow sticky substance made of bacteria that accumulates on the teeth from inadequate brushing and flossing and hardens into tartar if not treated in time.

Tartar can only be removed with a professional cleaning because it requires a vibrating device that breaks it up along with a jet of water. We use a high-powered electric toothbrush and gritty toothpaste to remove surface stains from your teeth and deep clean them. 

Then, we floss between all of your teeth to remove any remnants of food particles or toothpaste and rinse your mouth out with water. Once your teeth have been polished, we will apply a fluoride varnish that remineralizes your teeth and protects them from cavities.

How Do I Properly Brush/Floss My Teeth?

Let’s start with the type of toothbrush you should use. A manual or electric toothbrush can be used, it’s up to personal preference. However, studies have shown that rotation-oscillating electric toothbrushes are more effective at plaque removal. 

Electric toothbrushes are also more convenient and easier to use because they take most of the work out of brushing your teeth. They are, however, more expensive, so choose whatever works best for you. It’s best to use a toothbrush that has a small rounded head, because this will enable you to work into all crevices in your mouth, including the hard-to-reach rear molars. 

You don’t want something too big that you leave some surfaces unbrushed. The most important aspect of your toothbrush is that it has soft bristles that won’t be too abrasive to your teeth. 

Use fluoride toothpaste and brush twice a day for at least two minutes at a 45-degree angle. You should brush in circular motions over all of the surfaces of your teeth. Afterward, you should brush the surface of your tongue with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper. 

Don’t neglect to floss between all of your teeth with a thread floss or water flosser. If using thread floss, grab a piece of floss that is about 18 inches long. Wind it around your finger and use your other hand to reveal a string of floss about 2 or 3 inches long to work with at a time.

Then, you will slide the floss between your teeth, up to the gum line. Using a c-shape, make sure you glide the floss across the sides of your teeth and across the gums to remove all food particles.

Is Preventive Care Covered By Insurance?

Yes, preventive care is covered by dental insurance. Depending on the insurance coverage you have, it may vary slightly. However, most dental insurance policies cover all preventive treatments by 80-100%. Contact your insurance provider to find out exactly what they cover. 

At McCue Dental Health, we never want a lack of dental insurance to prevent someone from seeking the dental treatment they need, which is why we offer a membership plan that can help you save money on dental costs.

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