Prophylaxis Specialist

Renton Family Dentistry

Catherine Im, D.D.S.

Family, Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry located in Renton, WA

Your twice yearly dental cleanings entail far more than just polishing your teeth and checking for cavities. The entire process, medically known as prophylaxis, is a preventive oral health measure. Renton, Washington’s leading dentist, Catherine Im, DDS of Renton Family Dentistry, specializes in prophylaxis procedures. With the help of her hygienist, Dr. Im works to get rid of stubborn plaque and keep your gums — and ultimately your teeth — as healthy as possible. The practice offers flexible dental appointments, even for new patients. Simply call during business hours or use the online booking feature anytime to schedule.

Prophylaxis Q & A

What should I expect during a dental cleaning?

A dental cleaning generally starts with a check-up. Your hygienist evaluates your head, neck, and jaw.They use a small mirror to check all around your mouth, including your gums. You may get X-rays during this time too, especially if you haven’t had dental images in a while.

The first part of the dental cleaning is scaling your teeth. Using the mirror and a scaler, your hygienist goes around each tooth and removes plaque and tartar. It’s normal to hear and feel some scraping during this process, but it shouldn’t cause you pain. Afterwards, your hygienist spends time thoroughly polishing your teeth with a gritty toothpaste and high-powered toothbrush. They then flosses between your teeth have you rinse your mouth.

Dr. Im comes in to look everything over once your pearly whites are cleaned up. She looks over your X-rays and checks your teeth. If you have any decay or cavities, she reviews your options and what to expect. This is the time to let her know about any concerns you may have.

What are signs of gum disease?

Gum disease doesn’t start overnight, so you should pay attention if you start experiencing any of these symptoms:

  • Bleeding gums after you brush or floss
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Pain in your gums
  • Tooth pain while chewing
  • Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold

Because gum disease can cause you to permanently lose tissue, and ultimately your teeth, it’s important to see Dr. Im at the first sign of even the slightest symptom of gum disease.

How can I prevent gum disease?

Scheduling your regular cleanings is the best way to prevent gum disease. Dental prophylaxis — a thorough dental cleaning — is the procedure that allows your dental expert team to remove:

  • Biofilm
  • Tartar
  • Plaque
  • Biotoxins

These substances, often caused by food particles and bacteria, lead to gum disease if you don’t have them removed professionally. Keep your teeth and gums healthy between visits by brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Dr. Im and her team teach you how to care for your teeth and gums so you can prevent gum disease.