Oral Hygiene Treatments in Auburn, IN


Why We Focus on Prevention

There are a few important things in life that, if taken care of beforehand, can prevent problems in the future. For example, getting the oil changed in your car, studying for a test a few days in advance, throwing out the bad bananas before your vacation, and agreeing to drive the speed limit.

Similar to these situations, visiting our dental office for biannual checkups is a preventive measure that can help mitigate the risk of future dental problems. For example, did you know that gum disease is linked to heart disease and strokes? Not to mention, during regular dental checkups, we can catch issues such as cavities and oral cancer before they become problematic. 

If issues are caught early on, treatments are typically more affordable and less invasive. It’s important to remember that dental issues usually don’t go away on their own and seeking assistance in our Auburn dental office will put your oral health back on track.

Dental Checkups 

The American Dental Association recommends seeing a dentist twice a year for an evaluation to ensure optimal oral health. While twice a year is a guideline, Dr. Heffelfinger may recommend more frequent visits if he has any concerns to ensure the health and beauty of your smile stay on track.

When you visit our office for your checkup, Dr. Heffelfinger will examine your gums, soft palate, throat, and neck to look for any abnormalities that might indicate oral cancer. Oral cancer is a potentially fatal disorder that has a high rate of recovery with early intervention.

After the examination, we’ll take x-rays to get a closer look at your gums and teeth. X-rays can reveal a number of issues that might otherwise go undetected, including:

  • Tooth decay
  • Infections
  • Jawbone deterioration
  • Tumors and cysts

At Smiles for Life, we’re committed to keeping your gums and teeth in the best of health so you can enjoy endless smiles for years to come.


Professional Cleanings 

During your professional cleanings, we’ll use special tools to remove any plaque, tartar, and stains to leave your smile looking polished and feeling its best. We’ll also provide you with any suggestions on ways you can improve your oral hygiene routine at home. 

While professional hygiene appointments may rank low on the list of priorities for some patients, ignoring your oral health can be a slippery slope. When bacteria mixes with acid from food, the result is a sticky residue known as plaque. If plaque isn’t washed away, it can harden and turn into tartar which can only be removed by a dentist or hygienist. 

The Benefits of Oral Hygiene

In addition to leaving your teeth fresh and clean, there are several advantages of oral hygiene, including:


  • Fresher breath
  • Reduces the risk of gum disease
  • Better overall health with fewer chances of health complications such as cancer, strokes, and heart disease
  • Reduces the likelihood of tooth decay
  • Less likely to need invasive procedures such as root canal therapy

At-Home Care 

While visiting your dentist is vital in maintaining excellent oral health, your at-home oral care routine is just as, if not more important so you can enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles. When you leave our office, it’s up to you to be diligent about maintaining an oral care routine so you can enjoy the benefits of healthy teeth and gums. 

In addition to visiting our Auburn dental office for regular checkups and professional cleanings, you’ll want to:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Floss daily
  • Rinse between meals

Following these guidelines and any recommendations given by our friendly team will ensure your smile is in the best of health.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are dental sealants used for?

Dental sealants are applied to prevent cavities, mainly for children. If your child is prone to cavities, dental sealants are a solution to prevent tooth decay and the problems associated with it. Dental sealants are a thin, clear coating that’s painted on the crown surface of your back teeth. They act as a protective barrier against food and bacteria from building up to become plaque and tartar. 

As long as the dental sealants are intact, they’ll help protect against tooth decay. If your child notices that their sealants are loose or fell off, it’s important to contact our office and schedule an appointment by calling (260) 925-4290. Dr. Heffelinger will reapply the dental sealants or determine if there’s no longer a need for them.

Can gum disease be reversed?

If caught in the early stages, gingivitis can be reversed with scaling and root planing. Once gum disease has progressed to periodontitis, it’s likely that you’ll need to come in for more frequent deep cleanings to keep your smile healthy and the infection at bay. 

Periodontitis is a painful infection that causes your gums to recede and your teeth to become loose and potentially fall out. That’s why it’s vitally important to schedule a deep cleaning as soon as you become aware that you have any symptoms of gum disease. 

Can drinking milk strengthen your teeth?

Yes, drinking milk can strengthen your teeth. Calcium and phosphorous help with the proper development of both bones and teeth, and can also aid in the remineralization of your enamel.

You should also take good care of your teeth to keep your teeth strong and healthy. If you’re unsure where to start, ask one of our team members and we can help you develop an at-home oral hygiene routine that works for you.

What is the main cause of cavities?

The main cause of cavities is the buildup of plaque on and around your teeth. The acids in the plaque wear away the enamel and create an opening to the dentin. 

Once the plaque and bacteria reach the dentin, they continue to eat away at your tooth until they reach the pulp of your tooth. If the bacteria reach your pulp, the only way to save your tooth is to perform root canal therapy to remove the infected pulp.

Preventive Treatments Are the Foundation For a Healthy Smile

At Smiles for Life, we want you to succeed in caring for your oral health. That’s why we’re eager to treat problems as they arise and notify you of any issues before they become problematic. Contact our office to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Heffelfinger by calling (260) 925-4290 and we’ll keep your smile in the best of health.