The Importance of Good Home Care and Regular Dental Cleanings
Professional cleanings performed by a registered dental hygienist help in the prevention of gum disease and tooth decay (cavities). In a professional cleaning, your hygienist will remove plaque from the teeth that causes tooth decay and gum disease, remove hardened plaque or calculus (tartar) and polish and remove stains from your teeth, giving you a healthier, brighter smile. A hygienist is an integral part of your oral health because they ensure your smile receives the regular attention it deserves.
Hygienists are also vital in maintenance of oral health because they help the dentist to identify gum diseases caused by oral bacteria such as gingivitis and periodontal disease, which can lead to bad breath and tooth loss. Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria that burrows beneath the gums leading to inflammation and ultimate bone and tooth loss! These bacteria eat away the bone that supports the teeth leading to tooth mobility and even loss. As with most conditions in the mouth, periodontal disease rarely causes any pain until it is in the most advanced and serious stages, at which time the condition may be too late to reverse. When left untreated, gum disease can lead to numerous health issues often extending beyond the oral cavity to become a more systemic issue. However gum disease can often be controlled by daily flossing, brushing and maintaining regularly scheduled appointments with a dental hygienist trained to remove dental plaque and calculus that harbors destructive bacteria.
Your dentist can work with your hygienist in preventing and combating gum disease to prevent issues associated with late stage periodontitis. The health of your gums is examined at every hygiene appointment, but you can also ask the dentist about the health of your gums, which is recommended if you have any questions or concerns.
Both natural teeth and teeth with restorations survive best in an oral environment that is clean and where the intake of harmful foods is controlled. Our office aims to help prevent new cavities, preserve teeth that have been restored and manage periodontal disease. At the initial visit, oral hygiene instructions are reviewed and are reinforced at subsequent recall visits. The following are helpful recommendations: Brush your teeth twice a day in a circular motion with a soft bristled toothbrush aimed at the gum. Floss every night. Use a up and down motion, while keeping the floss in a C-shape, and against the tooth surface. Avoid smoking. Avoid sticky, sugary foods. Eat a balanced diet. Use antiseptic and fluoride rinses as directed. Sealants placed on young permanent teeth can help prevent dental decay. Lastly don't miss your scheduled appointments with your hygienist because they have equipment designed to provide a deeper clean than you can do at home, and they keep track of your oral health helping prevent costly dental decay.