DENTAL HYGIENE

The importance of the dental hygiene

Oral Hygiene is the practice of keeping the mouth clean.

Brushing your teeth is fundamentally important, however tooth brushing alone will not remove the calculus (also called tartar) which builds up over time. Calculus must be removed to lower your risk of periodontal disease (gum and bone disease) even the loss of  your tooth/ teeth, toothaches, cavities,  . Effective removal of calculus reduces your chances of needing root canals, tooth extractions, dental bridges, crowns, implants and more. While you are responsible for day-to-day dental maintenance, general dentists (along with family dentists, cosmetic dentists and dental hygienists) play an integral role in preventative oral care.  We  use scaling and polishing instruments to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. These polishing instruments will also remove staining from coffee, tobacco or red wine making it more difficult for plaque and therefore tartar to build up on your teeth. Your at-home tooth cleaning regime must be supplemented with professional preventative dental care.

Getting to the root of dental hygiene

Over time, calculus builds up on the teeth. This calculus hosts bacteria that leaches out harmful toxins to the gums and teeth leading to most of the dental problems. The surfaces and areas between the teeth and under the gum line must be maintained and treated on a regular basis in order to ensure proper dental hygiene.

These areas are impossible for you to examine yourself

Dentists and Dental hygienists are responsible for performing professional tooth cleaning, removing calculus (tartar) deposits, taking x-rays, identifying changes in the bite (occlusion), investigating components that relate to the bone and setting up the nitrous oxide (laughing gas) which is used, when necessary, to relax people requiring more invasive treatment.

Your Dentalini dentist or hygienist, then works with you by further examining the teeth, mouth and gums to provide any necessary treatment for tooth decay or gum disease. Regular dental visits are critical at any age for the maintenance of dental hygiene.

Your dental hygiene visit will include:

  • Advising – instruction in oral hygiene tailored to the individual’s needs
  • Prevention – regular monitoring of teeth and gums to eradicate any issues
  • Treatment – scaling and polishing teeth and root surface debridement (periodontal treatment) to eliminate harmful plaque and tartar. Or fissure sealant treatment aims to protect the back teeth by sealing them against decay

Brushing

Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. Use only a pea sized amount of toothpaste for children under 5 years of age and use specially formulated children’s toothpaste When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth and the surface of each tooth. It will take you between 2 - 7 minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Brush upwards on the lower teeth, downwards on the upper teeth and the outside, inside and chewing surface of your entire front and back teeth. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.

Brush your teeth at least 2 times daily to avoid the accumulation of food particles and plaque:

  • In the morning after breakfast
  • At bedtime

Ensure you replace your toothbrush often, as soon as the bristles start to wear down or fray. This will usually occur every 3 - 4 months. Do not swallow toothpaste and rinse your mouth thoroughly with water and an anti-cavity mouth rinse after you finish brushing. It is important to carefully floss and brush daily for optimal oral hygiene.

Oral hygiene consists of both professional and personal care.

Flossing

For areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can't reach, dental floss is used to remove food particles and plaque. Dental floss is a thin thread of waxed nylon that is used to reach and clean between teeth. It is very important to floss between your teeth every single day.

Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser. Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between all teeth to the gum line, pulling out any food particles or plaque. Unwrap clean floss from around your fingers as you go, so that you have used the floss from beginning to end. Don’t forget to also floss behind all of your back teeth. You may also use flossers which are threaded to a handle making it easier to use and floss.Floss at night to make sure your teeth are squeaky clean before you go to bed. When you first begin flossing, your gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not go away after the first few times, let a staff member know at your next appointment.

We also recommend that any effective oral hygiene routine should include a system of regular check-up appointments with your dentist or hygienist.

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