Preventative dentistry

What is Good Oral Hygiene?

Good oral hygiene results in a mouth that looks and smells healthy. This means:

  • Your teeth are clean and free of debris
  • Gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss
  • Bad breath is not a constant problem

If your gums do hurt or bleed while brushing or flossing, or you are experiencing persistent bad breath, see your dentist. Any of these conditions may indicate a problem.

Your dentist or hygienist can help you learn good oral hygiene techniques and can help point out areas of your mouth that may require extra attention during brushing and flossing.

How is Good Oral Hygiene Practiced?

Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral health is important to your overall well-being.

Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop and is much less painful, expensive, and worrisome than treating conditions that have been allowed to progress.

In between regular visits to the dentist, there are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. These include:

  • Brushing thoroughly twice a day and flossing daily
  • Eating a balanced diet and limiting snacks between meals
  • Using dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste
  • Rinsing with a fluoride mouth rinse if your dentist tells you to
  • Making sure that your children less than 12 drink fluoridated water or take a fluoride supplement if they live in a non-fluoridated area.

 

Proper Brushing Technique
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Tilt the brush at a 45° angle against the gumline and sweep or roll the brush away from the gumline. Gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surface of each tooth using short back-and-forth strokes. Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath.
Proper Flossing Technique
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Use about 18″ of floss, leaving an inch or two to work with. Gently follow the curves of your teeth. Be sure to clean beneath the gumline, but avoid snapping the floss on the gums.

Professional Dental Cleaning

Professional dental cleanings are usually performed by Registered Dental Hygienists. Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:

Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.

Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!

Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.

The prevention of dental disease is the key to maintaining a healthy mouth and healthier you!  Any dental issues or decay are more easily corrected if we detect them early.  This is why a regular schedule of visits to your dentist is so important-once we are familiar with your dental history, we are able to spot changes right away and take care of them quickly.  Failure to promptly address disease, decay or missing teeth can also result in the appearance of premature aging.

Dental Exam

A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist at your initial dental visit. At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will include the following:

Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.

Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.

Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.

All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.

Check current fillings, crowns, etc.

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Root canal treatments are intended to relieve the pain and inflammation in the pulp chamber of your tooth-not cause pain.  Root canal treatment consists of a set of specialized procedures designed to treat problems of the soft pulp (nerve) tissue inside the tooth.  While it is mistakenly considered to be an unusually painful treatment, it is usually no more uncomfortable than getting a filling.  A root canal treatment is one of the most effective ways of relieving some kinds of tooth pain.  A root canal becomes necessary when infection or inflammation develops in the pulp tissue of the tooth.  One potential cause of infection is deep tooth decay, because if left untreated, dental cavities eventually allow bacteria to work their way down to the centre of the tooth.  Bacteria may also come into contact with the pulp via chipped or cracked teeth.  Any opening in the protective enamel coating has the potential to allow bacteria access to the tooth’s pulp.