Posts for tag: dental cleaning
What is Involved in a Dental Cleaning?
A professional dental cleaning is when all the plaque, tartar, and staining is removed from tooth surfaces by a licenced dental professional, such as a dental hygienist or a dentist. Bacteria consistently build upon all tooth surfaces, above and below the gum line from saliva and the foods we eat and drink throughout the day. Certain foods promote heavier plaque accumulation, such as sugary and acidic foods. A toothbrush and dental floss's job is to help remove bacteria from the tooth and gum surfaces before it hardens and turns into tartar, which then can only be cleaned off at your routine dental cleanings with special tools. To help remove plaque and tartar, your dental hygienist will use small hooked instruments called scalers and sometimes a machine that sprays water. A polishing tool will be used to remove any external staining on the tooth surfaces. In addition to the cleaning, an oral assessment will be performed to check for any signs of infection, inflammation, cavities and lesions.
Importance of Routine Dental Cleanings
Plaque, tartar and staining are removed by your dental professional that you cannot access and remove at home using a toothbrush, dental floss or any other dental hygiene aids. Once plaque and tartar build-up on your teeth, bacteria continue to accumulate, which causes deposits to grow, causing damage to your gums and teeth. This can lead to tooth decay and gum disease if left untreated. Your dental professional can also catch cavities in their early stages, preventing unnecessary pain and suffering. In addition, your dental professional can provide individualized tips and tricks for keeping your teeth and gums clean between appointments.
Recommended Frequency of Dental Cleanings
Each patient has his or her own unique and individual needs. Typically, it is not recommended to go longer than 6-9 months without a professional dental cleaning. This frequency would be recommended for patients with good oral hygiene habits that have healthy teeth and gums. More frequent dental cleanings are recommended for patients who show signs of gum disease or tooth decay and who may not have good at-home oral hygiene habits. Other conditions that require more frequent cleanings may include gum recession, high cavity risk, past gum disease, current braces and immune-compromised patients. It is important to discuss your recommended cleaning frequency with your dental professional.
If you believe you may be due for a cleaning or have any questions about professional dental cleanings, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.
When you get braces on your teeth, it can be much more challenging to keep things clean, and there will be more tools recommended for you to use daily to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Braces make it more challenging to clean your teeth because of the brackets, bands, archwires, elastics and any other hardware that gets added to help move your teeth. Listed below are several tools you can use to help keep your teeth, gums and the braces clear from plaque accumulation:
An electric toothbrush is highly recommended when wearing dental braces because it can access more nooks and crannies and do a better job brushing than a manual toothbrush. It is tough to angle a manual toothbrush around the brackets correctly, and often the gum line is missed. An electric toothbrush helps to get into those tricky areas and can do more brush strokes in 2 minutes of brushing than you can do with a manual toothbrush.
A water flosser is a floss aid that helps to flush out bacteria from between your teeth and around your brackets and bands. A water flosser uses a jet of water (or you can put mouthwash into it) that you angle around your braces and gums to help keep them clean.
Superfloss/ Floss Threaders
These are both aids to help you use manual floss. Because the archwire prevents you from accessing between your teeth with regular floss, you need something to help you get the floss between your teeth from the side. These aids have a hard end on them to help you push the floss through the front teeth rather than going in from the top.
This is a small brush that is shaped like a Christmas tree that helps to remove plaque from between brackets. The brush is used to access underneath the archwire to clean the brackets' sides, where it is easy for food debris and plaque to be trapped.
Remember, while wearing dental braces, it is essential to have regular check-ups and cleanings with your dentist and dental hygienist to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy.
If you have any questions about how to clean your teeth while wearing dental braces, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.
What happens if you skip your dental hygiene appointment
You may not consider it uncommon to skip a routine hygiene appointment, but skipping just one appointment can have negative impacts on your oral and overall health even if you brush and floss regularly. Minor issues may go unidentified and become major issues, requiring more costly interventions. This is why dentists insist that routine hygiene appointments are essential to your oral and overall health. Generally, it is recommended that you have appointments every six (6) months, but this may vary from person to person. Your dentist can advise on the best routine.
When you skip your dental hygiene appointment, you risk plaque and tartar build-up, gingivitis, bad breath, and teeth discolouration. Missing a few appointments over more than 1-2 years risks gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and late diagnoses of possible oral cancer or diabetes, all of which will be much more costly to treat when identified later.
What happens at a dental hygiene appointment
A regular appointment will include a professional cleaning and a dental examination to ensure your teeth, gums, and surrounding area are in good health. This allows for the early identification and treatment of any issues before they become more serious. X-rays are not needed for every appointment, and your dentist will advise on this based on your overall oral health and history.
During the cleaning, your hygienist will:
• Remove built-up plaque and tartar that regular brushing and flossing miss and which can cause gum disease or decay;
• Polish and remove stains from teeth;
• Floss your teeth;
• Provide advise on brushing and flossing, especially any areas you have been missing
During the dental examination, your dentist will look for:
• Gum disease: gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, may be present even when your gums feel and look healthy. Without regular checks, gingivitis can develop into periodontal disease which can lead to jawbone and tooth loss. Research shows that people with gum disease are more likely to have heart disease.
• Oral cancer: your dentist will screen you for oral cancer at each visit. This is especially important for patients who smoke and drink regularly.
• Diabetes: there is a link between oral health and diabetes and sometimes your dentist may be the first to identify a person is diabetic.
• Tooth decay: your dentist can treat tooth decay and help to prevent large cavities and bad breath from developing.
Contact Us today to schedule your dental hygiene appointment visit.