Proper Dental Care
Importance of Brushing
Whether you use a manual toothbrush, or an electric toothbrush, brushing is important because it removes plaque and disrupts the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Proper tooth brushing involves five things:
a soft toothbrush
toothpaste with fluoride
brushing long enough
correct brushing action
brushing at least twice a day
How to Brush Properly
Use a toothbrush with soft bristles. They are kinder to your teeth and gums. They also make it much easier to remove plaque from below the gumline, where gum disease starts.
Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride strengthens the outer enamel layer of the teeth. It can stop a cavity in its tracks and give you more resistance to future cavities.
Make sure your brushing routine lasts long enough to thoroughly remove plaque. We recommend that you brush for at least 2 minutes. Try using a timer or clock to confirm the time.
Use the correct brushing action. To start, center your brush on the gumline and angle the bristles at a 45 degree angle. Apply gentle pressure so the bristles slide under the gumline. Gently vibrate the brush while you move it in short, circular, wiggling motions.
Brush one or two teeth at a time. Then move to the neighboring teeth, allowing some overlap. Use this method to brush the insides and outsides of all the teeth. To brush the backs of the front teeth, tilt the brush and make several up and down strokes. Then brush the chewing surfaces of teeth with a gentle, circular, scrubbing motion.
End by brushing your tongue and the roof of your mouth. This removes germs and keeps your breath fresh.
The Importance of Flossing
People who floss every day are taking a significant step in keeping their teeth clean and healthy.
Periodontal disease and many cavities start between the teeth where the bristles of your toothbrush simply cannot reach. That is why flossing is necessary for removing the plaque and bacteria that cause these dental diseases.
How to floss
Pull out about 18 inches of floss and wind it around the middle fingers of each hand, leaving about a 5-inch span of floss between your fingers. Pinch the floss between your thumbs and index fingers, leaving about 1 inch to work with.
Using a gentle side-to-side motion, gently guide the floss between your teeth. Pull the floss tightly in a C-shape around the side of the tooth and slide the floss under the gumline.
Move the floss up and down several times to remove all the food and bacteria. Then pull the floss around the neighboring tooth and repeat the process.
Wind the floss to a fresh section and gradually work your way around your mouth. Make sure to floss on both sides of every tooth.
How to solve flossing problems
If your gums are infected, they will bleed when you floss. That is to be expected if you are just beginning to floss. After a week or so of regular flossing, the bleeding should stop.
If you have problems reaching some areas, you may want to use a floss fork, a floss pick, or other flossing aids.
Tell us if your teeth are too tight to floss or if the floss catches or tears. This indicates that there may be problems in your mouth that need to be fixed.
The Importance of Prophylaxis
Even when you brush and floss properly every day, some plaque remains on your teeth and hardens to become tartar. Tartar can be removed effectively only with a professional cleaning.
It is important to remove plaque and tartar because they are the main cause of tooth decay and gum disease.
We recommend that you get a routine dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of food and bacteria that forms constantly on your teeth.
A routine dental cleaning is often called prophylaxis or "prophy."
To clean your teeth, we use a variety of instruments to carefully remove all the plaque and tartar about and below the gumline. These instruments may include hand scalers, and ultrasonic scaler, and dental floss, superfloss, or other flossing aids.
We may also use polishing instruments to remove stains from teeth.
We will carefully review your homecare routine as well.
With regular dental cleanings, we can help you maintain a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile.
Regular Dental Exams
Regular Check-ups are Important
We recommend a check-up every six months so we can identify and prevent a variety of oral health problems.
Steps in a regular exam
Each visit will be different based on your situation, but generally, check-ups include several steps. We start by reviewing your concerns, dental chart, and medical history so we can determine the most appropriate care for you.
The check-up also includes cleaning your teeth. This enables us to clearly see the condition of your teeth and gums and to remove the plaque, tartar, and bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. If needed, we polish your teeth to smooth their surfaces and to remove light stains.
A regular check-up includes a careful visual exam of your mouth. We check for decay on the biting surfaces of teeth, signs of wear, cracks, or other problems with restorations such as fillings and crowns, as well as any abnormal loss of tooth structure.
In addition, we check the color and contours of your gums. Red, swollen gums are often signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease. We use a periodontal probe to check the depth of the spaces between your teeth and gums. Readings deeper than 3 millimeters often indicate periodontal disease.
We also diagnose any sores or lesions on the soft tissues of your mouth, screening them for signs of oral cancer.
Other conditions cannot be easily seen, so we often take x-rays. X-rays show us decay between and inside the teeth and tartar on the teeth and tooth roots. X-rays also show us signs of periodontal disease, such as the loss of bone around the teeth. In addition, x-rays allow us to see cysts, abscesses, and other problems.
We may also examine your jaw joint to help diagnose problems with your bite or TMJ. Sometimes check-ups include additional treatments based on your individual situation.
We review your homecare routine and give you advice on a good diet for maintaining good oral health and a beautiful smile.
Regular check-ups are important because neglecting dental conditions can lead to much more serious problems, such as-
tooth loss and shifting teeth
loss of bone in the jaw
painful jaw joints
With regular exams, we can detect problems early and help you maintain your oral and overall health.