All About Oral Hygiene
Why is oral hygiene important?
Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases, (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Most adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent this is by good, daily tooth brushing and flossing.
Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque which is a colorless film that sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.
How to care for sensitive teeth.
Sometimes after dental treatment, teeth are sensitive to hot and cold. This should not last long if the mouth is kept clean. Otherwise the sensitivity will remain and could become more severe. If your teeth are especially sensitive consult with Dr. White. He may recommend a medicated toothpaste made especially for sensitive teeth.
Choosing oral hygiene products.
There are so many products in the store it can become confusing and choosing between them can be difficult. Here are some suggestions for choosing dental care products.
Automatic and "high-tech" electronic toothbrushes are safe and effective for most patients. Oral irrigators (water spraying devices) will rinse your mouth thoroughly, but will not completely remove plaque. You need to brush and floss in conjunction with the irrigator. We see excellent results with electric toothbrushes made by Oral B and Sonicare.
Some toothbrushes have a rubber tip on the handle; this is used to massage the gums after brushing. There are also tiny brushes (interproximal toothbrushes) that clean between your teeth. But if these are used improperly you could injure the gums, so discuss proper use with our hygienist.
Fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses if used in conjunction with brushing and flossing can reduce tooth decay. Remember, these rinses are not recommended for children under six years of age.
Tartar control toothpastes will reduce tartar above the gum line, but gum disease starts below the gum line so these products have not been proven to reduce the early stage of gum disease.
Anti-plaque rinses, approved by the American Dental Association, contain agents that may help bring early gum disease under control. Use these in conjunction with brushing and flossing.
Daily brushing and flossing will keep dental calculus to a minimum, but a professional cleaning will remove calculus in places your toothbrush and floss have missed. Your visit to our office is an important part of your program to prevent gum disease. Keep your teeth for your lifetime.