Teeth Cleaning and Oral Hygiene
A dental prophylaxis is a cleaning treatment performed to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums. Dental prophylaxis is an important dental treatment for stopping the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Professional Teeth Cleaning
In addition to practicing good oral hygiene at home, you should be seen for a professional dental cleaning twice a year. Regular professional care is important for stopping the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease because a toothbrush alone cannot remove tartar (tartar can only be removed by a dental hygienist using special tools).
The benefits of professional teeth cleaning include:
- Plaque removal. Tartar (also referred to as calculus) and plaque buildup, both above and below the gum line, can result in serious periodontal problems. Unfortunately, even with a proper home brushing and flossing routine, it can be impossible to remove all debris, bacteria and deposits from gum pockets. The experienced eye of a dentist or hygienist using specialized dental equipment is necessary to catch potentially damaging buildup.
- A healthier looking smile. Stained and yellowed teeth can dramatically decrease the esthetics of a smile. Prophylaxis is an effective treatment in ridding the teeth of these unsightly stains.
- Fresher breath. Bad breath (or halitosis) is generally indicative of advancing periodontal disease. A combination of rotting food particles (possibly below the gum line) and potential gangrene stemming from gum infection, results in bad breath. The routine removal of plaque, calculus and bacteria at our facility can noticeably improve halitosis and reduce infection.
Taking Care of Your Teeth
The most important thing you can do to protect your teeth and gums is to practice good hygiene habits at home. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once for optimal health. There are other tools, discussed below, that may also enhance your oral health.
Fluoride for Health
Fluoride is a natural substance and is critically important to our health. Consuming acidic beverages and foods damages the enamel of the teeth, allowing bacteria to invade. Fluoride protects against this process by making teeth more resistant to acid. Fluoride can also reverse early decay. This is why it’s important to use toothpaste with fluoride added to it.
The Importance of Flossing
Flossing is just as important as brushing, as it removes plaque from between the teeth and also stimulates the gums to help with periodontal health. The best way to floss is by using an 18” piece of waxed floss lightly wrapped around each middle finger and worked between teeth, carefully sweeping in between teeth and massaging the gums.