Professional Cleaning & scaling
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. Regular dental hygiene visits are an important part of your program to prevent gum disease & keep your teeth for lifetime. Our hygienists recommend coming back for regular teeth cleaning in set intervals of 3, 4 or 6 months.
Here’s what you can expect during a typical dental hygienist appointment:
- Medical history review Tell your hygienist about any changes to your diet or medications as these may impact your treatment and oral health
- Have a conversation with your dental hygienist about any concerns you have regarding your teeth, mouth, or overall oral health
- Visual gum tissue check
- Removal of plaque, tartar, and stains
- Polishing and flossing
- Home care instructions Your dental hygienist will review instructions for any additional care that may be needed for your at-home oral care routine
Oral cancer screening Depending on your health and risk factors, your dental hygienist may recommend a quick and painless oral cancer screening. The exam enables clinicians to detect oral cancers at their earliest stages when they would not visible based upon a visual exam alone.
Fluoride treatment Your dental hygienist may also recommend a fluoride treatment. Fluoride is a great way to strengthen and protect teeth, and it can be applied at any appointment.
Periodontal Maintenance Appointment
If you’ve received a diagnosis of periodontal disease, the good news is that your Aspen Dental team can treat it.
Every patient is different, however, most patients who are diagnosed with periodontal disease will first be prescribed a scaling and root planing procedure, sometimes called a deep cleaning, which removes deposits and infection from the tooth roots and gum tissue.
Following your scaling and root planing procedure, your dentist will likely schedule you to return every three months for periodontal maintenance appointments to help keep the disease under control. These appointments can help prevent progression of the disease by treating pockets of infection that may have developed since your last appointment.
- Here’s a smart reason to stick to your periodontal maintenance schedule: If you follow your three-month maintenance schedule, there usually won’t be a need or expense of any additional treatments, such as repeated scaling and root planing procedures.
- Can you have a basic cleaning instead of periodontal maintenance? Actually, basic cleanings and periodontal maintenance are two very different things. A six-month cleaning is designed to prevent periodontal disease—not to treat it. Your three-month periodontal maintenance appointments are aimed at effectively monitoring and treating the disease and returning your gums to their best health possible.
Note that your periodontal maintenance program may vary based on your doctor’s recommendation.
Why is oral hygiene so important?
Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.
Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which 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 Brush
If you have any pain while brushing or have any questions about how to brush properly, please be sure to call the office at Sunshine Coast Dental Group Phone Number 604-886-7830.
Our hygienists recommends using a soft to medium tooth brush. Position the brush at a 45 degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. Gently move the brush in a circular motion several times using small, gentle strokes brushing the outside surfaces of your teeth. Use light pressure while putting the bristles between the teeth, but not so much pressure that you feel any discomfort.
When you are done cleaning the outside surfaces of all your teeth, follow the same directions while cleaning the inside of the back teeth.
To clean the inside surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth, hold the brush vertically. Make several gentle back-and-forth strokes over each tooth. Don’t forget to gently brush the surrounding gum tissue.
Next you will clean the biting surfaces of your teeth by using short, gentle strokes. Change the position of the brush as often as necessary to reach and clean all surfaces. Try to watch yourself in the mirror to make sure you clean each surface. After you are done, rinse vigorously to remove any plaque you might have loosened while brushing.
How to Floss
Periodontal disease usually appears between the teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing is a very effective way to remove plaque from those surfaces. However, it is important to develop the proper technique. The following instructions will help you, but remember it takes time and practice.
Start with a piece of floss (waxed is easier) about 18” long. Lightly wrap most of the floss around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap the rest of the floss around the middle finger of the other hand.
To clean the upper teeth, hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Gently insert the floss tightly between the teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Do not force the floss or try to snap it in to place. Bring the floss to the gum line then curve it into a C-shape against one tooth. Slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel light resistance. Move the floss up and down on the side of one tooth. Remember there are two tooth surfaces that need to be cleaned in each space. Continue to floss each side of all the upper teeth. Be careful not to cut the gum tissue between the teeth. As the floss becomes soiled, turn from one finger to the other to get a fresh section.
To clean between the bottom teeth, guide the floss using the forefingers of both hands. Do not forget the back side of the last tooth on both sides, upper and lower.
When you are done, rinse vigorously with water to remove plaque and food particles. Do not be alarmed if during the first week of flossing your gums bleed or are a little sore. If your gums hurt while flossing you could be doing it too hard or pinching the gum. As you floss daily and remove the plaque your gums will heal and the bleeding should stop.
Caring for Sensitive Teeth
Sometimes after dental treatment, teeth are sensitive to hot and cold. This should not last long, but only if the mouth is kept clean. If the mouth is not kept clean the sensitivity will remain and could become more severe. If your teeth are especially sensitive consult with your doctor. They may recommend a medicated toothpaste or mouth rinse made especially for sensitive teeth.
Choosing Oral Hygiene Products
There are so many products on the market it can become confusing and choosing between all the products can be difficult. Here are some suggestions for choosing dental care products that will work for most patients.
Automatic and “high-tech” electronic toothbrushes are safe and effective for the majority of the patients. Oral irrigators (water spraying devices) will rinse your mouth thoroughly, but will not remove plaque. You need to brush and floss in conjunction with the irrigator. We see excellent results with electric toothbrushes called Rotadent and Interplak.
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. If these are used improperly you could injure the gums, so discuss proper use with your doctor.
Fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses, if used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, can reduce tooth decay as much as 40%. 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 gumline 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.