Cleaning & Prevention
Strong oral health is determined by a commitment to prevention and care. The onset of oral diseases and harmful tooth conditions can be avoided with a commitment to great hygiene habits. A combination of at-home care and routine cleanings set the foundation for a lifetime of strong oral and dental health.
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Regular dental cleanings are a crucial step in maintaining strong dental health. Performed by a dental hygienist, a routine cleaning removes the harmful plaque and tartar build up which lowers your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. The procedure includes a polishing that cleans teeth, removes stains, and leaves the mouth feeling vibrant and refreshed.
We recommend that our patients undergo a routine cleaning and exam every 6 months, in order to ensure proper oral health. Serving as the foundation of great dental health, these exams serve to quickly identify areas of concern before they become serious issues. During your regular dental exam, Dr Gulu will:
- Examine gum tissue, looking for signs of periodontal disease
- Discover and diagnose tooth decay
- Capture images, via digital x-rays, to reveal potential concerns that may go unnoticed to the naked eye
- Carefully examine for signs of oral cancer
- Check the status of any existing dental work, such as crows, fillings, dentures, bridges, etc.
- Collaborate with the patient to recommend a course of treatment based on findings from the exam
The importance of brushing your teeth cannot be over-emphasized. Brushing serves to remove harmful particles from food and drinks that have set up residence in the grooves of your teeth. We recommend that you brush at least twice a day in order to keep your smile strong and healthy.
Flossing daily effectively cleans the spaces in between teeth that brushing misses. To properly floss, use about 15-18 inches of dental floss. Wrapping the floss around the middle finger of each hand, and grasping floss with your thumb and index finger, move the floss in a back and forth motion between each tooth. Be sure to use a clean section of floss for each new tooth.
Over-the-counter mouth rinses can do more than fight bad breath; they can also wash away food particles that are lodged in hard to reach places of the mouth. While they should never be viewed as a substitute to daily brushing and flossing, they are a great supplement for your oral hygiene.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, affecting only the immediate gum tissues. This is caused by the build up of tartar and plaque, inflaming the gums and causing them to bleed when brushing. Gingivitis, if diagnosed early, is easily reversible. Preventing gingivitis is as simple as brushing and flossing daily.
Periodontal disease is the result of advanced gum disease. Dental health is compromised significantly as the gums, bones, and ligaments that hold teeth into place begin to substantially deteriorate. Periodontal disease can be onset by hereditary factors, regular smoking, diabetes and other health conditions, and poor oral hygiene habits.
Discovering and treating gum disease early is the key to protecting the strength and beauty of your smile. Early signs of gum disease include:
- Redness in the gums
- Gums that appear to be swollen
- Tenderness in the gums
- Bleeding while brushing or flossing
During your regular exam, the dentist will look for crevices along the gum line that are abnormal (abnormal crevices are larger than 3mm). The dentist will also gently probe along the gum line to check for signs of bleeding.
In order to combat the progression of periodontal disease, deep-cleaning procedures may be utilized. Root planing and scaling are common procedures used to treat gum disease and restore a healthy environment to the mouth. In severe cases, further procedures may be scheduled and required.