Dental hygiene is all about prevention. Good oral hygiene is necessary for the prevention of cavities (dental decay), gingivitis (swollen, bleeding gums), periodontitis (deeper gum disease, involving tooth looseness), and other dental disorders. It also helps to prevent bad breath (halitosis).
Everyone needs good oral hygiene to maintain the health of his or her teeth and mouth. Keeping your mouth healthy means you will have fewer cavities, minimal or no plaque deposits and healthy, attractive gums. Oral hygiene consists of both personal (what you do at home on a daily basis) and professional care (what we do in the practice).
Careful brushing and flossing, plus the use of mouthwashes and other devices for cleaning between the teeth when indicated, is designed to prevent build-up of plaque, staining and calculus (tartar). Teeth should be brushed at least twice daily and flossed at least once per day. Some people may need to do this more often, or special accessory tools may be recommended to supplement (but not to replace) tooth brushing and flossing. These include single tuft brush, bottlebrushes, superfloss or other devices.
Electric toothbrushes have improved so much in recent years that we routinely recommend them and with them considerably coming down in price also, they are extremely popular with the majority of our patients. Special toothpastes and mouth rinses may be recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist from time to time, depending on their diagnosis of your needs.
Dentures, orthodontic and other appliances must be kept extremely clean at all times. This includes regular brushing and occasionally soaking them in a cleansing solution.
Regular examinations and tooth cleaning by the dental hygienist is important to remove plaque, staining and hard deposits that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, especially in areas that are difficult for a patient to reach on his or her own at home. Our fully qualified hygienists will clean and polish your teeth removing calculus stains and plaque and advise you on how to care for your teeth and gums on a routine day to day basis.
We will only recommend having the teeth professionally cleaned as often as is necessary, which varies from patient to patient. Your dentist and dental hygienist will constantly monitor your needs and recommend the appropriate intervals between visits.
Good oral hygiene helps to prevent oral disorders and make existing restorations and prostheses last longer. Conversely, poorly fitting fillings, crowns, bridges, veneers and dentures can make it impossible to keep teeth clean at home, and problems with the way the teeth bite together [occlusion] can cause teeth to wear or become loose despite the most immaculate home care, so achieving oral health success is very much a partnership between the patient and professional team.
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