Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth, gums and overall health. Many studies have shown the link between good oral health and overall health. Regular check ups and cleanings can prevent these problems and provide you with a healthy long lasting smile!
What does Good Oral Hygiene look like?
- Teeth are clean and free of plaque
- Gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss
- Bad breath is not a problemIn between your regular visits, there are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. These include:
- Brushing thoroughly twice a day and flossing daily
- Eating a balanced diet and limiting snacks between mealsWe may recommend using an electric toothbrush and a mouth wash that contains fluoride like Listerine Zero Total Care to aid in your home care.Proper Brushing Technique
Proper Flossing Technique
What is dental plaque and why is it so destructive?
Dental plaque is formed by a biofilm of colonizing bacteria that try to attach themselves to the tooth’s smooth surface. At first, the biofilm is soft and can be easily removed with even a fingernail. However, it will start to harden within 48 hours, and in about 10 days the plaque becomes dental calculus (tartar), which is hard and can only be removed by your dental team.
Dental plaque can lead to dental caries (or a cavity). This is caused by the localized destruction of enamel by acid produced from the bacteria as they breakdown sugars. This bacteria also cause periodontal problems such as gingivitis and chronic periodontitis.
During your dental visit, we will recommend how often we think you should be coming in for dental cleanings. This recommendation is based on your current oral hygiene, how much plaque or tartar deposits we see during the exam, your medical condition and your cavity rate. Regular cleanings, along with good home care, will disturb the bacterial biofilm/plaque before it can become harmful in creating decay or periodontal problems.
We are asked all the time, Which is better a manual toothbrush or electric? We recommend electric toothbrushes. The major advantage is that patient just needs to guide the brush along the teeth surfaces and the brush itself uses will vibrate, pulsate or oscillate to remove the plaque biofilm very effectively. Electric toothbrushes also have a built in timer to keep you brushing for 2 full minutes!
More reasons why your dental cleaning is so important:
1. Oral Cancer Screening
When you come in for your dental cleaning and check up, your dental team also does an oral cancer screening. At Harvard Rd Dental Care, we use the latest Oral Cancer Screening device, VELSCOPE, which aids in detecting any tissue abnormalities in its first stages.
2. Maintaining Overall Health and Wellness
Recent studies have linked heart attacks and strokes and many other diseases to gum disease, resulting from poor oral hygiene. Routine dental cleanings that keep your teeth and gums healthy can also reduce your risk of heart disease and strokes. Our office also uses a Soft Tissue Dental Laser that reduces the bacterial load in your gums, and therefore reduces risk of bacteria entering the bloodstream.
3. Maintaining Your Teeth
Periodontal Disease is the leading causes of tooth loss in adults. With regular dental check ups and cleanings, along with thorough at home brushing and flossing you are in a position to keep your teeth healthy. Keeping your teeth means better chewing function and ultimately health and a beautiful smile.
4. Early Detection of Decay
During routine check ups and cleanings we will be able to detect any early signs of problems with your teeth or gums. Early detection of cavities, broken fillings and gum disease are easily treatable. If decay goes untreated with time, it will lead to larger decay, possible root canals or even removal of the tooth.
5. A Bright White Smile
Over time, many things in our diet will cause our teeth to stain. Your hygienist can remove these stains and polish your teeth to a beautiful shine. The result? A whiter and brighter smile!
6. Getting Rid of Bad Breath
Studies show that 85 percent of people with persistent bad breath have a dental problem that is to blame. Good oral hygiene is essential in preventing bad breath.