Exceptional Dental Care

Learn About Proper Oral Hygiene

One of the most important things dentists can do for their patients is to provide education about good oral hygiene. It is amazing how many patients, adults included, have never been shown how to properly floss or brush their teeth correctly. The dental staff at Apple Dental Center considers it our obligation to provide our patients with information on common oral health problems, dental treatments and good oral hygiene.

Why You Should Have Your Teeth Professionally Cleaned

1. To remove food, beverage, or tobacco stains on the surface of your teeth that cannot be removed with regular brushing and flossing.

2. To remove tartar, a hardened substance that makes keeping your teeth clean difficult.

3. To prevent gum disease, a condition that may lead to loss of your teeth and other serious health problems.

4. To learn about the best way to keep your teeth clean on a daily basis.

5. To keep your teeth healthy, which will keep your body healthy overall.

There’s no question that having a clean, healthy smile can make you feel good about how you look and how you feel. Although you may do a thorough job brushing and cleaning between your teeth each day, your smile needs and deserves a regular professional cleaning, also known as a dental prophylaxis, at the dental office. That’s because plaque, a clear, sticky film of bacteria, constantly forms on teeth. As plaque collects it forms a hard layer of tartar, or calculus, especially in hard-to-reach areas near the gum line and between teeth.

The bacteria found in plaque create toxic chemicals that irritate the gums, causing the gums to become inflamed or bleed easily. If the irritation continues for some time, the gums may pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that collect more bacteria. Eventually the gum tissue and underlying bone may be destroyed and teeth may become loose.

Recent research suggests there may be a link between gum disease and other health concerns such as cardiovascular problems, stroke, bacterial pneumonia and increased risk of problems during pregnancy. Although more studies are needed, researchers suspect that the bacteria associated with gum disease play a role in affecting these health problems.

Preventing gum disease is an important step in maintaining overall health. You can help keep your smile healthy by brushing twice a day and cleaning between teeth once a day with floss or other interdental cleaners (special picks or other devices that your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend) to remove plaque between your teeth and below your gum line that a toothbrush can’t reach. When choosing a dental care product, look for those that display the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance, your assurance that they have met ADA standards of safety and effectiveness. While brushing and cleaning between teeth will help remove a great deal of plaque, it’s nearly impossible to eliminate all of it. And once plaque hardens into tartar, the only way it can be removed is with professional teeth cleaning at a dental office. (End Bold)Besides having your teeth cleaned, regular dental visits are crucial to preventing tooth decay, gum diseases and other disorders that affect the mouth and your overall health.

During the cleaning, the dentist or dental hygienist will remove the hardened deposits with special tools. They may use an ultrasonic machine that produces sound waves to vibrate free the hard deposits.

After the teeth are cleaned, they may be polished with a mild compound that is applied with a spray or small rotating cup. Polishing the teeth helps remove stains on the outer surface of your teeth.

To help prevent tooth decay, your dentist may recommend a fluoride treatment or a dental sealant. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and a dental sealant protects the chewing surfaces of teeth from plaque bacteria. Although these treatments are commonly recommended for children and adolescents, adults also can benefit from them.