Your dentist and dental hygienist want to make sure you understand how to keep your gums and teeth clean and healthy. They also want to educate you on different conditions you may or may not have in your mouth. You dental hygienist will take the time to show you correct brushing and flossing techniques and reinforce good oral hygiene habits.
You should brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day. People who eat mini meals throughout the day may be prone to more cavities because they are constantly feeding the bacteria in their mouth. To correctly brush your teeth, hold the tooth brush at a 45 degree angle towards your gums and lightly move your toothbrush in a small, circular stroking motion. You should brush no more than 3 teeth at a time. Brush all sides of the teeth (front, back, and top), the roof of your mouth, and your tongue. This will remove plaque in those areas and will help to decrease bad breath. Brushing should take you at least 2 minutes.
To correctly floss your teeth, hold the floss by wrapping it around your middle fingers and guide the floss between your teeth using your index finger and thumb. This will ensure you are holding the floss tight and it won't be too loose between your fingers. Gently wrap the floss around each tooth, in a C-shape 'hugging' the tooth, and glide the floss up and down the side of the tooth. You will feel a natural stopping point when you are flossing underneath your gums. You want to make sure you are flossing below your gums to ensure you are removing the plaque and bacteria that you cannot see.
Plaque, the sticky substance on your teeth, must be removed within 24 hours. After 24 hours the plaque will harden and turn into calculus, also known as tartar. Tartar is hard and cannot be removed with regular brushing and flossing. You need to see your dental health care provider so he or she can remove it for you.
If tartar is not removed, the bacteria that colonize the tartar will begin to destroy the supporting bone around your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth produce acid as a bi-product. This acid will leach into the surrounding bone and begin to deteriorate the surrounding support of your teeth. Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is the condition that results from such bone loss. The bone loss will form 'pocket' underneath your gums that cannot be cleaned or reached by a toothbrush or floss. This is why it is so important to visit your dental hygienist every 3-4 months if you have been diagnosed with gum disease. Your hygienist has special instruments that can get into those pockets and remove the tartar buildup and bacteria. If you do not clean see your dental hygienist to clean out the pockets, the acid will continue to destroy your bone until the supporting bone is gone. This will result in tooth loss. Periodontal disease is the number one reason for losing a tooth and it is preventable if you visit your dentist regularly so they can catch the disease early.
Your dentist and dental hygienist are your advocates in oral health care to make sure you keep your teeth for a lifetime. If you are looking for a dentist that will take the time to discuss your dental needs, Dr. Ryanne Hazen and her team are skilled at diagnosing and treating gum disease. Their state-of-the-art facility allows you to have a positive, relaxed experience while enjoying their first class customer service.