Proper brushing of teeth can be done in three steps:
1) Brush teeth gently using a circular motion along the outside and inside of the tooth surface while holding the brush at a 45 degree angle.
2) Make sure to brush each tooth individually and to use the front half of the brush in a circular motion vertically behind the front teeth.
3) Place the brush against the top of your teeth using a gentle back-and-forth motion to brush. After brushing all your teeth, be sure to brush your tongue in order to remove odor-producing bacteria.
Fluoride is an important part of healthy tooth development and will help prevent cavities.
Fluoride can provide protection from tooth decay in a couple ways:
1) It helps to strengthen the tooth's enamel so it can repel the acid that is formed by plaque.
2) Teeth that have been damaged by plaque can repair and re-mineralize themselves with the help of fluoride.
Fluoride is incapable of repairing already-formed cavities, but it does assist in reversing low levels of tooth decay and helps in preventing new cavities from forming.
After scaling the teeth, roots may need to be planed to smooth the root surface. Soft tissue will re-attach itself to a smooth tooth surface.
Dr. may also recommend medications to help control infection, pain, or to encourage healing.
The leading causes of caries (cavities) are bacterial infection, absence of saliva and poor dietary habits. The CariFree system identifies and measures the magnitude of harmful decay-causing bacteria on your teeth.A simple, easy 1 minute CariScreen swab and culture test will determine if you have cavity causing bacteria infection. If you have bacterial infection, a prescribed rinse treatment can arrest the infection and place you at a low risk for cavities. If moderate to high levels of bacterial infection are identified, an overnight incubated culture may provide a base line to determine the effectiveness of the treatment rinse at future CariScreens.
New patients receive a comprehensive examination which includes a screening for oral cancer, gum and bone disease, blood pressure, and systemic disorders. A routine oral exam is performed on established patients to determine any changes in dental and health status since the previous visit.
Your gum tissue is measured with a fine instrument ruler to calibrate in millimeters pocket depth between the tooth and the connective gum tissue around the tooth. Pocket depths more than 4 millimeters could indicate disease and infection. The deeper the pocket, the greater the extent plaque bacteria collects and infection in gum disease develop.
X-rays are taken as needed.
Tooth scaling and root planing occur as needed.
Routine cleanings also include a professional polishing (Prophy) that removes only the soft sticky plaque that is above the gum line.
Sealants are a proven way to help prevent cavities. Although sealants do not take the place of proper oral hygiene, they do prevent bacteria from getting into the deeper crevices in a tooth's biting surface and therefore keeping the tooth cavity-free.
A proper flossing method is vital to ensure the time you are spending flossing is actually cleaning your teeth. First, begin with about 18 inches of total floss; leave approximately 6 inches to floss with, and wind the remainder around one of your middle fingers.
As you begin, rather than bringing the floss down in a straight line, be sure to create a ‘C’ shape with the floss by curving it around the tooth; this ensures you are cleaning the entire surface as opposed to just the side. Gently move the floss up and down the surface of the tooth, and then reverse the C-shape to repeat the process with the adjacent tooth. Prior to moving onto the next set of teeth, unwind your clean floss from your first middle finger and transfer the dirty floss to your opposite middle finger by winding it. Repeat until all teeth have been cleaned, and be sure to use clean floss each time to avoid simply transferring bacteria and debris.
Plaque is essentially the start of gum disease problems. Plaque is a build-up from bacteria in the mouth and particles from the foods you eat every day.
Once sugars are introduced to plaque, it turns into a tooth eating acid that sits just above the gum line. If regular oral care isn't standard, the acid will start eating at the teeth producing cavities and the plaque can cause gum disease.
Plaque that is allowed to sit for a prolonged period of time can cause cavities, gingivitis, and other problems in your mouth. If it's left longer than that, serious dental procedures may be required to restore your decaying smile.
In order to remove plaque, tartar, and calculus deposits from your teeth, a tooth scaling must occur. In some cases plaque and tartar are present below the gum line and a sub-gingival tooth scaling must occur.