Why is it important to have your teeth cleaned professionally?
Although you may clean your teeth daily at home, harmful bacteria grow in your mouth, which can only be removed by a dental care professional. Gum disease is caused by this bacteria and gum disease can significantly affect your overall health and well-being.
The following are dental issues related to bacteria that grow in your mouth:
- Calculus or tartar
- Periodontal Disease
What are the different types of professional teeth cleanings?
There are several different types of professional teeth cleanings. Depending on the health of your mouth and especially your gums, your doctor will recommend one of the procedures below:
- Prophylaxis (“Regular” professional teeth cleaning) – removes plaque build-up that cannot be removed by brushing, and includes tooth polishing. Patients who have no signs of periodontal disease, are candidates for prophylaxis cleaning.
- Full Mouth Debridement – when teeth have not been professionally cleaned for more than one year and there is heavy tartar (calculus) build-up in several areas in the mouth, a full mouth debridement is often necessary. This is usually done with the use of a Cavitron (a machine that removes the tarter with water pressure).
- Periodontal Maintenance – helps maintain the results of treatment for periodontal disease. This particular cleaning is performed every 8, 10 or 12 weeks, depending on diagnosis. Patients with prior diagnosis of periodontal disease, and prior SRP treatment are candidates for periodontal maintenance.
- Gum Therapy (Scaling and Root Planing or “SRP”) – is one the most effective ways to treat gum disease. This procedure cleans between the gums and teeth down to the root. Your dentist may need to use local anesthetic to numb the gums and the roots of your teeth. Patients with periodontal (gum) disease need to have this procedure done.
What proper dental hygiene habits should be practiced at home?
Maintaining a healthy mouth and winning smile starts at home. Developing good oral habits is the best way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Good at-home dental care habits include:
- Brushing at least twice daily (in the morning and at night).
- Using a toothbrush with soft rounded-end bristles.
- Replacing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.
- Brushing all surfaces of the teeth, tongue side and cheek side.
- Brushing your tongue from back to front.
- Flossing Daily
- Eating a healthy diet – A balanced diet includes whole grain, vegetables, and fruits. Good nutrition is important for maintaining healthy gums and avoiding tooth decay.