Dacula GA Oral Hygiene
After every time we eat and/or drink plaque begins to build upon our teeth. Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins that inflame the gums and erode enamel which leads to tooth decay. If this plaque film is not removed efficiently it will harden and become calculus (tartar) that can not be removed by brushing and flossing, it can only be removed by the special tools a Dacula dental hygienist is trained to use.
The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily. Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth. Make sure to use fluoride toothpaste.
Proper Brushing Technique
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
- Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
The American Dental Association recommends cleaning between your teeth daily with an interdental cleaner (like floss). Cleaning between your teeth may help prevent cavities and gum disease. Cleaning between your teeth helps remove a sticky film called plaque. Plaque contains bacteria that feed on leftover food or sugar in your mouth. When that happens, it releases an acid that can eat away at the outer shell of your teeth and cause cavities.
Plaque that is not removed by brushing and cleaning between your teeth can eventually harden into a rough substance called calculus (or tartar). calculus collects along your gum line and can lead to gum disease. Once calculus forms, only your dentist can remove it.
Proper Flossing Technique
- Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty.
- Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.
- Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Never snap the floss into the gums.
- When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.
- Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget the back side of your last tooth.
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. It occurs when only the gingiva is affected by the bacterial plaque build up on the teeth. The plaque causes the gums to become red, swollen and to bleed easily. Thankfully gingivitis is reversible! After a professional cleaning to clear away the plaque and bacteria, regular brushing and flossing will restore the gums to proper health.
Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis. It is classified by the loss of tissue and bone structure that support the teeth. The dentist or hygienist will test for this using radiographs to see calculus under the gums and measuring around your tooth with a periodontal probe. Poor oral hygiene is the main cause but other contributing factors include smoking and diabetes.
Treatment for a Periodontal disease is more aggressive than a standard cleaning. Scaling and root planing below the level of the gums sometimes called a deep cleaning is required. This is usually done in two or more visits where the area being cleaned is numbed with local anesthetic and the hygienist or dentist cleans the calculus and plaque that has accumulated under the gums. An antibacterial rinse will also be applied after the scaling.
Because it is harder to clean below the level of the gums at home, periodontal patients often require more frequent cleanings and your dentist may recommend that you return for cleanings every 3-4 months. Once the bone has been lost it will not grow back, however through diligent home care and frequent professional cleanings periodontal disease can be arrested.