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Copyright: 2016- 2017 Kevin R. Haley DDS
Dental Hygiene / Teeth Cleaning:
Healthy teeth require the regular care of dentist and the patient's cooperation to ensure that daily brushing and flossing are a way of life. Today we can easily declare that by regularly visiting your dentist, and by following good dental hygiene, you will not be threatened with unhealthy teeth and gums.
It is very important for you to understand that during your routine checkup, you will receive much more than just a cleaning. I don't know if you have ever given it much thought, but you are receiving a COMPLETE SUITE of diagnostic, preventive, and educational services specifically and individually designed to help you keep the best possible smile for a lifetime. Based upon your specific dental needs, your dental team will formulate a program designed to accomplish your dental goals. Some or all of the following procedures will be included in your Recall and Maintenance appointment.
During the DIAGNOSTIC phase of your visit we may include:
1) A review and updating of your medical history.
2) A recording of any changes in your prescribed medications and physical condition.
3) Necessary X-rays for detecting decay, bone loss and oral pathologies (disease) such as cysts etc.
4) An examination of your teeth to detect decay.
5) An inspection of all existing restorations (filling and or crowns) for leakage and cracks which may result in future decay.
6) Evaluation of your periodontal (gum) tissues.
7) Checking your biting patterns.
8) Evaluating possible cosmetic alterations which you may feel will improve your smile.
The PREVENTIVE services of your visit may include:
1) Blood pressure screening (if necessary)
2) Head and neck oral cancer screening.
3) Scaling of your teeth to remove all plaque and calculus (tartar).
4) Polishing of teeth to remove all surface stains.
5) Polishing all porcelain crowns.
6) Polishing all silver restorations.
8) Application of fluoride if necessary.
9) Referral to a specialist for specific treatment if necessary. (ie. Endodontist, Periodontist or an Oral Surgeon).
The EDUCATIONAL aspect of your visit may include:
1) A tour of your mouth with our intra-oral camera and a discussion of findings.
2) Toothbrushing and flossing instructions.
3) Instructions on specific plaque-control items such as: Perio-Aid®, rubber tip, Interplak®, Rotadent®
4) Dietary discussion (if necessary).
5) Presentation of prescribed dental treatment.
6) Updating you on what's new in home care products and the latest advances in Dentistry.
7) A discussion of the recommended time periods between Recall and Maintenance visits.
We hope you can see now that your oral hygiene Recall and Maintenance visit IS MORE than just 'a cleaning'. We believe that our patients deserve the benefits of the Complete Suite of available dental services that can assist in the protection of their overall medical and dental health.
Please remember, good oral hygiene is a great habit to get into! The rewards of a Complete Suite Recall and Maintenance Appointment are a healthy dentition, a bright smile and the confidence that you have begun a program that will continue to provide benefits to you for years to come.
The Brush To Use
Hard bristles were once recommended but are now thought to be too abrasive to the teeth and gums. We now suggest a soft, rounded-end nylon bristle brush. Be sure to discard brushes when the bristles are bent or frayed or approximately every three to four months.
How To Brush:
Begin by placing the head of the brush beside your teeth, with the bristles angled against the gum line (where the teeth and gums meet). Think of the brush as both a toothbrush and a gum brush. With the bristles contacting both tooth and gum, move the brush back and forth several times across each tooth individually.
Use a short stroke and a gentle scrubbing motion, as if the goal were to massage the gum. Don't try to force the bristles under the gum line; that will happen naturally, especially with a brush that has soft, flexible bristles.
Brush the outer surfaces of the upper and lower teeth. Then use the same short back-and-forth strokes on the inside surfaces. Try to concentrate harder on the inside surfaces; studies show they're more often neglected. For the upper and lower front teeth, brush the inside surfaces by using the brush vertically and making several gentle up-and-down strokes over the teeth and gums.
Finish up by lightly scrubbing the chewing surfaces of the upper and lower teeth. You should also brush your tongue for a fresher breath.
With all of the wonders of modern man available to you there is no better way to clean the sides of your teeth than DENTAL FLOSS. Inexpensive, readily available and easy to use. A modern wonder, maybe not. But it is and has always been an excellent tool in the fight against dental decay and periodontal disease. There are many types of dental floss available in your local drugstore. Please speak with our hygienist regarding the best floss for your particular set of dental needs.
Here's How To Floss
You should floss under both sides of each flap of gum tissue between your teeth. The following technique has proven to be very effective: Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind a good bit of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the rest around the middle finger of the other hand. Grasp the floss with the thumb and forefinger of each hand, leaving about an inch of floss between the two hands to work with.
Pull the floss taut and use a gentle sawing motion to insert it between the two teeth. When the floss reaches the tip of the triangular gum flap, curve the floss into a C Shape against one of the teeth. Then slide the floss gently into the space between the tooth and the gum until you feel resistance. Holding the floss tightly against the tooth, scrape up and down five or six times along the side of the tooth. Without removing the floss, curve it around the adjacent tooth and scrape that one too. Repeat on the rest of your teeth. Don't forget the far sides of your rear teeth. When the floss becomes frayed or soiled, a turn of each middle finger brings out a fresh section of floss. After flossing, rinse vigorously with water.
If you don't like manipulating floss, try one of the commercial floss holders. They have limited flexibility, however, and you must use them with care to avoid injuring the gum. You may have trouble working with the floss between certain teeth, or the floss may consistently break or tear in certain areas. Several causes are possible, including calculus buildup, or improperly installed fillings. Please let us know if this problem occurs. Flossing between bridges requires additional instruction and the use of floss threaders. Alternatives to floss includes such things as Stimudents®, Perio-Aids® or Plac-piks®. Please discuss these tools with your dentist or hygienist before using them. None of these are as good as floss in tight areas between teeth.