Professional Cleaning – As your dental care provider, we’ll start by screening for oral cancer with clinical measurements, radiographs, and other assessment methods. We’ll clean and scale your teeth to remove pesky surface stains, plaque, and tartar. Most importantly,we’ll be able to educate you about your teeth, gums, and mouth, give you instructions about brushing and flossing, and explain treatment options (i.e., orthodontics, cosmetic procedures, etc.).
You’re probably wondering why oral hygiene care is important. Have you heard the phrase that your eyes are the window to the soul? Very similarly, your mouth can be regarded as a window to your overall health as it can show signs of nutritional deficiencies, illnesses, and general infections. Since your mouth already contains so much bacteria, if it’s not properly taken care of, it can cause serious inflammation and gum infections.
Also, your mouth is a port of entry for infection by allowing harmful bacteria to enter the bloodstream. This can lead to more inflammation in other parts of your body, such as the heart and lungs.
How to maintain a good oral hygiene care regimen:
- Brush your teeth at least two times each day using fluoride toothpaste. The frequency of how much you brush and how you brush is important. Take the time to try to remove all the plaque from your teeth by brushing in circular motions and don’t skip out on your tongue. It doesn’t matter how tired you are either. And at the end of the day, always brush before bed.
- Floss daily. Floss helps to remove plaque and prevents future buildup, which can lead to excess tartar on your teeth. If you suffer from bleeding gums, don’t be afraid to floss…the floss won’t make your gums worse. In fact, flossing helps gums and will likely reduce the bleeding in time.
- Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash once a day. Mouthwash helps fight plaque, which can turn into hardened tartar, so daily rinsing is good for your oral hygiene. Another benefit is whiter teeth. Some mouthwashes have low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, which causes a little bit of bleaching and doesn't hurt your gums.
- Eat healthy foods and avoid sugary treats. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria. These bacteria in your mouth need sugar (such as carbohydrates) from foods and drinks to produce acids that damage your teeth. Sugary beverages can significantly contribute to tooth decay. Make sure you eat fresh, crunchy vegetables that provide healthy fiber.
- Eliminate tobacco use. Nobody wants a smile that’s dull or discolored, and smoking does exactly that. Not to mention it also leaves you with smoker’s breath.
- Schedule regular dental visits. Visit us at least two times a year (or more, depending on your own personal treatment plan) for professional cleanings and checkups. We’ll be able to do deep cleanings, spot potential issues, and offer treatment solutions.
So, as you can see, good oral hygiene is more than just brushing your teeth. It’s about maintaining a regimen. Your oral hygiene appointments can aid us in early detection of oral cancer and other dental issues, provide us with an opportunity to remove stubborn plaque and tartar buildup, and to discuss how your lifestyle can affect your oral health.
Here’s a quick checklist recap. If you answer “no” to any of the following, see if you can change your routine or habits. Ask us for help!
- I brush for 2 minutes at least twice a day. Yes or no?
- When if comes to flossing, I do it at least once a day. Yes or no?
- If I notice something is stuck in my teeth, I take a moment to floss it out. Yes or no?
- I use a tongue scraper daily. Yes or no?
- I regularly use a mouthwash recommended by my hygienist or dentist. Yes or no?
- Putting a limit on sugary treats is easy for me. Yes or no?
- Usually sugar and treats are eaten at meal time. Yes or no?
- Avoiding soda is high on my to-do list. Yes or no?
- I do not have a tobacco habit. Correct or no, you use tobacco?
- I am really good at keeping to my dental recare regimen. Yes or no?
Hygiene services begin here, but they must always be followed by proper brushing, flossing, and healthy eating at home. If you’re not sure how, call us at (317) 794-2392 today or ask your dentist or hygienist during your next visit to Tracey Tabor Williams DMD.