Oral Hygiene – Teeth Cleaning & Flossing
“Getting my teeth cleaned” is probably the most common motivation that brings patients to the dentist.
Many patients don’t realize that there are different types of teeth cleanings, it is not always one size fits all. We examine the current health of each patient’s gums and then tailor the type of teeth cleaning and frequency of it to restore and maintain the health of the gums.
If you have bleeding gums that is typically a sign of gingivitis, which is an early stage gum infection by bacteria and plaque. If addressed early enough, it should not progress. Professional dental teeth cleaning and proper home care instructions will usually resolve gingivitis very quickly. We always recommend an electric toothbrush like the Sonicare. Especially for patients who have challenges maintaining proper oral hygiene for whatever reason. It is also very helpful for those patients who tend to brush too hard and are causing grooves at the gumline of their teeth.
A more advanced bacterial infection in the gums, which is characterized by deep pockets of the gums around the teeth with loss of bone, is called periodontal gum disease (or pyorrhea).
The treatment involves a special deeper cleaning and periodic cleanings to keep it from progressing.
Proper brushing two to three times per day and flossing two times per day is ultimately the key to preventing gingivitis, gum disease and cavities. Below are some videos that will demonstrate the proper technique.
Another important part of dental home care is tongue cleaning. The top of the tongue has a rough surface that is very easy for bacteria to attach to. You may notice a white or brownish film on the top of the tongue, that is usually bacteria. This can lead to bad breath, especially toward the back of the tongue. It needs to be brushed with the toothbrush or a tongue scraper each time the teeth are brushed.