Dental Hygiene – Preventative Care begins at home
Your mom wasn’t teasing when she said, “brush your teeth after you eat.” At Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta we place great importance on our comprehensive dental hygiene program. Regularly scheduled dental hygiene appointments are the first steps to complete oral health. By keeping your oral health in optimal condition, you may help prevent coronary artery disease or even stroke. Research has shown links between the bacteria in gum disease and heart disease, stroke, diabetes, memory loss, and even preterm low birth weight babies.
Ongoing Care Minimizes and Prevents Dental Problems – Oral wellness creates smiles that last a lifetime.
To protect your smile and avoid costly repairs, thorough examination, careful cleaning, and home care instruction are incorporated into your regular dental care visits. If risk factors are present, a customized treatment program will be developed to help restore your mouth to a healthy state. You should visit your dentist twice a year (once every six months) in order to maintain a healthy smile. It is vital to have professional cleanings and regular check-ups. Your dentist will examine your teeth and provide an evaluation of existing dental problems and proposed treatment.
Tooth decay is a progressive disease resulting in the interaction of bacteria that naturally occur on the teeth and sugars in the everyday diet. Sugar causes a reaction in the bacteria, causing it to produce acids that break down the mineral in teeth, forming a cavity. Dentists remove the decay and fill the tooth using a variety of fillings, restoring the tooth to a healthy state. Nerve damage can result from severe decay and may require a dental crown (a crown is like a large filling that can cap a tooth, making it stronger or covering it). Avoiding unnecessary decay simply requires strict adherence to a dental hygiene regimen: brushing and flossing twice a day, regular dental check-ups, diet control and fluoride treatment. Practicing good hygiene avoids unhealthy teeth and costly treatment.
Brushing at Home
Brushing at home is the first step in your preventive dental care regime. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth and the surface of each tooth. It will take you several minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth. Brush up on the lower teeth, down on the upper teeth and the outside, inside and chewing surface of all of your front and back teeth. Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse. Brush your teeth four times daily to avoid the accumulation of food particles and prevent the formation of plaque.
Flossing is also, part of your dental health program. For areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach, dental floss is used to remove food particles and plaque. Dental floss is a thin thread of waxed nylon that is used to reach below the gum line and clean between teeth. It is very important to floss between your teeth every day. Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser. Wrap the ends of the floss tightly around your middle fingers. Guide the floss between all teeth to the gum line, pulling out any food particles or plaque. Unwrap clean floss from around your fingers as you go so that you have used the floss from beginning to end when you finish. Floss behind all of your back teeth. Floss at night to make sure your teeth are clean before you go to bed. When you first begin flossing, your gums may bleed a little. If the bleeding does not go away after the first few times, let a staff member know at your next appointment.
You are what you eat and that certainly applies to your dental health. The teeth, bones and soft tissues of the mouth require a healthy, well-balanced diet. A variety of foods from the five food groups help minimize and avoid cavities and other dental problems. Consumption of foods and beverages that contain sugars and starches should be decreased. These foods can include candies, sodas, fruit juices, cookies, chips and crackers. Healthier foods, such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt and cheeses, help promote stronger teeth.
For a Smile that Looks as good as it feels, hygiene appointments include:
- Thorough cleaning & flossing
- Full-mouth dental and periodontal exam
- Oral cancer screening (Velscope)
- Periodic X-rays to detect decay, bone loss, or tumors
- Individual Care Consultation
- Flouride – strengthens and remineralizes enamel
- Special take home packet