Protecting one of
your most valuable assets -- your smile -- through regular oral hygiene visits
can help keep it sparkling for a lifetime.
Sure, you may take excellent care of your teeth at home with daily brushing
and flossing. Yet regular oral hygiene visits are vital for keeping your teeth
and gums clean and healthy, preventing potentially serious problems. We can help
you learn how to keep your smile looking its best!
Why Is Oral Hygiene Important?
What Happens During Oral Hygiene Visits?
Depending upon your unique situation and dental
health, your visit may include any combination of the following diagnostic,
preventative or educational services:
- Take necessary cavity-detecting x-rays
- Assess your periodontal (gum) tissue
- Evaluate existing dental restorations for
proper fit, function and aesthetics
- Check your bite, chewing and swallowing
- Review and update your medical history
- Record any changes in your prescribed
medications and physical condition
- Evaluate possible cosmetic enhancements of
- Identify any cause of bad breath (halitosis)
- Examine and screen for oral cancer
- Check your blood pressure
- Refer you to specialists for specific
- Develop a comprehensive treatment plan
- Clean and scale teeth to remove all plaque and
- Remove surface stains from the teeth
- Apply pit and fissure sealants to help prevent
- Fluoride application
- Polish teeth and gold, silver or composite
resin filling or crowns
How Often Should Oral Hygiene Services Be
- Instruction in tooth brushing and flossing
- Counseling in proper nutrition
- Presentation of prescribed dental treatment
- Recommending future treatment (orthodontics,
periodontal therapy, etc.)
Because each patient's needs are different, you
should check with us to see what's appropriate for you. Typically, oral hygiene
visits are scheduled for every six months.
When Should Oral Hygiene Services Begin?
In general, it's recommended that children begin receiving
oral hygiene services when they're as young as two to three years old. By
beginning exams at an early age, we have time to create positive experiences for
your child to set the stage for a lifetime of quality dental care.
How Do I Maintain Dental Health Between Visits?
A beautiful smile is up to you! In addition to
regular oral hygiene visits, it's important that you eat a balanced diet and
make sure to floss and brush every day.
During your appointment, we'll be happy to show
you the type of toothbrush that's best for you. Typically, you should choose a
toothbrush with soft, nylon bristles that are smooth and rounded.
Toothbrushes should be replaced when the bristles
begin to lose their original shape.
Brush the outer surfaces of all teeth, upper and lower. Make sure you
keep the bristles angled against your gum line.
What's the Correct Way to Brush?
- Place the head of the toothbrush next
to your teeth, with the bristle tips at a 45-degree angle next to
the gum line.
- Move the brush back and forth in a
small circular scrubbing motion.
- Brush the outer surfaces of all teeth,
upper and lower. Make sure you keep the bristles angled against your
- Now brush the inside tooth surfaces,
using the same brush stroke.
- To reach the inside surfaces of your
front teeth, tilt your brush vertically and use gentle, up-and-down
strokes with the head of the brush.
- Scrub the chewing surfaces of all back
How Do I Remove Plaque by Flossing?
Plaque is a bacteria-laden white substance
which forms on the teeth and contributes to tooth decay, gum disease
and bad breath. Effective flossing will help remove plaque missed by
brushing before it contributes to these harmful effects. Here's how
- Use a piece of dental floss
approximately 18 inches long. Wind each end of the floss around
your middle fingers.
- Holding the floss tightly between
your thumbs and forefingers, leave about an inch of floss. Use a
gentle, back and forth motion to guide the floss in between your
teeth. Avoid snapping the floss which may cause unnecessary
irritation to the gums.
- When the floss is at the gum line,
curve it into an arc around each tooth until there is mild
- Holding the floss in the arc
position, gently slide it up the side of the tooth, making sure
the floss goes under the gum. Move the floss up and down (not
back and forth) several times to remove the plaque from under
- Repeat this procedure on both
sides of each tooth.
When the floss is at the gum line, curve it into an arc around
each tooth until there is mild resistance.
A Final Word
Getting into the habits of good oral hygiene
and sound nutrition are the best things you can do to preserve your smile
and keep it looking it's best. In addition to daily brushing and flossing,
it's important to schedule regular oral hygiene visits so we can help
prevent many of the problems that lead to tooth decay and loss. Our goal is
to help you preserve your smile for a lifetime.