Why is oral hygiene so important?
Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.
Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque, which is a colorless film, sticks to your teeth at the gumline. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing twice daily and flossing, you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.
If you have any pain while brushing or have any questions about how to brush properly, please be sure to call the office at 650-342-8044.
Our office highly recommends using an electric toothbrush for its superior efficiency. For our patients who use a manual toothbrush, we recommend a soft brush to minimize wear on the soft tissue and enamel. Your brush will need to be replaced every 2-3 months or when the bristles begin to curve outward.
Cleaning Between the Teeth
Periodontal disease usually appears between the teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing is the most common method used, but there are newer products on the market that are effective as well. Our hygienist can evaluate your individual needs and keep you informed on the latest developments,techniques, and products available.
Choosing Oral Hygiene Products
There are so many products on the market it can become confusing and choosing between all the products can be difficult. Here are some suggestions for choosing dental care products that will work for most patients.
Automatic and “high-tech” electronic toothbrushes are safe and effective for the majority of the patients. Oral irrigators (water spraying devices) will rinse your mouth thoroughly, but will not remove plaque. You need to brush and floss in conjunction with the irrigator. We see excellent results with electric toothbrushes….”Sonicare” and ”Oral B”.
Fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses, if used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, can reduce tooth decay as much as 40%. Remember, these rinses are not recommended for children under six years of age. Tartar control toothpastes will reduce tartar above the gum line, but gum disease starts below the gumline so these products have not been proven to reduce the early stage of gum disease.
Anti-plaque rinses, approved by the American Dental Association, contain agents that may help bring early gum disease under control. Use these in conjunction with brushing and flossing.
Daily brushing and flossing will keep dental calculus to a minimum, but a professional cleaning will remove calculus in places your toothbrush and floss have missed. Your visit to our office is an important part of your program to prevent gum disease. Keep your teeth for a lifetime!