Why do I need to get my teeth cleaned?
Brushing your teeth and coming for regular dental visits helps to keep your teeth clean and shiny but did you know that it also improves your overall health. Poor oral hygiene has been proven to be associated with many dental and medical conditions such as heart disease, strokes, gum disease, infection, diabetes, and even dementia.
At Spokane Family Dental we provide advanced preventative techniques that protect you from: periodontal disease(bone loss), tooth loss, halitosis(bad breath), tooth pain, infections, expensive dental procedures, and bleeding gums.
Dental Exams and Cleanings
Proper Brushing and flossing of your teeth combined with regular exams and cleanings will help prevent the build up of dangerous bacteria that can cause cavities and bone loss. During your exams we will also screen your mouth for oral cancer and signs of other pathology. Early detection of oral health problems can reduce your likelihood of developing more serious conditions.
Are there different types of dental cleanings?
Cleanings should be every 6 months and sometimes more frequent if disease is already present. When your gums are healthy we perform a regular cleaning that is called a Prophy and is recommended every 6 months. When there is significant gum disease (gingivitis) and bone disease (periodontitis) we recommend Scaling and Root Planing(SRP). This type of cleaning is necessary to remove plaque and calculus attached to the teeth underneath the gums. Our hygienists use advanced specialized instruments to gently clean around your teeth. The goal is to remove the attached bacteria colonies under the gums so the gum and bone can heal and become healthy again. A follow up cleaning will be performed called a Periodontal Maintenance. This is to check on your home care routines and to clean any bacteria that is starting to build up on the teeth. Our hygienists will also review proper oral hygiene. Most of the time patients could benefit from switching to an electric toothbrush and in some cases a waterpik in addition to regular flossing. Again the goal of any cleaning is to keep your gums and bone healthy so that you can keep your natural teeth as long as possible.
Most americans do not floss every day but we believe flossing can be more important than brushing your teeth. Daily flossing is very important. Here are a few tips on how to floss your teeth properly:
- Start with about 18 inches of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with.
- Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up and down between your teeth.
- Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth making sure you go beneath the gum line. Never snap or force the floss as this may cut or bruise the gum tissue.
- Use clean sections of the floss as you move from tooth to tooth.
- To remove the floss, use the same back and forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth.
- To remove food that is stuck between your teeth you can tie a knot in the floss and move the knot in and out of the area to clear the food out.
Simple fluoride treatments can be performed after your cleaning to strengthen your teeth and help prevent against painful tooth decay and to reduce sensitivity. In office Fluoride treatments are the easiest and most effective way to drastically reduce cavities.