ORAL HYGIENE CARE
Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral health is important to your overall well-being. Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop.
In between regular visits to the dentist, there are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. These include:
- Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks between meals
- Use dental products which contain fluoride, including toothpaste
- Rinse with a flouride mouth rinse if advised to do so
- Make sure children under 12 drink fluoridated water or take a fluoride supplement if they live in a non-fluoridated area
- Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams
- Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months
The following are indications of good oral hygiene:
- Your teeth are clean and free of debris
- Gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss
- Bad breath is not a constant problem
Dental Prophylaxis (Preventive Cleaning)
An integral part of maintaining your teeth for life is the removal of plaque and tartar on a regular basis. The frequency of your visit is based upon your individual needs and oral health. During your visit we will update your medical history, do a clinical exam, which includes oral cancer screening and taking the necessary radiographs (x-rays) and review oral hygiene instructions. In other words, we are checking for cavities and monitoring your periodontal (gum and bone) condition.
Once a patient receives treatment for periodontal (Gum/Bone) disease and the infection is under control, continuous gum and bone care procedure known as periodontal maintenance should be performed. The frequency of your visit is determined by your overall periodontal condition but normally performed every 3 to 4 months. Such procedure along with good oral hygiene and a healthy diet are necessary to keep periodontal disease from recurring.
We recommend a fluoride treatment for ages 1 to 18 every prophylaxis appointment. Individual consideration is given to every patient based on cavity risk, water supply and oral hygiene to assess the need for a fluoride treatment. After 18 it is optional depending on the patients home care and clinical condition. We provide fluoride in a gel, rinse or foam format. Then the patient is not allowed to eat, drink or smoke for half an hour after the procedure is done. We also dispense prescription fluoride supplements and toothpastes for patients with moderate to high risk for cavities or have tooth sensitivity.
Sealants (BPA free) are a simple procedure in which a tooth-colored or white opaque “coating” is painted onto the chewing surface of the tooth. This is a highly effective way along with good oral hygiene and a healthy diet to prevent the decay of teeth.
Occlusal Guard (Night Guard)
An occlusal guard will interrupt the grinding/clenching process. It is a splint made from clear hard acrylic. The patient wears it to prevent TMJ disorders and also to avoid trauma of teeth, gum, bone, muscle and surrounding tissues.
A custom fit athletic mouthguard is recommended for anyone who is involved in contact sports. We have several types depending on age and sport. Name placement and helmet straps are available. The “boil and bite” mouthguards are not as effective as a customized mouth guard in protecting against dentofacial injuries. A properly fitted mouth guard cushions the blow, reduces the severity and incidence of a concussion.
PERIODONTAL (Bone/Gum) DISEASE & GINGIVITIS
Scaling And Root Planing
A non-surgical therapeutic procedure to remove plaque, tartar and diseased root layer off teeth surfaces. During the process hand instruments and / or an ultrasonic instrument is used. This is usually done under a local anesthetic. This procedure removes bacteria that are destructive and dangerous to the attachment of teeth and reduces gum swelling and bleeding. As a result, this procedure along with better home care will prevent further bone loss and ultimately tooth loss. More studies are recently linking periodontal disease with heart and kidney disease, diabetes and other systemic conditions.
Arestin is an FDA approved antibiotic, which consists of 1 mg of minocycline. These microspheres are a powder like substance that easily and effectively kill germs when placed around the teeth. It stays working up to 28 days after placement. This is a great adjunct and very effective when placed after the scaling and root planning procedure. It can also be used during the periodontal maintenance phase. For more info please visit www.arestin.com.
Bonding involves adhering composite resin material that is matched to the color of the tooth, to the front of the tooth. This is performed to repair damage caused by decay, to alter the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, or for other cosmetic purposes.
First the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the bonding. A gel is applied so the resin will adhere to the surface of the tooth. The composite is then placed on the tooth and the bonding agent hardens with intense light. The last step is shaping and polishing to give a lustrous finish.