Regularly seeing the dental hygienist for tooth cleaning and maintaining oral hygiene will help you keep your mouth and teeth in good health.
Treatment by the hygienist is not just tartar removal treatment. This is a vital treatment that helps prevent disorders such as – periodontal disease and cavities in the teeth, treating sensitive teeth and keeping teeth white (without any need for tooth bleaching). Preventive treatment is always better than cure, because it may save future problems. Treatment by the hygienist is relatively simple, quick and cheap compared to treatments that you would have to have from the dentist if it were not for preventive care. Moreover, the hygienist instructs the patient on the care and oral hygiene maintenance routine in our everyday lives.
Tartar builds up on the teeth due to calcification of tooth plaque, which is made of traces of food and bacteria. Tartar has a grayish-yellow color. It has a rough consistency and is non-esthetic. The rate at which tartar forms differs from one individual to the next, so everyone should visit the hygienist at a varying frequency.
Tartar causes gingivitis. Gingivitis (gum inflammation) is characterized by redness, swelling, bleeding during brushing and sometimes bad breath. Gingivitis may lead to periodontitis, i.e. resorption of bone and recession of the gums surrounding the tooth, meaning that scaling of the teeth is of supreme importance. The hygienist removes the tartar without damaging the teeth.
Because periodontal disease is the main cause of tooth loss in the mature population, it is important to treat the problem as early as possible. Tartar that forms above and under the gums serves as a reservoir of bacteria that may damage the gums and cause bone loss around the teeth. Periodical cleaning and scaling sessions by a dental hygienist will prevent deterioration of the disease. For periodontitis to be brought under control, it is important for patients to maintain a more rigorous oral hygiene regimen than the rest of the population, and the hygienist will show them how.
The treatment removes spots that form due to drinking of caffeine, eating food containing coloring agents, and smoking, and leaves the teeth whiter and shiny, which helps maintain good dental esthetics.
A major proportion of the population suffers from sensitivity to heat and cold. The problem may occur following exposure of the tooth roots, for example because of periodontitis or strong, aggressive brushing. A hygienist will guide the patient on which toothpaste to use, which toothbrush to use and how to brush to reduce sensitivity. If necessary, treatment for reducing sensitivity may be performed.
Teeth are to be brushed twice a day – morning and evening.
During brushing, force is not to be applied on the teeth or gums.
The brush is to be held at a 45-degree angle and rotated in circular movements.
During brushing, the interface of the gums with the teeth should be focused on, for here is where most food traces concentrate.
Correct tooth brushing takes about two minutes. Each tooth should be focused on separately.
Only toothpastes containing fluoride, which is the substance that has been proved to be the most effective to prevent tooth cavities, should be used. The concentration in toothpastes is controlled and with correct use may reduce the future amount of dental caries by up to 50%. Mouthwashes containing fluoride, which also help maintain the teeth, can be used too. For children up to the age of 4, it is desirable to use toothpaste that does not contain fluoride or a very small quantity of fluoride, out of fear of uncontrolled fluoride use. Children’s toothpastes as usually tasty and there is fear of consumption of too great a quantity of fluoride, which may be unhealthy.
A toothbrush with a suitably-sized head and soft fibers must be used. Using hard fibers causes damage to the teeth and gums. The toothbrush case always states the hardness of the fibers and the size of the brush head. It is desirable to choose a toothbrush with soft fibers. The extra soft level is intended for limited use – particularly after extractions, dental implants and periodontal surgery. The medium hardness level is not intended for human use. For close, effective contact with the teeth, the toothbrush head should cover at least one or two teeth.
Dental floss is intended for cleaning between the teeth, because toothbrushes cannot reach these places. This is also one of the areas in which the most caries develops. Without using dental floss, tooth cleaning cannot be perfect.
First, the floss should be wound around a finger on each hand and held between two fingers, to give us good control over it.
It is important to clean all the gaps between our teeth, at least for posterior teeth. After the floss enters the gap between the teeth, it should be moved up and down to remove all the food residues that have collected there.
The Proxabrush is a brush that is designed for cleaning between the teeth and is suitable mainly for individuals with crowns or in states of gingival recession. This brush is provided in various thicknesses, so its size will be chosen according to the size of the gap between the teeth. The Proxabrush is to be held by its handle and applied between the teeth using in and out movements. It is important not to apply force and repeat the action several times. Sometimes you will have to dip the end of the brush in a suitable gel or disinfectant to increase the cleaning effectiveness.
Dead bacteria accumulate on the tongue, especially in smokers. The bacteria cause bad breath and alteration of the sense of taste. A tongue cleaner should be used like a comb, holding it down on the back part of the tongue and raking out the bacteria. The action should be repeated three to four times, without applying force.