Personal Tooth Care 101

In the time between your regularly scheduled check-ups and cleanings, the proper care for your teeth falls to you. It is important that you establish and maintain a good, daily regimen to keep your teeth and gums in great shape between visits. The trouble for many people — and maybe for you, as well — is …

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Personal Tooth Care 101

In the time between your regularly scheduled check-ups and cleanings, the proper care for your teeth falls to you. It is important that you establish and maintain a good, daily regimen to keep your teeth and gums in great shape between visits.

The trouble for many people — and maybe for you, as well — is knowing what constitutes an effective dental care routine. To ensure that you are armed with the information you need to keep your mouth in great shape, we offer this basic guide. Follow it daily to keep the beautiful, healthy smile you’ve gained through your dental visits.

Brush your teeth after each meal and before going to bed. This is the cornerstone of your personal dental care routine and will do the most good of any single activity. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and a fluoride-enhanced toothpaste. On the outer and inner surfaces, brush along the gum line at a 45-degree angle using short strokes. On chewing surfaces, hold the brush flat and brush back and forth. On the inside surfaces of front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and use gentle up and down strokes with the topmost edge of the brush. Lastly, brush your tongue with a back-to-front sweeping motion to remove food particles and freshen your mouth. Remember that it takes two minutes of brushing to effectively clean your teeth.

Use dental floss to remove food particles from between your teeth every day. If you have tight contacts between your teeth that cause the floss to snag or break, a wax covered floss will make things easier. To clean, slide the floss up and down along the edge of every tooth, going slightly below the gumline. Start with your upper left back tooth and work your way across and back around to your lower left back tooth. (If you find that wrapping the floss around your fingertips creates an uncomfortable amount of pressure or you have limited mobility in your hands, there are many brands of disposable flossers you may want to try.) After flossing, you should always brush your teeth.

Replace your toothbrush or brush head (for electrics) every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles start to fray.

Regular teeth cleaning keeps you smiling

The primary means of sustaining a healthy, glowing smile is regularly scheduled teeth cleanings. The two main objectives for these sessions at your dentist are prevention and early detection. Regular cleaning appointments make it easier for Dr. Robert Harrell to recognize any possible problem areas before they create pain or call for substantial restoration.

With the aid of the latest dental instruments, teeth cleaning is easier and much more efficient than ever in the past. Our talented hygienists make use of leading-edge technology to give your teeth the most thorough cleaning attainable. What’s more, today’s procedures are very relaxed and completely painless.

Unlike the scraping and picking that most people think of, current teeth cleaning is made easier with ultrasonic scalers. These tools make use of imperceptible ultrasonic vibrations to eliminate oral plaque buildup and tartar from the teeth. This technology not only works much better than the older procedures, it is far more tolerable since it eliminates the dreaded scraping that was formerly standard practice for oral check-ups.

Once your teeth have been descaled, the hygienist will utilize a prophy jet to finish your teeth cleaning appointment. A prophy jet is a specialized cleaning tool that shoots a blend of water and baking soft drink onto the teeth.

This blend works to eliminate any kind of leftover plaque and polishes the teeth, leaving them smooth and shiny. The baking soda additionally works to reduce the effects of acidic disorders in the mouth that can weaken the protective enamel. The whole teeth cleaning procedure not only leaves your teeth healthier, it makes them look and feel fantastic, as well.

Naturally, routine teeth cleaning is not nearly enough to preserve optimal dental health and wellness. It is important that you take the necessary actions to keep your mouth healthy every day. You should read our separate blog post that details the ideal way to brush and floss your teeth to maintain good dental health.

Tooth-colored fillings enhance smiles

Tooth-colored fillings are recommended for all patients with cavities. Although silver and mercury have been used to fill cavities for more than 100 years, there are issues with both substances that lead us to discourage their use.

Metal fillings can weaken the structure of the tooth by expanding and contracting in response to heat and cold. They carry potential health concerns resulting from seepage of dangerous elements into the mouth and bloodstream. And, obviously, metal fillings negatively affect the overall look of your smile.

As a result of these concerns, tooth-colored fillings are by far the preferred option. They are much more durable than metal fillings, the resin-based composite carries no risk of harmful side effects and the composite can be mixed to a near perfect match of the shade of the surrounding tooth. Placing tooth-colored fillings is also easy; the composite is built up and light cured a little at a time, resulting in a long-lasting, invisible repair.

Laser cavity detection stops cavities before they start

Laser cavity detection is used to find problems at the earliest possible stage. Advanced dentist use a technologically advanced laser to identify and measure the depth of soft spots in his patients’ teeth. With this information he can determine how advanced the decay has become and whether restorative treatment is required.

Your dentist can recheck any problem areas during subsequent visits to decide when treatment should commence. The laser detection process is completely pain free, but critically important to tooth care. The pervasive use of fluoride has led to harder, cavity resistant enamel surfaces on teeth. At the same time, this has also made early detection of cavities more difficult. Laser cavity detection is the ideal tool for staying on top of this problem.

There are two important benefits to utilizing laser cavity detection. Since soft spots can be detected early, patients can be informed of things to do and things to avoid to slow the formation of cavities. In addition, early detection results in smaller fillings, which means more of the the natural tooth can be preserved.

Nobody wants to experience dental pain. Laser cavity detection makes it possible for a professional dentist to treat your dental issues before they would even be known to exist otherwise. This helps to guarantee that your problems never devolve to the level of pain or even discomfort.