DENTAL HYGIENE FAQs

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CARING FOR YOUR ORAL HEALTH


Perhaps the best way to convey the importance of our dental hygiene services is by answering common questions.

Regular visits to the hygienist, an important supplement to regular checkups, are necessary to help you maintain good oral health. Having made an assessment of your condition the hygienist will recommend an appropriate treatment interval.

Dentists are of course fully qualified in all aspects of oral hygiene, but our hygienists have completed special training, meaning they focus on ensuring plaque and tartar are removed from both on the teeth themselves and from below the gum line where most damage can be caused.

A rigorous home hygiene programme is essential if you want to minimise hygienist appointments. Our hygienist will advise you and give you tips about how to clean your teeth, as well as about diet and general lifestyle.

Bad breath can be caused by a number of factors, but is most commonly the result of poor oral hygiene. Persistent bad breath can be caused by more serious conditions such as periodontitis.

Brush and floss your teeth regularly, using a no alcohol mouthwash and cleaning your tongue will all help reduce the instances of bad breath. You should also cut down or stop smoking and drinking alcohol.

Regular visits to the hygienist and the dentist will identify whether there are any deeper problems which are the cause of your bad breath. We will assess your condition and develop a treatment regime to help overcome the problems.

Gum disease, or gingivitis, is caused by a build-up of plaque, which forms daily on the surface of your teeth and gums. If plaque is not removed it builds up over time and forms what is known as tartar. At this stage brushing at home cannot remove the tartar and if left will cause gum irritation and often leads to bleeding.

Brush and floss daily to help prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar, but regular visits to the hygienist are essential so that any tartar that remains can be removed before it causes any damage.

Uncontrolled gum disease can be serious. If the symptoms of swollen and bleeding gums are ignored, the gums can start to erode and the teeth will lose support and possibly fall out. This is known as periodontitis, a disease which can be controlled and limited but not cured.

There is some evidence to suggest that people with serious gum disease are more prone to heart disease, stroke and diabetes, but few people are aware of these links. Maintaining a good level of oral hygiene should be part of your approach to improve overall health.

Tooth decay is a natural result of eating and drinking anything that contains sugars or reacts with plaque on your teeth to form acids. Having sugary snacks or drinks between meals is particularly harmful as the acids have no time to neutralise.

Brushing your teeth regularly will help you avoid tooth decay. Minimising the number of times you eat between meals will also help. Routine check-ups and having x-rays will also allow us to see whether there are any early signs of decay present in your teeth.

If it’s not too advanced, we will be able to remove it and fill the tooth – usually with a tooth-coloured filling. If the decay is more serious, we may need to perform root canal treatment.

Mouth cancer is increasingly common and can affect anyone of any age. Most cases are linked to alcohol and tobacco intake and the risk increases exponentially if these two factors are combined.

Mouth cancer usually appears as a mouth ulcer which doesn’t heal within three weeks. Red or white patches inside the mouth can also be an indication.


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