Oral Hygiene FAQs
Maintaining a Healthy Smile
Q. How often do I need to get my teeth cleaned?
A. It’s not the same for every patient. Each patient’s needs are individual based on the health of their teeth, gums and surrounding bone. Oftentimes other factors such as medications, pregnancy and diabetes impacts that decision. Usually it’s somewhere between 3-to-6 months.
Q. Why is flossing important?
A. The removal of sticky bacterial plaque at and below the gumline helps prevent periodontal disease and recurrent tooth decay. Dental floss has been found to be an effective tool for your at-home oral hygiene.
Q. What is the best toothpaste?
A. One that contains fluoride and has earned the ADA Seal of Approval is always a safe bet. However, with the numerous products now on the marketplace designed to help with special needs, feel free to ask our hygienist what’s best for you at your next visit.
Q. What is the reason to use mouth rinse?
A. Mouthwash, used in conjunction with tooth brushing, flossing and inter-dental massage with products like “Go Betweens”™ helps to lower the bacterial count and provides a fresher feeling mouth. Based on your oral health, age and concerns, there are a number of prescribed mouthwashes. Your Dental Hygienist or Dentist can help you in finding the best option for your routine. We suggest an alcohol free product, as it’s less irritating to the gum tissues.
Q. Do mouth rinses help prevent dental problems?
A. Many think that mouthwash is only used to help freshen our breath. While true, as they reduce the bacterial count in our mouth — an important benefit, mouthwash can also aid in the prevention, and even the treatment, of a variety of dental issues. Many brands are currently on the market. While all ADA seal-of-approval products help to lower the bacterial count and alcohol-free rinses are less irritating to the gum tissue, there are also mouthwashes specifically formulated to address gum disease, strengthen the tooth’s enamel, help prevent the development of cavities and even whiten the teeth. To know what product is best for your unique needs, ask our dental hygienists.
Q. What is the difference between at home tooth-whitening and in office whitening with a product such as Zoom!®?
A. Carbamide peroxide or concentrated hydrogen peroxide is the common ingredient in most teeth whitening products. When choosing an over the counter product check and to be sure this is on the label. There are hundreds of these products, which offer varying degrees of success. Unlike an in-office procedure, at home products all require a very compliant patient as application needs to be done daily for at least ten days to achieve a pleasing end result. Our in-office procedure call ZOOM!®, provides instant gratification, with a predictable result. You leave the office after a 1½ hours with the brightened smile you desire. And you’ll even have take home trays when you want to brighten up down the road.
Q. Which is the best electric toothbrush?
A. The one you like and is used as directed twice a day.
Q. Why do my gums bleed when I brush/floss?
A. Gums bleed from inflammation and this is often the beginning signs of periodontal disease. It is caused by the accumulation of bacteria at or below the gum line. This untreated condition can continue to affect the surrounding bone, with possible tooth loss. It’s important to treat periodontal disease early on, but at home oral hygiene and regular sessions with your dental hygienist is the best way to avoid problems.