At Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas in Irving, Texas, we understand the importance of dental hygiene. The rule that has been followed is that you should get your teeth cleaned bi-annually. Professional dental cleaning removes bacteria that cause plaques similar to the way you clean your mouth every time you brush your teeth. However, there is only so much a traditional way of cleaning your teeth can cleanse your mouth free of harmful, plaque forming bacteria.
The trend for dental cleanings in the United States is every six months. Why? The main reason is insurance. On the other hand, every person is different from the next. Some people need a cleaning more frequently and others less frequently. For this reason, home care is imperative in determining this rate of buildup of the product that is partially responsible for gum disease. Good brushers and flossers, of course, will fare better and last longer before needing another cleaning.
But, let’s talk about the cleaning and what goes on in the human mouth. Tartar and plaque will form in the mouth at different rates. When our dentist polishes your teeth, the pellicle (skin of the tooth) is removed, but reappears within three days; the sticky biofilm (plaque) then sticks to the pellicle. We cannot stress enough that gum disease is 100% avoidable. Even if you do not have dental insurance, we have great payment plans for you.
For your home care:
You should clean your teeth at home with a soft-bristled brush two or three times each day. The brush that you use should comfortably fit the size and shape of your mouth and should be replaced every few (three) months. It is vital to use short strokes back and forth to clean the outer surfaces, inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of all of your teeth. To clean in between your teeth, vertical brush strokes should be used while you are brushing. Flossing your teeth once a day will also remove any remaining food, plaque, and bacteria from in between your teeth. However, we understand that flossing daily is not as easy as it sounds, so three times a week is a start!
When you are at the dentist:
Additionally, it is important to have your teeth professionally cleaned. This type of cleaning can help remove hard deposits on your teeth that daily brushing cannot remove. It also helps avoid gum disease. You should have your teeth professionally cleaned twice each year if your teeth are healthy, and more often if you have specific health concerns that affect your oral health.
What’s the connection between your oral health and overall health?
Like many areas of the body, your mouth is crawling with bacteria, known as your oral flora. Ordinarily, the body’s natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, keeps these bacteria under control. Yet, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease, or worse.
Furthermore, certain medications, such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants, can reduce saliva flow. Saliva washes away food and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, helping to protect you from microbial invasion or overgrowth that might lead to disease.
If you are in the Irving, Texas area and have any concerns or questions, or if you want to schedule a dental cleaning today, contact us today at Cosmetic & Family Dentistry.