Cleanings and Prevention
The Importance of Cleaning and Prevention
Due to the nature of our medical and dental cultures, prevention of dental problems is not often the emphasis. Dr. Yanni believes that prevention is the best possible outcome of dental treatment, and emphasizes dental health through prevention in his dental practice. Most preventative measures for dental health revolve around good dental hygiene habits and regular dental cleanings.
Brushing properly twice a day and flossing regularly are fundamental to good oral hygiene and health. The American Dental Association recommends that teeth should be brushed with a soft bristled brush, sized to fit the mouth well. It should be angled 45 degrees to the gums. Short, tooth-width strokes should be used to brush the teeth, and the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces should all be brushed. Flossing is recommended daily. Brushes should be changed every three months or so, and fluoride toothpaste is essential. Fluoride helps to maintain the strength of the enamel, which helps keep plaque from eroding the surface of the tooth.
Dental decay and disease prevention at the dentist begins with regular dental cleanings. New patients often get dental x-rays in order to diagnose tooth decay that was not previously treated, but after that, dental cleanings and thorough dental examinations generally detect dental decay and gum disease that might be lurking. The dental cleanings are so important for prevention because they remove plaque, tartar. Tartar is not removed well with regular brushing, and provides a surface that is easy for the sticky plaque bacteria to adhere to. This can give plaque safe harbor as a brush passes by, and an easy place to grow and prosper. A smooth and polished tooth surface makes it far more difficult for the plaque to stick onto the tooth, and reproduce. Teeth without tartar are easier to clean and maintain, and the adjacent gums are not subjected to the ravages of the bacteria either, helping to reduce or eliminate gingivitis, or gum inflammation. The dental cleaning also makes it easier for the dentist to see problems starting in the teeth or gums, and allows him to take measures, such as additional fluoride treatments and the like, to prevent or reverse damage in progress.
Complete prevention or early detection of dental decay and gum disease, apart from the obvious advantage of sheer dental health, mean that more expensive and invasive dental procedures can be avoided. Dental health also helps to insure the health of the entire body, as dental problems can contribute to cardiovascular issues, poor nutrition, and more.
Dr. Yanni is pleased to answer questions regarding dental cleaning and prevention.