A dental prophylaxis is a cleaning treatment performed to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums.
Dental prophylaxis is an important dental treatment for stopping the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Dental prophylaxis is an effective procedure in keeping the oral cavity in proper health and halting the progression of gum disease.
Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases (periodontal disease) than from cavities.
Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.
Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gumline.
Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease usually appears between the teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach.
Flossing is a very effective way to remove plaque from those surfaces. However, it is important to develop the proper technique.
The following instructions will help you, but remember it takes time and practice.
Start with a piece of floss (waxed is easier) about 18 long.
Lightly wrap most of the floss around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap the rest of the floss around the middle finger of the other hand.
To clean the upper teeth, hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand.
Gently insert the floss tightly between the teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Do not force the floss or try to snap it in to place.
Bring the floss to the gumline then curve it into a C-shape against one tooth.
Slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel light resistance.
Move the floss up and down on the side of one tooth. Remember there are two tooth surfaces that need to be cleaned in each space.
Continue to floss each side of all the upper teeth.
Be careful not to cut the gum tissue between the teeth. As the floss becomes soiled, turn from one finger to the other to get a fresh section.
To clean between the bottom teeth, guide the floss using the forefingers of both hands.
Do not forget the back side of the last tooth on both sides, upper and lower.
When you are done, rinse vigorously with water to remove plaque and food particles.
Do not be alarmed if during the first week of flossing your gums bleed or are a little sore.
If your gums hurt while flossing you could be doing it too hard or pinching the gum.
As you floss daily and remove the plaque your gums will heal and the bleeding should stop.
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Some toothbrushes have a rubber tip on the handle, this is used to massage the gums after brushing.
There are also tiny brushes (interproximal toothbrushes) that clean between your teeth.
If these are used improperly you could injure the gums, so discuss proper use with your doctor.
Fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses, if used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, can reduce tooth decay as much as 40%.
Remember, these rinses are not recommended for children under six years of age.
Tartar control toothpastes will reduce tartar above the gum line, but gum disease starts below the gumline so these
products have not been proven to reduce the early stage of gum disease.
Anti-plaque rinses, approved by the American Dental Association, contain agents that may help bring early gum disease under control.
Use these in conjunction with brushing and flossing.
Daily brushing and flossing will keep dental calculus to a minimum, but a professional cleaning will remove
calculus in places your toothbrush and floss have missed.
Your visit to our office is an important part of your program to prevent gum disease. Keep your teeth for your lifetime