Dental Hygiene at Home and in the Dentist's Office
Make Dental Hygiene Your Top Priority
The importance of dental hygiene includes the steps you take at home to care for your teeth and the regular procedures that are done in the dentist's office by a dental hygienist. Here's a look at all of those things.
Home care includes brushing and flossing. The use of a mouthwash or fluoride rinse is an option.
Brushes should be relatively soft to avoid irritation of the gums. Medium bristles are firm enough for most people. Soft bristles are acceptable. The brushes are primarily used for cleaning and polishing the visible surfaces of the teeth.
Floss may be waxed or un-waxed. It usually comes in a dispenser, but there are some flossing tools that are pre-loaded with an appropriate amount of floss. The plastic holders are disposable. You throw them away after one use.
Flossing is recommended for cleaning between the teeth. The floss is used to get to areas that the toothbrush does not reach. It is important to use proper technique when flossing. If done incorrectly, the floss may cause gum irritation or the cleaning may be ineffective.
Mouthwash includes a variety of ingredients and comes in numerous flavors. Some people use mouthwash on a daily basis. Others use it occasionally. Some never use it at all. Dentists are not too concerned about the regular use of mouthwash, but they do advise people suffering from halitosis (bad breath) to come in for an evaluation. Bad breath may be an early symptom of gum disease.
Dental Hygiene is so Important from an Early Age
Fluoride rinses are not recommended for children, because they may swallow the rinse. In large amounts, fluoride can be poisonous.
For adults, fluoride rinses may be beneficial, especially if the home's drinking water is not fluoridated. While fluoride rinses do not take the place of brushing with fluoride toothpaste, they may help to prevent cavities from forming in areas where the brush cannot reach and in spots that are missed by the floss.
Procedures regularly performed by a dental hygienist include cleaning, polishing, whitening and fluoride treatments. The cleaning provided by the hygienist is more thorough than what you can do with your brush at home.
Polishing can be used to remove stains, especially those on the front teeth. Whitening procedures are a little more intense than polishing. It is possible to lighten the natural shade of your teeth with the whitening methods available today.
Fluoride treatments typically begin in childhood. The treatments may help reduce cavities and tooth decay, as the fluoride stays on the teeth for a longer period of time.