What does proper dental hygiene involve?

According to Dr. Virginia Ellis, proper dental hygiene involves flossing properly every day using suitable floss and the correct flossing technique, and brushing your teeth daily using the right technique. Additionally, dental hygiene also entails visiting your dentist and dental hygienist once every three to six months.

What are the potential consequences if good dental hygiene practices are not followed?

Dr. Virginia Ellis warns that if you do not practice proper dental hygiene, you could develop cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. Poor oral hygiene can lead to gum and bone loss and can result in bad breath.

What are the main duties of a dental hygienist?

Dr. Ellis explains that the primary duties of a dental hygienist involve assisting the dentist in cleaning the patient's teeth and educating patients about their dental hygiene needs.

What tools do dental hygienists typically use?

Dental Hygienists use tools called scalers, which include a mirror, a pick, and a ruler. They also use a device called an ultrasonic or a piezo, which is a water vibrator that uses high-frequency waves under a lot of water to break off debris from the surface of the teeth and to loosen bacteria.

What is involved in a dental cleaning?

A dental cleaning involves an exam, x-rays, measurement of your gums, cleaning with scalers and an ultrasound, and polishing to remove the biofilm layer from the teeth. The hygienist also educates you on their findings and informs you about your available treatment options if you have a cavity or gum disease.

Does a dental hygienist's cleaning usually cause pain?

Generally, a dental hygienist's cleaning is not painful. However, if your gums are inflamed, it may hurt when they touch them. Healthy gums do not bleed or hurt when touched.

How long should a typical dental cleaning take?

A typical dental cleaning should take about an hour for routine maintenance or periodontal maintenance. If you require a deep cleaning, it usually takes two hours. For children in braces, the cleaning process usually takes longer.

Why is deep cleaning by a dental hygienist necessary?

Deep cleaning by a dental hygienist is necessary when there is significant bone loss, gum loss, and tartar build-up on the teeth. It involves numbing the area and surgically cleaning the teeth, which takes longer than a regular cleaning.

Is it necessary to do anything after a dental cleaning?

Yes, maintaining oral hygiene at home is crucial after a dental cleaning. You should continue to floss and brush every day.

How should I schedule a dental hygiene appointment?

You can simply call your dental office to schedule an appointment. Most offices should be able to get you in within a week or two. If not, consider finding a different office that can prioritize your dental health.

Doctor, what can I do to floss more often?

Dr. Virginia Elizabeth: I'm going to give you five great pieces of advice that you can use to get you to have healthier gums and a better quality of life.

1. Choose the floss you like. If you do not use floss that you like, you're less likely to floss. Choose a flavor you like. The floss I recommend is more of like a thicker floss, a waxed floss, something that expands as you're flossing.

2. You should place your floss right next to your toothbrush. A lot of people put it on the side of the counter or inside a drawer. It's a great reminder to put it right next to your toothbrush.

3. Floss before you brush. When you floss before you brush, you do it first and then you're just going to get it done. The other reason for that is when you floss first, you're going to loosen the bacteria in the plaque which is that clear slimy layer, that creamy white layer that develops on your teeth. When you floss first and then you brush second, that's already loosened and you'll get much better results with your teeth being cleaned.

4. Don't wait until you are too tired to brush and floss your teeth. If you wait too long, you're going to just say, I'm just going to brush and you're going to skip the flossing.

5. Choose the time that works best for you. Some people do well in the morning. Some people do well in the afternoon or in the evening. Evening is best because your mouth stays closed and you have bacteria growing inside your mouth and there's less salivary flow going through your mouth. As long as you do it about once every 24 hours, it doesn't really matter. The reason for that is, it takes about 24 hours for the bacteria to start sticking to the sides of your teeth and to the walls of your gums.

Should I floss before or after brushing their teeth?

It is better to floss before brushing one's teeth. Firstly, you get it over and done with. Secondly, it loosens the bacteria and the plaque, and when you brush afterwards, these come right off, resulting in a more effective cleaning. Flossing before brushing allows for better quality cleaning and better results.