Five Reasons to Practice Good Dental Hygiene Blog

31 August 2016

Five Reasons to Practice Good Dental Hygiene

A strong dental hygiene routine can save you thousands of dollars on costly and often extremely painful corrective procedures. Although it is recommended that you have a cleaning and examination at least once a year, more than one-third of Americans reported that they had not seen their dentist at all during that period of time. Good oral hygiene is more than a way to protect your teeth from cavities; it could actually end up saving your life.

Cavity Prevention
Over time, a whitish film, what we know to be referred to as plaque, can build up on your teeth, and it is the leading cause of tooth decay. Plaque is an acidic substance that slowly eats away at your tooth enamel. If left unchecked, cavities will eventually begin to form in your teeth, diminishing their strength and increasing your risk of infection. Plaque is easily removed from the surface of teeth by brushing and flossing, but many do not know that there is about a millimetre of space below the visible line of your gums. A routine cleaning with your dentist of this area and your mouth can ensure that plaque is removed from all areas and does not pose a threat to your oral hygiene.

Prevent Tooth Loss
If you allow plaque to sit on and in your gums too long, you may develop gum disease. This is the major cause of tooth loss in American adults. As gum disease develops and advances, the plaque descends further into your gums, where it can destroy the supporting bone in your jaw. This causes teeth to eventually loosen and simply fall out. The only way to reduce the chance of tooth loss to nearly zero is to regularly see your dentist for cleanings and practice dental hygiene routines such as brushing multiple times a day and ensuring that you floss on a regular basis.

Brighten Your Smile
Coffee is a staple of most diets around the world, a regular part of people’s morning routines, and its continued ingestion can lead to built-up stains. Other dark drinks, such as tea and wine, will do the same over time. Smoking tobacco is also a leading cause of tooth yellowing, alongside the previously mentioned. To remove built-up stains and leave your teeth clean and polished, you must visit your dentist. This difference you see in your smile leaving the office might shock you, and it is well worth the visit.

Save Money
If you maintain good dental hygiene, you significantly reduce your chance of costly procedures down the road. Rotted teeth might need painful root canals or even extractions, both of which are pricey and unpleasant procedures. Once you lose enough teeth, you must then decide whether to get dental implants or dentures. To avoid these painful and expensive situations, a simple trip to the dentist must happen.

Prevent Infection
Cavities and gum disease invite and entice the risk of infection into your mouth. Infections in the jaw and surrounding tissue can easily spread throughout the body, causing serious illness and even the possibility of hospitalisation. Often, an infected tooth calls for an emergency surgery, which is costly and painful. Due to proximity to the brain, tooth infections are treated very seriously by dentists. To avoid these complications and more, at least an annual trip to the dentist is imperative.

Covid-19 and your care

We have now received clear guidance as to what dental procedures we can safely carry out and at what stages during the pandemic.

Below is a summary of the guidance as we understand it, although this may modify over the next few days as some small inconsistencies are clarified.

The government has set five different risk levels for the pandemic 1-5 (low to high), although this changes on a daily basis.

The treatments that we can carry out safely in dental practice will change with the risk level.

Treatments are significantly limited at level 4.

During the next few weeks, we will attempt to contact each patient that has contacted us with a significant dental problem during lockdown, and we hope to book an assessment appointment for those patients in the week commencing 8th June.

Practice doors will be locked at level 3, 4 and 5. Entry to the practice will be limited to pre-booked appointments.

There will be very clear criteria provided in due course as what is required before arriving at the practice, and what the procedure will be upon arrival. We will endeavour to ensure that each person knows exactly what to expect at their visit as this will be quite different to what you have been used to.

The appointment diary will be structured to take into consideration those patients who are shielding, may have underlying medical issues and so on.

The first week is expected to be a slow start as we ensure that the new protocols are working effectively for everyone’s safety. These protocols will be audited and modified until required.

At level 4 we should be able to carry out the following:

Dental assessment (initially restricted to patients who have current urgent need, or did and contacted us during lockdown).

X rays but only for patients who tolerate them well.

TEMPORARY re cementation of crowns. (We cannot dry the tooth effectively enough to cement a crown permanently with the restrictions we face).

Fabrication or repair of removable dentures.

Simple dental extractions. If a tooth breaks, it is probable we will have to leave the roots in place until we are at a lower level of risk. Naturally, we will assess the risk very carefully prior to treatment.

Tightening of loose dental implants if possible, without using a high-speed handpiece (drill).

Temporary fillings.

Draining of a swelling/abscess.

Provision of antibiotics.

Trimming of sharp orthodontic wires (not reliable re cementation of loose brackets, or replacement of missing brackets).

Treatment is only to be offered after careful assessment.

Cosmetic orthodontics

Cheshire Dental Centre provide many of these treatments. We may now be able to progress some of our Quick Straight Teeth cases. We will be in touch with each patient shortly, but please allow us to contact you; we hope that it is understandable that we will be prioritising patients with urgent dental need.

The PPE (personal protective equipment) requirements for the above are not too onerous, and we will not look too different to normal. As you are aware, the cross-infection control at Cheshire Dental Centre has always been exemplary and one of our top priorities.

Although we have been organised with the new PPE guidelines well in advance there may be the occasional time where we are awaiting stock. All practices are attempting to source the necessary PPE we need to keep you and us safe, but supplies are scarce and consequently very expensive.