Cleaning and Preventive Measures
Maintenance of your smile starts at home with good oral hygiene and a balanced diet. This is continued at our office by Dr. Kantarovich and our dental hygienist to promote, restore, and maintain your oral health.
Prevention also includes regular dental exams, cleanings, x-rays and fluoride treatments.
Prophylaxis - Dental Cleaning
When was the last time you visited your dentist for a regular dental clean up? Dental cleaning also knows as, Prophylaxis is a cleaning procedure to halt the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease. Prophylaxis is a preventive measure performed to remove dental plaque and tarter from reaching a chronic inflammatory stage.
When plaque and tartar are left untreated it gives rise to gum diseases such as gingivitis which when severe, results in Periodontitis. This disease can create deep pockets or spaces between your gums and teeth, thus, systematically destroying your gums, teeth and creating a potential for losing your teeth. It is important to pay attention to oral health. Prophylaxis is easy and the dental hygienist will make sure to eliminate and halt the destructive progression of any gum disease.
Dr. Kantarovich treats Prophylaxis at regular 3,4,5,or most common 6 month visits. The procedure begins with dental x-rays to examine any signs of teeth decay and/or gum disease. Dr. Kantarovich then performs a Supragingival cleaning of the area above the gums with scaling tools to remove all the plaque and tartar. A Subgingival cleaning may be necessary to remove the calculus from the deep pockets and below the gum line. Finally, Root Planing is accomplished to remove any tartar and bacteria left on the roots. By smoothening the roots the gums and bone can heal around the teeth. Dr. Kantarovich provides antibiotics to speed up the healing process of any more severe gum disease.
There are several reasons and benefits to get a periodic Prophylaxis or teeth clean up done:
- Cosmetic Appeal : Gum diseases can be a detrimental to your natural smile with bleeding gums, gaps and failing teeth. A dental Prophylaxis is an easy preventative fix to make sure your teeth remain healthy and clean and help maintain your smile.
- Detection of other oral health problems : Dr. Kantarovich always begins with a thorough examination of your mouth, teeth and gum; he is quickly able to identify signs of oral cancer or other diseases such as diabetes, HIV, eating disorders or even kidney problems.
- Bacteria Removal : Prophylaxis is an important step to remove the tartar build up and prevent it from getting severe and destroying the teeth and the roots themselves. At the end of the procedure, you will feel more confident with your smile and breath.
Prophylaxis is also important among children who are extremely vulnerable to dental problems. It is recommended that you visit your dentist twice a year for teeth cleaning. You will leave Dr. Kantorovich’s office with a polished and gleaming smile.
Digital radiography (digital X-Ray) is the latest technology used to take dental x-rays. An electronic sensor (instead of x-ray film) is used to capture and stores the image on a computer. Digital X-rays reduce radiation 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional Dental X-rays.
Dr. Kantarovich can use these X-Ray images to accurately detect any hidden dental abnormalities and design a complete an accurate treatment plan. Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.
Dental X-rays can be used to reveal:
- Hidden Abscesses or cysts
- Bone loss
- Decay between the teeth
- Developmental abnormalities
- Poor tooth and root positions
- Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line
- Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors
Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally present in varying amounts in almost all foods and water. Fluoride from your teeth enamel gets lost and are revitalised from the food eaten and fluoride based toothpastes. However, the loss can be much greater than the revitalisation which is where Fluoride Treatment comes in.
Teeth contain 2 types of flourides:
Systemic fluoride strengthens the teeth for the inside. Systemic fluorides are obtained from most foods and water. It is also available as a supplement in drop or gels. Ask Dr Kantarovich if this is required for you. If required, Fluoride drops are can be recommended for infants, while tablets are suitable for children to teenagers. It is very important to monitor the amounts of fluoride taken. Too much of flouride intake while the teeth are developing may cause Fluorosis (white spots on the teeth).
Topical fluoride strengthens the teeth by getting absorbed into the outer surface of the tooth enamel, making the teeth stronger and prtecting them from decay. Topical fluoride is obtained from dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and gels that contain flouride. It is generally recommended that children have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental check-ups.
Although Fluoride is got from food and water, sometimes it may not be enough to help prevent tooth decay. Dr. Kantarovich may recommend the use of home and/or professional fluoride treatments.
Maintenance of your smile does not end with treatments. Your personal home care plays an important role as well. Home care starts by eating balanced meals, reducing the number of snacks you eat, and correctly using the various dental aids that help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease.
Tooth brushing – Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.
Electric toothbrushes are also recommended. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.
Flossing – Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.
Rinsing – It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist on its appropriateness for you.
Dr. Kantarovich may recommend the use of other dental aids: Interdental brushes, rubber tip stimulators, tongue cleaners, irrigation devices, fluoride, medicated rinses, etc., can all play a role in good dental home care.