The importance of dental hygiene

It can seem like a real drag to have to stand at the bathroom basin cleaning your teeth for 2 minutes, morning and night. It’s tempting to rush. In the morning you’ve got to get to work, college or school, or you’ve got to get someone else out the door. In the evening, you just want to hop into bed and go to sleep.

Dental Hygiene in LoughtonBut those 2 minutes twice a day are what will allow you to keep your teeth well into your later years, if not for life. So, if you have not already got into a disciplined habit of brushing and flossing, now is the time to start. Why not make it your New Year resolution for 2019?

If you’re not sure what you are actually doing when you brush and floss, let us explain:

It’s all about plaque

When you brush your teeth, you are removing the build-up of dental plaque from the surface of your teeth and around your gum line. It’s also a good idea to give your tongue a good brush too, or you can even buy a tongue scraper to clean it.

Plaque is a film of bacteria that deliberately cling to the surfaces of the mouth to stop themselves being swallowed in our saliva. They feed on the sugars in our mouth (so rinse after eating sugary foods or drinking juice or fizzy drinks) and give off acids.

The acids eat into our tooth enamel, creating holes for decay-causing bacteria to get in through. The acids also irritate and inflame our gums, and then can get under them to eat away at our jawbone and tooth roots, causing infection and loose teeth.

The end result of decay and gum disease is tooth loss.

Trapped food

Brushing and flossing are also important for removing food that has got trapped between our teeth. As you get older, and your gums recede a little, the gaps between the teeth get bigger and offer more places for food to get caught. There it can start to rot and cause infection.

So, make proper dental hygiene a priority in 2019, and don’t forget to come in for your check-ups at Forest Dental in Loughton.

A typical dental hygiene appointment in Loughton

Contrary to popular belief, a dental hygienist does more than simply clean your teeth. During your visit, a dental hygienist will review your oral and medical history, examine your teeth and gums, remove plaque from your teeth as well as provide dental health education during all the stages of the treatment.

At Forest Dental, dental hygiene in Loughton is our priority, since we believe that prevention is better than cure. Our dental hygienists are highly trained and experienced and they will make you feel at ease. Our goal is to be as available as possible for your dental needs.

Dental Hygiene in LoughtonWhat should I expect to happen during a dental hygiene appointment?

The first thing your dental hygienist will do is take a complete medical dental history to ensure that they can apply the most effective dental hygiene treatment. This medical dental interview will also include discussion of your overall health. For instance, if you suffer from diabetes or heart disease, your dental hygienist will be able to collaborate with your medical doctor for a follow up if necessary. Moreover, many prescription drugs can cause dry mouth, changes in your blood pressure, or even limit the amount of local anaesthetic that can be used. It is imperative for your dental hygienist to have access to all this information.

Next, they will exam your mouth thoroughly. This examination may include an oral cancer screening if you belong to a high-risk group. Your dental hygienist will be able to refer you for a follow-up examination if any suspicious lesions are detected during this examination. Apart from your mouth, teeth and soft tissues, they will also examine your gums in order to determine if you have gum disease or beginning to show signs of gum disease. If diagnosed at an early stage, gum disease is easy to cure.

Scale and polish

The main treatment performed during your appointment with a dental hygienist at Forest Dental is a scale and polish. The dental hygienist will scale your teeth using hand or mechanical instruments removing hard and soft deposits of plaques from your teeth and gums. Finally, they will polish your teeth to remove surface stains and may apply fluoride to strengthen your teeth.

Dental hygiene: the basis of good oral health

Looking after your mouth, teeth and gums is at the very foundation of good oral health.

Here at Forest Dental in Loughton, we recommend that you come to us for a hygiene appointment four times a year, so that we can make sure you have the optimum cleanliness in your mouth, and so avoid the build-up of plaque and tartar that can lead to so many dental problems.

dental-hygiene-in-LoughtonWhen you come to see the dentist for dental hygiene you will be treated by our principal dentist, Dr Sab Rana. Dr Rana has been a practising dentist since 1993, and acquired Forest Dental in 2004. Dr Rana is a great believer in long-term preventive care, rather than short-term fixes, which is why she is so keen on dental hygiene.

Dr Rana will inspect your teeth and gums carefully to asses the amount of plaque to be removed and also if there are any risk factors. Then, in a process called scaling and polishing, Dr Rana will clean away the plaque.

Plaque is layer of bacteria that grows on all the surfaces of the teeth. It particularly builds up around the gums and between the teeth, in hard-to-reach places. These bacteria feed on the sugars in the food and drinks you ingest, and when they do, they excrete an acidic substance that eats away at your tooth enamel. The acid starts dissolving your tooth enamel within 20 minutes of you eating, and this is what creates cavities. You won’t be able to feel the pain of them until they become quite large holes inside your teeth. These holes can turn into abscesses if they are not treated.

In order for you to keep up good levels of dental hygiene between hygiene appointments, Dr Sab will also show you the best techniques for brushing your teeth, using dental floss and inter dental brushes.

Also, if you are one of the many people who have braces, a bridge, dentures, or dental implants, Dr Rana will show you how to keep your teeth and gums clean around these appliances.

If you would like to book an appointment for dental hygiene in Loughton, you can use our online form, or call us on 020 8502 2625.