Dental Cleanings & Prevention in Spring Branch & Memorial, Houston, TX
At Lifeworks Dental, we believe in the old-age saying, “prevention is better than cure”. That is why our treatment philosophy is focused on preventing dental problems and diseases before they can damage your oral health and compromise your facial esthetics. So how can you prevent dental problems, and enjoy a happy and healthy lifestyle? The following paragraphs present a few simple rules for this.
Good oral hygiene is your first and the most important line of defense against dental disease. All it takes is just three small things:
- Regular brushing (Doctors and Hygienist prefer Sonicare by Philips electronic toothbrush)– Brush your teeth regularly at least twice a day (especially before bedtime). Develop a pattern of how you go about cleaning all your teeth. One recommended method preferred by most dentist is called the “Bass Method” is to start with gently brushing the outer side of the teeth in the top right jaw at a 45 Degree angle towards the gum line, (dental professionals refer to it as quadrant 1) moving to the front and then reaching the rear-most tooth on the top left (quadrant 2). On each side, brush the chewing surfaces of the molars also. Then brush the insides of the same teeth but starting from the left to the right (quadrant 2 and then 1). The upper jaw is now clean. Do the same with the teeth of the lower jaw. This routine will ensure that you do not miss some of the teeth. Use a soft round tip bristle toothbrush only. Medium and Hard Bristle toothbrushes are for cleaning night guards, dentures and bleaching trays. We do highly recommend Sonicare Toothbrushes and please refer to website for instructional videos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRu2GocdHO8 ).
- Flossing- The brush may not clean well between your teeth. This is the best method to clean between the teeth and underneath the gums. Flossing is not an option. Flossing with good quality floss will help. Floss regularly after the meals. Various types of flosses are available in the form of threads or tapes. Tapes and threads may be plain or pre-waxed. Technique is key here on how well one flosses. Your dentist can give you excellent advice on which one to use and how and what to look for when flossing.
- Rinsing – If you cannot brush/floss your teeth after a meal or a snack, it is good to rinse your mouth vigorously with clean water. In addition, bed-time rinsing with antiseptic/antigingivits mouth rinses will also help prevent gingival inflammation. Purpose of mouthwash will ehlp kill bacteria on soft tissue areas of the gums, tongue, palate, etc. These are areas that we do not brush. Listerine (with alcohol) or Colgate Total Advanced Health (non-alcohol) is what we recommend.
- Waterpik – This is great to use when you do not feel like flossing and is a good alternative method that is very easy to use to clean in between the teeth and below the gums. Waterpiks are the equalizer in those who do not floss well to get additional help to clean underneath the gums and between the teeth. Please refer to the website for video instructions. Best usage is to waterpik with flossing and sonicare (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmBcEf2jfks )
No one method is 100% clean, but using all of these tools will be the best preventative for home care.
Oral hygiene Home Care Is Not Sufficient Alone
However, even your best efforts at oral hygiene cannot guarantee the prevention of dental disease. There is more than one reason for it.
- Firstly, you cannot see the tongue side gum line surfaces of your teeth. Plaque can build up there leading to caries and/or gum disease. Each of these two occurrences, if neglected, can result in severe discomfort and even loss of teeth
- Also, the dental disease could set in due to a weak immune system which could be caused by any of several reasons.
- An unbalanced diet, improper dietary habits could also encourage dental disease.
So, what can you do about it? This is where preventive dental care at Lifeworks Dental comes at your rescue:
Preventive Dental Services at Lifeworks Dental
- Regular Inspection
Regular check-up visits are not only important for maintaining a beautiful smile, but they are equally important for ensuring that you enjoy optimal dental and overall health. During your checkup visits, we will perform a detailed examination of your teeth, gums, face, head, and neck. We will also look at the x-ray images of your teeth to detect underlying teeth cavities which are not visible through the naked eye.
- Cleaning Visits
Professional Dental cleanings are your second line of defense against dental problems. During professional teeth cleaning, we use a special instrument which vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency and removes plaque (bacteria) and tartar (mineral deposits) from your teeth. These plaque deposits harbor harmful bacteria which release toxins and cause inflammation of the gums. Professional cleanings are especially important for individuals who have poor oral hygiene maintenance or those who have existing periodontal problems.
- Prevention of Tooth Damage Because of Teeth Grinding or Clenching
Some people tend to grind or clench their teeth during sleep or during tense moments. This is called bruxism. This can wear out the molars, reducing their lengths, smoothing out their chewing surfaces, and even causing changes to your bite. It could also cause chipping of molars, ultimately resulting in their loss. Clenching and grinding can be caused by mental stress, nasal problems, or genetic tendencies.
At Lifeworks Dental, we will identify the underlying reason behind teeth grinding. At the same time, we will also recommend night guards or day guards. These are protective removable appliances which are worn to protect your teeth from excessive damage because of grinding.
- Expert Advice
A great advantage of regular inspection visits to the dentist is that he or she can give you timely advice if an adverse tendency is detected. For example, you may be losing your enamel gradually. That could expose your inner tooth structure to cavities. The dentist can not only give treatment and prescribe treatment options, but he or she can also give you advice on the possible habitual causes, and preventive techniques, including good oral hygiene, dietary changes, and treatments.
- Dietary Advice
During a routine checkup visit, we will give you instructions regarding the best practices to maintain your oral hygiene. We also educate parents regarding the foods or drinks (acidic properties) which are beneficial for adults and for children’s dental and overall health. Another aspect of a checkup visit is the identification of habits like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting which can lead to the improper alignment of the teeth. We will identify these habits in children and give them habit breaking appliances to make sure that their teeth remain in optimal occlusion and orthodontic treatment for alignment of the teeth as needed and recommended.
What do you think would be better? Preventing dental problems from developing at the first place, or spending your time and money in seeking treatment afterward? Surely, prevention is a wise choice. So, if you want to enjoy a healthy and beautiful smile throughout your life, then you should maintain optimal oral hygiene, in addition to visiting us regularly for check-up visits. Remember, your oral health directly affects your overall wellbeing and quality of life!