Hygiene

What is plaque?

Plaque is a film of bacteria and food particles that can accumulate along teeth where a toothbrush can commonly reach. Many of the top foods that you eat can cause the bacteria in your mouth to continue producing acids which can eat away at your mouth over time. All foods are known to contribute to plaque accumulation. It’s possible that you can experience sensitive and irritated gums that come as a result of heavy plaque sitting on your teeth. This issue could potentially lead to gum disease and other potential problems over time. If plaque is not removed by daily brushing and flossing it turns into tartar that then needs to be removed by your hygienist at Tuscany Dental Centre.

How can I get rid of plaque?

You can remove plaque by brushing everyday and having regular professional cleanings. Removing plaque build up with the help of regular cleaning and brushing your teeth two times a day with a soft bristled toothbrush for around 2 to 3 minutes, is one of the best ways to care for your teeth. Make sure you are using the right type and size of toothbrush to fit your mouth. You should also consider using a toothpaste that contains fluoride with an antimicrobial ingredient. A toothbrush unfortunately cannot reach into the tightest spaces within your mouth so it’s very important that you continue to floss between your teeth at least once a day to supplement your oral health.

How do I brush and floss my teeth?

Brushing

  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums.
  • Brush the outside and inside of your tooth surfaces, as well as the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, using a gentle up-and-down stroke.
  • Remove bacteria and freshen your breath by brushing your tongue.

Flossing

  • Using about 15 inches of floss, wind it around the middle fingers of each hand and hold the floss tightly between your forefingers and thumbs.
  • Using a slow and soft rubbing motion, guide the floss between your teeth.
  • When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.
  • Bring the floss back toward the contact point between the teeth and move the floss up or down the other side, making the floss conform to the shape of the tooth.
  • Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up-and-down motions.

Is there anything else I can use to clean my mouth?

In addition to daily brushing and flossing, at Tuscany Dental Centre we recommend using a “CariFree” product that can increase the health and freshness of your mouth. To reduce bacteria and plaque which cause gum disease and gingivitis, use an antimicrobial mouth rinse. Regular use of this Cari-Free rinse can help reduce and prevent tooth decay and gum issues.

Oral Hygiene Guidelines

Based on your needs the hygienist will make recommendations on when they feel it would be beneficial for you to have your teeth cleaned. In addition the dental care that you provide in your own home is an integral part of maintaining good oral health. A good in-house routine supplemented by regular check-ups and cleanings is the best way to prevent dental emergencies.

Brushing with fluoride toothpaste is recommended at least twice a day to remove plaque and the remnants of food and drink from your teeth and gums. Flossing before brushing is an essential practice to avoid gum disease and prevent tooth decay. Therapeutic oral rinses may be recommended based on your need and can reduce bacterial presence and help manage or reverse oral health problems. By removing plaque you reduce your chances of needing root canals, tooth extractions, dental bridges, crowns and more.

Your dentist and dental hygienist at Tuscany Dental Centre will share information with you that can help you treat / maintain good oral health of your teeth, mouth and gums and keep you smiling!!! Our primary recommendation is “Cari-Free” for products that are low in abrasivity and excellent for your mouth.

Pediatric Dentistry: Oral Hygiene for Children

Even though children’s teeth will eventually fall out and are replaced with permanent teeth they are important in a child’s overall oral health and development in maintaining spacing. Parents and / or the child’s primary care giver should help children brush and floss their teeth until their dexterity allows them to reach all areas of their mouth completely. Tools such as timers help children establish the time needed to brush thoroughly. We recommend “Buddy-Brushing” until your child is at least 8 years old – this is the process where the child brushes for the 1st minute and you brush for the 2nd minute – making it a team effort to remove plaque and food particles to help prevent decay. At Tuscany Dental Centre we are happy to be involved in the community and we do dental presentations in the elementary schools in the area as well as Brownie and Scout groups – if you would like more information please call 403-239-0010.

An infant’s teeth should be cleaned as soon as they erupt, typically within the first six months of age. You can use a small washcloth or gauze after every feeding. When multiple teeth erupt, you can soak a child appropriate toothbrush in warm water and use it on your baby’s teeth.

Flossing can begin when two teeth have erupted next to each other. Children should floss on their own daily once they are coordinate enough to do so – usually around the age of 8 they can begin.

Once adult teeth have erupted a dentist can recommend if your child should meet with an orthodontist to have a consultation for tooth development and alignment. Generally by age seven braces may be an appropriate solution for proper teeth alignment. Your orthodontist may be able to tell you if your child may need complete care or stages beginning with appliances. At Tuscany Dental Centre we refer to orthodontists in our area to help meet your needs.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Insufficient dental hygiene results in increased accumulation of plaque around the mouth, teeth, and gums that can lead to gum disease. Gum disease, or periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth.

If you don’t remove the plaque from your teeth by brushing and flossing, it hardens into a substance called tartar that has to be removed by a dental hygienist. The hygienists at Tuscany Dental Centre are happy to help you with tools or techniques that can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Gum disease is painless initially and if not detected early – can lead to tooth abscess or tooth loss. Your gums will turn red and puffy and may bleed every time you brush. Gum disease can also lead to halitosis (bad breath), gingivitis, tooth decay, or teeth that are loose or appear to have shifted.

To help prevent the occurrences of gum disease or tooth decay the surfaces and areas between the teeth and under the gum line must be treated on a regular basis. Regular visits to see your hygienist are a great way to prevent / and manage your oral health.