Hygiene

Hygiene Techniques

At Grandstand Dental Care, we do more than help you have a healthy and attractive smile; we help with your general health to prevent dental and medical diseases. Attractive white teeth and pink gums are both outcomes of good health habits.

Our hygienists work with the dentist to help you along your journey back to health. At your first visit to our hygiene department, we get to know you and your mouth health so that we can create with you a plan on how to enhance your mouth health and prevent further damage to your teeth and gums. Some of the things we look for are dental erosion, gum inflammation, tooth wear, dental decay and tooth sensitivity. You might be surprised at what the real reasons behind your dental problems are and how easily we can prevent more from happening.

We invite you to bring any questions you might have as we enjoy teaching our patients about their health. Our goal in your first hygiene visit is that you go home feeling better about your mouth and have an understanding on what is happening with your dental health.  We want to provide you with tools on how to effectively clean at home.

Below are common questions patients have, but feel free to ask us more when we see you for your hygiene appointment.

What is Gum Infection?

A minor version is gingivitis – the reversible inflammatory reaction to plaque biofilms (an organized community of bacteria and their toxins). Plaque biofilms commonly cause bad breath and yellow teeth.

If the inflammation is left untreated, it results in soft tissue and progressive bone destruction and leads to tooth mobility and subsequent tooth loss. This is gum disease (Periodontal disease), the non-reversible destructive stage of persistent bacterial infection. Secondary causes are smoking, hormonal changes, diabetes, medications, genetic susceptibility and other illnesses such as AIDS and their treatments.

How is Gum Disease treated?

In treating gum disease, our modern treatment protocols go beyond the regular cleaning. Our objective is to halt the process of tissue destruction. This involves controlling the factors that cause gum disease. We utilize anti-microbial agents, nutritional support and strict behaviour modification in conjunction with active periodontal therapy. The goal is to reduce the volume of pathogenic plaque biofilm. We hope to establish and tailor an effective plaque removal habit that works for you. There are many tools available to help make cleaning easy for you at home on a day-to-day basis. We will remove supragingival and subgingival calculus (tartar) and endeavour to create a smooth, clean tooth surface, which are biocompatible with the periodontal tissue allowing reattachment.

What is Tooth Erosion?

This is the washing away of tooth layers due to acids. Sources of acids can be internal or external. Internal acids are from the stomach and commonly termed as heartburn or gastric reflux. Some patients are unaware they have these issues. The tell-tale signs are translucent front teeth and yellowish discolouration (due to the thinning of the enamel, the yellow dentine shows through). External acids are from everyday foods and drinks that may not even be commonly know to be acidic. We can recommend strategies to help reduce the acids in the mouth and to strengthen your teeth from acid attacks.

Brushing

You should brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day. Below are some easy to follow tips on brushing effectively:

  • Select a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head so you can access hard to reach places such as your back teeth.
  • Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle against your gum-line and softly brush from where the tooth and gum meet in short strokes.
  • With a short sweeping action, clean the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Tipping the bristles allows you to get into the pits and crevices of your back teeth or molars.
  • To clean the inside surfaces of your top and bottom front teeth and gums, hold your brush almost vertically. Using a forward and backward motion, bring the front part of the brush over the teeth and gums.
  • To remove bacteria that can cause bad breath, brush your tongue and roof of your mouth. Use a forward-sweeping motion from back to front. It may take a little time to get used to, but it is an important part of total cleaning.
  • Brushing cannot remove the food build up between your teeth as the tooth brush bristles cannot penetrate into such a small space. That is why brushing alone is only one part of an effective daily oral health routine.

Flossing

Brushing your teeth is not enough to remove all the food debris and plaque that has built up over your teeth throughout the day. Flossing is essential to remove the build-up between your teeth in hard to reach places where your toothbrush bristles cannot penetrate. There are many products, like toothpicks, and inter-dental brushes that can be used to remove food that becomes caught between your teeth. Some people are more prone to this than others are and this depends on your tooth alignment, missing teeth and if you have crowns or fillings that may trap food beneath them.

When flossing, be careful to avoid injuring your gums. Do not force the floss down too hard in between your teeth.

  • Using approximately 50cm of floss, wind it loosely around your middle fingers. Carefully insert the floss between two teeth using a back and forward sawing action. Curve the floss around the side of your tooth to make a rounded “V” shape. Slide the floss up and down the side of each tooth. Gently push the floss under the gums as far as it can go whilst the floss is curved around the root of the tooth. Gently push the floss below the gums ensuring not to apply too much force.
  • Use a clean length of floss for each tooth; repeat the process for all your teeth and don’t forget to floss the back and sides of your back teeth. Although it can take some time to master, it’s an important part of your daily oral hygiene routine.
  • Children’s teeth also need flossing. You should help your child brush and floss until they are around 8 years old as younger children are not able to do this effectively on their own.
  • Flossing wands are of great benefit to children and adults alike as the floss is held in a holder that makes it easier to apply the floss in the hard to reach spaces. Ensure you clean the plaque from the floss before reinserting your flossing wand into each crevice.

Mouthwash

Mouthwash is another measure to help remove plaque, leaving you with fresh breath. How often you should use a mouthwash depends on numerous factors, and while brushing and flossing is essential every day, using a mouthwash is not necessary for every person. At Grandstand Dental Care, we take the time to analyse where your food and plaque is accumulating and will teach you effective ways to properly clean your teeth and gums using products that best suit your mouth.