Why is good dental hygiene so important?

Good dental hygiene is so important because it keeps our gums and our teeth healthy. It will help prevent gingivitis, periodontal disease, and cavities.

What can happen to my teeth and overall health if I don't practice good dental hygiene?

If you do not practice good dental hygiene, that will lead into cavities. Cavities can lead into needing root canals, extractions, things like that. As far as the gums go, if you're not brushing and flossing the way that you should be, it can lead to gingivitis or even periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is what completely depletes the gum tissue and bone holding the teeth in.

How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?

At the bare minimum, you should be getting a dental checkup and cleaning every six months. If you do have a history of periodontal disease where you've needed to go through a deep cleaning, you should be getting a checkup and cleaning every three to four months.

What does the dentist or hygienist do at my teeth cleaning appointment?

When you come in to see your hygienist, you should always update your medical history. Your medications are just as important to your oral cavity as well as your overall body. Then the doctor or hygienist will lay you back. They will use a water-powered instrument or some hand instruments to clean the hardened tartar off of your teeth. After they remove all the hardened tartar, they will polish you with a coarser toothpaste called Profi-Paste. They will floss you and they will go over some oral hygiene instructions to kind of give you some tips and tricks on where you're missing.

How long is a typical dental hygiene appointment?

A typical dental hygiene appointment can vary. Typically, they are anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes.

How does a dental hygienist ensure that a dental cleaning isn't painful?

As a hygienist, I'm constantly asking my patient if they are doing okay, if anything is tender. And I always ask prior to the cleaning if they have any areas that are sensitive during the cleaning. If they're not sure, I just ask them to simply raise their left hand if anything starts to be a little uncomfortable. Typically, a cleaning on healthy gum tissue should never be painful.

Will my teeth be more sensitive following a teeth cleaning?

After cleaning, your teeth should feel nice and squeaky clean. Nothing should ever be any more sensitive than it was when you walked in the door. If you do have sensitive spots when you start your cleaning or after, you should always ask your dental hygienist for a sensitive toothpaste or some other regimens to help with sensitivity.

How can I practice good dental hygiene at home?

The best things you can do at home are good old brushing and flossing. I always recommend brushing in the morning and brushing before you go to bed. Also, before you go to bed, you should brush, floss, and rinse to make sure that you're going to bed with the cleanest mouth possible.

How should I schedule an appointment?

You should always start by calling your favorite dentist and they can get you in as soon as possible.