By Dr Henry Wu.
At Raceview Dental Surgery, we strive to help you maintain a healthy set of natural teeth for life and we believe the key to this is Preventative Dentistry – scheduled Dental Examinations, regular professional cleaning and daily home oral hygiene.
Having scheduled dental examinations allows dental problems to be detected early. Dental cavities can usually be repaired with fillings when they are small in size and before they cause pain – therefore avoiding lengthy and expensive dental procedures further down the track. Gum disease which has progressed to cause teeth to be loose often signals a worse prognosis for the tooth, whereas gum disease detected early can often be treated with minor procedures and retention of the tooth. Tooth wear can occur over a longer period of time and once tooth is worn away it is lost forever. Having tooth wear detected earlier allows for preventative procedures to be implemented to protect these teeth. Early detection of oral cancer allows a far greater chance of successful treatment – this is especially relevant for current or past smokers.
Regular professional cleaning
Regular professional cleaning, (including scaling, prophylaxis and preventative fluoride application) allows for removal of calculus (hardened dental plaque) that cannot be removed by brushing or flossing and smoothing of tooth surfaces to reduce the degree of plaque accumulation. The removal of calculus and plaque effectively gets rid of the main cause of dental cavities and gum disease. After professional cleaning is an excellent opportunity for fluoride application to the freshly cleaned tooth surfaces.
Home oral hygiene
Home oral hygiene should include brushing morning and night and flossing every day. On occasion if these are not sufficient to maintain a healthy mouth we may suggest supplemental gels or night guards to protect your teeth.
Some helpful hints for effective home oral hygiene:
- Use a small or medium sized toothbrush to ensure you get around tight corners and avoid hard bristled brushes as they can contribute to tooth wear.
- Use a circular motion and hold the brush at 45 degrees to your tooth surfaces.
- Choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride
- If you find flossing difficult, please ask a member of our team to help you, with a little practice it can be quite quick.