The end of the year is fast approaching and due to circumstances, many of us have been putting off our dental cleanings, fillings, crowns, bridges, or even getting that impression done for a night guard. Each year we receive an individual dollar amount maximum from our insurance company. If this amount is not used, by the end of the year, it does not roll over to the next and is unfortunately lost. Be sure to check with your dental office to find out if you have any outstanding dental work so that you can get the best out of your dental coverage.
Teeth Cleanings\Scaling Dental cleaning\scaling is when the dental hygienist or dentist uses specialized instruments (hand and /or ultrasonic) to remove plaque (soft, sticky, bacteria infested film) and tartar\calculus (grey, yellow, brown, black) hard deposits from your teeth without harming them. A few minutes after brushing a thin layer of saliva, proteins, and bacteria (called pellicle) is formed on the teeth which acts as a base for bacterial attachment and growth. Eventually with the accumulation of various species of bacteria and sugars from the foods we eat we get a white\yellowish substance called plaque along our gums and teeth. If the plaque is not removed it will attract minerals from the saliva and harden turning into calculus/tartar. If calculus/tartar is left on the teeth it will provide a situation for bacteria to thrive next to the gums which is detrimental for the health of the gums and can lead to gum disease(gingivitis) which leads to periodontal disease which leads to tooth loss. The purpose of the cleaning is to leave the teeth clean and smooth so bacteria is unable to stick to them, reverse gum disease and prevent the progression to periodontal disease. Polishing/Prophy Polishing is done after scaling to remove any leftover plaque from the teeth and gums and to remove extrinsic stain. It is done using a slow speed hand-piece with a soft rubber cup at the end and a special gritty toothpaste-like material. Fluoride Fluoride helps to strengthen the teeth from the acids from bacteria in dental tartar and plaque that can weakened them, it also possesses antibacterial qualities.
A tongue scraper is a tool used to help clean your tongue. Although there’s no strong evidence that tongue scrapers are any more effective than regular brushing of the teeth and tongue, it may help curb bad breath. Tongue scrapers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and work by starting at the back of the tongue and pulling the scraper forward. This removes any excess plaque and odor causing bacteria.
Possible causes of bad breath include diet, dry mouth, gum disease, tobacco use or simply bad oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene and regular dentist visits are essential to a healthy mouth.
Covid has made the holiday celebrations a little different for all of us. As studies have show an increase in alcohol consumption during the holiday season it is important to take steps in protecting your teeth and smile.
Here are some simple steps to prevent damage to your teeth after alcohol consumption.
Be sure to not over do it and when possible drink alcohol through a straw, as it will direct the alcohol to the back of the mouth staying away from the teeth.
Always drink water between and after alcoholic beverages.
Avoid fruit juice drinks.
Wait at least an hour before brushing your teeth after alcohol consumption.
And always use a soft bristle toothbrush.
These simple steps can help in protecting your teeth and your smile!
Dr. Elizabeth Dimovski and Associates – We Protect Your Smile!