Your smile is as important to us as it is to you! By investing in active prevention through homecare, routine checkups and hygiene appointments, you can keep your mouth healthier and may deter many serious oral conditions before they threaten your health. Our preventative program is designed to treat patients of all ages, addressing specific oral health needs you may encounter at any given time. We diagnose potential problems early and respond with prompt, efficient treatment. Consider our prevention plan as an investment in a healthy, beautiful smile.
How to Clean Your Teeth
Proper brushing and flossing techniques, along with your personalized hygiene re-care, help to reduce and remove plaque- a contributing factor to tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque is a soft, sticky, colorless bacterial film that grows on the hard surfaces of teeth. These bacteria use the sugar and starch from food particles in the mouth to produce acid. Left to accumulate, this acid produces foul breath, destroys the outer enamel of the tooth, and irritates gums to the point of bleeding.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, but preferably after every meal. If possible use an electric toothbrush as they provide excellent results. Otherwise, use a soft bristled toothbrush, and replace it every 3-4 months or as soon as the bristles begin to fray.
- Start by choosing your toothpaste carefully, ensuring that you use one recommended by your dental provider.
- Place a pea-sized amount on your toothbrush.
- Use gentle, circular, short strokes (about the width of a tooth) against the teeth and gums.
- For the outer tooth surfaces, place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line.
- To clean the chewing and inner tooth surfaces use a gentle back and forth motion.
- Do not forget to brush along the gum line. But, do not brush too vigorously as this may cause damage to the gum tissue.
- It is recommended that you spend two minutes each time you brush your teeth. You should spend 30 seconds brushing each quadrant of your mouth (upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left).
- The tongue should also be brushed using a back-to-front sweeping motion to remove any food particles and bacteria that may sour the breath.
- Thoroughly rinse the toothbrush to remove debris and toothpaste. Do not routinely store your toothbrush in a closed container, as the moist environment is more conducive than the open air to the growth of microorganisms.
Effective, regular flossing is essential for oral health. Flossing once a day helps prevent gum disease by stimulating your gums and removing food particles and plaque. It allows you to reach areas that your toothbrush cannot, especially those spaces at and below the gum line, which can also result in tooth decay. If you do not floss you are leaving up to forty percent of your tooth surface untouched and unclean.
- Cut off a section of floss between 18 and 24 inches. Wrap the ends of the piece around your middle fingers.
- Hold the floss between your thumbs and forefingers. Leave about one inch of floss between your hands.
- Gently work the floss between your teeth. Be careful never to snap the floss into the gum tissue.
- When you reach the gum line, curve the floss into a “C” shape around the tooth. Make sure to go below the gum line on the tooth.
- Gently glide the floss up and down several times between each tooth, including your back teeth. Apply pressure against the tooth while flossing. Unwind a new section of floss after every tooth.
2. Dental Exams
Don’t brush off your dental visit with your provider. Routine exams are essential to maintaining your oral health. During an oral exam our dental team will check the health of your entire mouth including your teeth, gums and surrounding tissues. Lakeshore Dental encourages dental exams to identify and treat oral health problems early. Benefits of early detection help avoid extensive future treatment.
3. Continuing Care Visits
Continuing Care visits, completed by the hygiene team at Lakeshore Dental, are an important part of a proper hygiene program. At Lakeshore Dental we understand that each individual is unique. For that reason, we customize a re-care program that works best for you, with the best outcome in mind. These appointments are integral in the fight against plaque, the major cause of tooth decay, gingivitis and gum disease. While daily brushing and flossing are your first line of defense against plaque, regularly scheduled hygiene appointments will keep your smile on the right track and preserve your oral health.
4. Digital Images
Digital radiography (digital X-ray) is the latest technology used to take dental images. This technique uses a phosphor plate which captures and stores the image and is then scanned into the computer. The image can be viewed by both you and the dental team helping to detect problems more accurately. Digital images reduce radiation 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental X-rays.
Dental images are an essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a dental exam. We use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without digital images, problem areas can go undetected.
A sealant is a plastic resin that fills in the deep grooves on your tooth’s chewing surface – making it less likely to trap plaque. Sealants are usually applied to children’s permanent teeth as a preventative measure during the years of most likely tooth decay. However, it is not unusual to see sealants on an adult’s teeth. A sealant only provides protection when it is fully intact, so if your sealant comes off, you should let your dentist know.
Xylitol – Dry Mouth Benefits
- Granule Packets
Xylitol is a natural derivative of plant fibers, and is an extremely beneficial line of defense against cavities.
The mouth contains bacteria that thrive on the sugar (sucrose) found in food and drinks. This bacteria quickly feeds on the sugar, multiplies, and produces an acid that can destroy the enamel on the teeth, causing tooth decay.
By using 100% Xylitol products throughout the day, bacteria are inhibited from gaining hold on the dental surface and creating the acids that damage your teeth, helping you protect your mouth between brushing and flossing. In addition, it helps to keep a neutral Ph level in the mouth, is low in calories, and is low on the glycemic index.
Xylitol – Dry Mouth Benefits
- Mouth Spray
- Mouth Gel
Xerostomia, also known as dry mouth, is caused when the salivary glands are not producing enough saliva to moisten and neutralize. Dry mouth is often a side-effect of medications, mouth breathing, illnesses, or cancer treatment. Xylitol products improve overall oral health by providing nutrients which have moisturizing effects and encourage salivation to hydrate, sooth and protect your mouth.
Xylitol – Sinus Benefits
Xylitol also comes in a nasal spray. The nasal spray reduces the bacteria, pollutants, and irritants from sticking to the tissue. Regular use of Xylitol nasal spray results in fewer respiratory and ear infections.
We would be happy to answer any questions you may have on Xylitol and its great benefits. Xylitol products (gums, mints, granule packets, rinse, toothpaste, mouth spray, mouth gel, xylimelts, and nasal spray) can be purchased at Lakeshore Dental.
*Xylitol products can be toxic to dogs*