Maintaining good oral hygiene practices in addition to receiving regular dental cleanings at 6th Sense Dental can significantly reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Dental cleanings involve Dr. Rinando removing mineralized plaque (tartar), polishing tooth enamel, applying fluoride and taking x-rays.
Intraoral digital x-rays provide clear images of teeth, gums and jaw. Cavity detection, monitoring teeth development and detecting evidence of decay that often remains hidden between crooked or crowded teeth are just a few of the benefits provided by digital radiography.
Unlike traditional film x-rays, digital x-rays pose no radiation risk because digital sensors work to reduce the amount of radiation exposure by as much as 80 percent. Alternately, extraoral digital X-rays may be taken outside the mouth for in-depth examination of suspected impacted teeth, jaw joint problems or abnormal jaw growth.
The Importance of Dental Cleanings for Children
Dr. Rinando urges parents to begin taking children to the dentist for regular check-ups between the ages of one and two years. Any decay or infection affecting “baby” teeth can easily transfer to permanent teeth due to the ability of oral bacteria to spread easily through gum tissues.
Dr. Rinando would like parents to know how important it is to expose children’s teeth to fluoride even before their permanent teeth emerge. Impermanent or “baby” teeth that suffer from decay and cavities can directly affect the health of permanent teeth if destructive anaerobic bacteria reach permanent teeth lying just under a child’s gums.
Benefits of Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride treatments help keep teeth healthy and help prevent dental decay. Dr. Rinando provides fluoride treatments for children and adolescents as part of a regular cleanings to prevent cavity-causing acids and bacteria from accumulating on teeth enamel.
Demineralization of teeth caused by long-term buildup of plaque depletes minerals necessary for maintaining the integrity of enamel, dentin and pulp. By applying fluoride gel to teeth, Dr. Rinando stimulates remineralization of teeth, which helps repair damage to the enamel that may have been initiated by demineralization. When teeth do not receive enough fluoride, demineralization inevitably leads to cavities.
When Extra Fluoride Treatments are Needed
Diseases such as xerostomia (dry mouth syndrome), periodontitis or gingivitis interfere with normal oral pH levels and create conditions in the mouth conducive to tooth decay. Dr. Rinando may recommend patients with these diseases come in for extra fluoride treatments between regular cleanings.
Dry mouth and gum disease increase growth of anaerobic bacteria that thrive in oxygen-depleted, highly acidic environments. In fact, anaerobic bacteria is responsible for all oral diseases, from tooth decay and cavities to periodontitis and infected dental pulp. Fortunately, fluoride prevents rapid demineralization of tooth enamel so that cavity development is significantly delayed or stopped.
Dr. Rinando also recommends that patients with braces, bridges or crowns consider having additional fluoride treatments, as bacteria tend to accumulate underneath braces and dental devices and promote enamel decay.
Tips for Keeping Teeth and Gums Healthy Between Dental Cleanings
- Toothbrushes should be replaced every three or four months
- Use toothpastes that contain ingredients formulated to fight plaque and tartar build-up
- Brush your teeth for least two minutes twice a day
- Avoid vigorous, “hard” brushing, which can irritate sensitive gum tissues at the gumline and erode enamel
- To ensure all teeth surfaces have been adequately brushed, apportion sections of your mouth and clean each section instead of just randomly brushing teeth.