Oral Hygiene

Ask Dr. Griffin

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Oral HygienePrevention

We have centered our practice on Prevention and Health as opposed to simply emphasizing emergency and repair care.  We believe that the supporting gum tissue and bone are just as vital as the teeth themselves.  Unfortunately, only lip service is normally paid to this important area and prevention is often misunderstood and inadequately stressed.

The best way to protect and maintain the crucial supporting structures for a lifetime is to perform good daily oral hygiene procedures and have a qualified professional dental hygienist clean your teeth regularly.  At that time, preventive procedures can be implemented or adjusted to protect your oral health.  While the responsibility for returning for periodic preventive treatment lies with you, we provide an ongoing program of health maintenance with you.

In order to maintain healthy teeth, it is vital to remove plaque and tarter on a regular basis.
During your visit, Dr. Griffin and his team will perform an oral cancer screening exam, check your teeth for cavities, review oral hygiene instructions and monitor your periodontal (gum) condition. Fluoride treatments are provided as a proven dental decay preventative. Good oral hygiene and in-between cleanings by a dental hygienist are essential to prevent cavities, tartar build-up and gum disease.

Periodic teeth cleaning (Prophylaxis) by a dental hygienist is HIGHLY recommended to remove tartar that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, especially in areas that are difficult for a patient to reach on his/her own at home. Professional cleaning includes tooth scaling and tooth polishing, and debridement if too much tartar has accumulated. This involves the use of various instruments or devices to gently loosen and remove deposits from the teeth.  A good quality electric toothbrush – like the Rotadent Toothbrush – has been proven to remove much more plaque every day than a manual brush!

Facts about Oral Hygiene

  • Over 100 species of bacteria and many hundreds of species of fungi, protozoa and viruses take up residence in our mouths. 
  • Saliva contains 40 essential proteins. 
  • 50% of Americans do not receive regular oral health care and suffer the consequences. 
  • The average person only brushes for 45 to 70 seconds per day. The recommended amount of time is 2 to 3 minutes per brushing. 
  • It is possible to have periodontal disease with no warning signs.

Most dental hygienists recommend having the teeth professionally cleaned and examined at least once every 4 to 6 months. More frequent cleaning and examination may be necessary during the treatment of many dental and oral disorders. This includes yearly selective dental x-rays and panoramic x-rays at least every three years to search for growths or cysts in the jaws.

Oral Hygiene FAQ

1. How often should I visit Dr. Griffin and his team to maintain good oral hygiene?

Everyone has different needs based on their habits, medical and dental histories, and overall health. Dr. Griffin must examine your teeth to understand and recommend how often you will need to have check-ups and oral cleanings. Proper oral hygiene is an invaluable component to your oral health.  It can be instrumental in the early prevention, detection and treatment of periodontal disease, as well as other dental health concerns that may not be evident to you.

2. What is the importance of seeing a hygienist?

The hygienist’s role goes beyond just a professional cleaning. The hygienist is trained and licensed to deliver a wide range of services to their patients. These may include periodontal therapy, periodontal screening and risk assessment, periodontal maintenance, home care guidance and instruction, oral cancer screenings, nutritional counseling and screening for signs of eating disorders and diabetes. The hygienist can devote her time entirely to you, addressing your oral hygiene, prevention, and maintenance as well as your overall health.

3. Is tongue cleaning just a fad?

For centuries, Eastern cultures have added tongue cleaning to their daily oral hygiene regimen. It is now becoming more broadly-recognized and recommended by dental professionals as an essential step for proper oral hygiene. As bad breath concerns have become a focus, the tongue has been recognized as the source that harbors a large percentage of the bacteria in the mouth, even after brushing and flossing.