Cleans by your Dentist – Every 6 Months
You can help to look after your gums at home by brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing or using interdental brushes to clean the surfaces between your teeth once a day.
Regular six monthly cleans by your dentist or dental hygienist are also essential to maintaining optimum gum health. Build-up of calculus or tartar left untreated can lead to inflammation and bleeding gums and can be an early sign of gum disease.
During your teeth cleaning appointment the dentist or dental hygienist will remove plaque and calculus from your teeth, both above and below the gum. Your teeth will be polished and a fluoride treatment may also be recommended.
Take Home Tips
At the completion of your dental clean, an individual oral hygiene regime will be tailored specifically to your oral hygiene needs. This will involve revising tooth brushing technique and helping with the use of interdental aids including flossing and interdental brushes.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral which plays a critical role in strengthening your teeth, enabling them to fight off the effects of decay. While fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral in nature, the level of fluoride found in the environment is not sufficient on it’s own to protect your teeth which is why small supplemental amounts are added to the water supply as well as into toothpaste.
Fluoride is crucial to combating tooth decay, which is why your dentist will often recommend a fluoride treatment with your regular dental examination and clean. While fluoridated toothpaste is very effective, sometimes a ‘fluoride top up’ is necessary to ensure your teeth have the strength to resist the bacterial acid that causes tooth decay. Your dentist can easily provide you with the top up through a treatment where a fluoride gel is applied to the teeth for a short period of time.
In some cases, particularly when a patient is experiencing dentine hypersensitivity, a fluoride varnish may be recommended by your dentist.
Your Oral health therapist (both a dental hygienist and therapist) is a professional member of the dental team who is specially qualified to provide both dental treatment and education to patients.
An oral health therapist specialises in preventative care. While much of their time is spent cleaning teeth, preventing gum disease and tooth decay, just as much time is spent on oral health education. An oral health therapist is a university trained dental professional with dual qualification in both dental hygiene and dental therapy.
During your dental hygiene appointment, our oral health therapist is able to create an individual oral hygiene regime that is tailored specifically to your oral hygiene needs and requirements. An assessment of your gum health is first made, followed by a comprehensive clean and then a fluoride treatment, if necessary. Education provided to our patient’s at the completion of a cleaning appointment involves revising tooth brushing technique and helping with the use of interdental aids including floss and interdental brushes.
If you know how to look after your teeth and gums, and realise how important it is, you can keep that healthy smile for life.
As many as one in four Australians suffer from bleeding gums. Gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums, is a common cause of bleeding gums and should not be ignored.
Signs of gum disease include inflamed gums that are red, swollen and often shiny in appearance. Gums which bleed easily, especially when brushed or flossed. Other signs can include persistent bad breath and or a bad taste in the mouth, spaces beginning to appear between the teeth, one or more teeth becoming mobile, soreness and receding gums.
For many people, regular check-ups and cleaning of the teeth by their dentist or oral health therapist, is essential and can prevent gum problems from becoming severe. Regular hygiene appointments help maintain healthy gums which are pink, firm and do not bleed when brushed or flossed. If you have any concerns about your gum health we recommend making an appointment to see your dentist who can assess your teeth and gums and then refer you to our oral health therapist for a thorough, yet gentle clean.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I buy interdental aids, such as floss picks and interdental brushes?
If you are unable to pop in, a number of interdental products are available at some pharmacies and supermarkets.
What are the signs of gum disease?
Signs of gum disease include inflamed gums that are red and swollen. Gums which bleed easily, especially when brushed or floss. Smokers gums are less likely to bleed sometimes masking gum disease.
Other signs can include persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth, increased spaces beginning to appear between the teeth, mobility of teeth, soreness and receding gums.
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