Teeth Cleaning

A dental prophylaxis is a cleaning treatment performed to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums. Prophylaxis is an important dental treatment for stopping the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease.

The benefits include:

  • Bacterial removal. Calculus (also referred to as tartar) and plaque buildup, both above and below the gum line, can result in serious periodontal problems. Unfortunately, even with proper dental home care, it can be impossible to remove all debris, bacteria and deposits from gum pockets. The experienced eye of a dentist or hygienist, using specialized dental equipment, is necessary to catch potentially damaging buildup.
  • A healthier looking smile. Stained and yellowed teeth can dramatically decrease the aesthetics of a smile. Prophylaxis is an effective treatment for eliminating these unsightly stains from the teeth.
  • Fresher breath. Halitosis (or bad breath) is generally indicative of advancing periodontal disease. A combination of decaying food particles (possibly below the gum line) and potential infection in the soft tissue or bone, results in bad breath. The routine removal of plaque, calculus, and bacteria at our facility can noticeably improve halitosis and reduce the possibility of infection.

Prophylaxis can be performed at our office. We recommend that prophylaxis be performed twice annually as a preventative measure, but should be completed every 3-4 months for periodontitis sufferers.

Why is oral hygiene so important?

Adults over the age of 35 lose more teeth to gum disease (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time during their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.

Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film which constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing, you can remove these bacteria and help prevent periodontal disease.

Professional Cleaning

Daily brushing and flossing will keep dental bacteria to a minimum, but a professional cleaning will remove bacteria in places your toothbrush and floss have missed. Your visit to our office is a critical component of your oral health. 58 Dental is committed to providing the highest level of preventive dental medicine to help you maintain a healthy, functional lifestyle.

How to Brush

If you have any pain while brushing or have any questions about how to brush properly, please be sure to call the office at (303) 758-5252.

Dr. Griffith recommends using a soft bristled tooth brush. Position the brush at a 45 degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. Gently move the brush in a circular motion several times using small, gentle strokes, brushing the outside surfaces of your teeth.

When you are done cleaning the outside surfaces of all your teeth, follow the same directions while cleaning the inside of the back teeth. Sometimes it is easier to use a short back-and-forth motion, compared to a circular motion, on the inside surfaces of your teeth.

Next, you will clean the biting surfaces of your teeth by using short, gentle strokes. Change the position of the brush as often as necessary to reach and clean all surfaces. Try to watch yourself in the mirror to make sure you clean each surface. When you have finished, rinse vigorously to remove any plaque you might have loosened while brushing.

How to Floss

Periodontal disease usually appears between the teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing is a very effective way to remove plaque from those surfaces. It is important, however, to develop the proper technique. The following instructions will help you, but remember it takes time and practice.

Start with a piece of floss (waxed is easier) about 18” long. Lightly wrap most of the floss around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap the rest of the floss around the middle finger of the other hand.

To clean the upper teeth, hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Gently insert the floss between the teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Do not force the floss or try to snap it into place. Bring the floss to the gumline then curve it into a C-shape against one tooth. Slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel light resistance. Move the floss up and down on the side of one tooth. Remember there are two tooth surfaces that need to be cleaned in each space. Continue to floss each side of all the upper teeth. Be careful not to cut the gum tissue between the teeth.

To clean between the bottom teeth, guide the floss using the forefingers of both hands. Do not forget the back side of the last tooth on both sides, upper and lower.

When you are done, rinse vigorously with water to remove plaque and food particles. Do not be alarmed if during the first week of flossing your gums bleed or are a little sore. As you floss daily and remove the plaque, your gums will heal and the bleeding should stop. If you continue to experience discomfort or bleeding, this is usually a sign of disease, which should be evaluated promptly.

Caring for Sensitive Teeth

Sometimes after dental treatment, teeth are sensitive to hot and cold. This should not last long, if the mouth is kept clean. If the mouth is not kept clean, the sensitivity will remain and could become more severe. If your teeth are especially sensitive consult with our office.

We may recommend a medicated toothpaste, mouth rinse, or dental treatment aimed at reducing sensitivity. If you experience spontaneous pain, lingering pain, or aching/throbbing pain, this is usually a sign of disease. Please contact 58 Dental promptly for a comprehensive evaluation.

Choosing Oral Hygiene Products

There are so many dental products on the market, choosing the right product for you may seem confusing. Here are some suggestions for choosing dental care products that will work for most patients.

Automatic and “high-tech” electronic toothbrushes are safe and effective for the majority of patients. We see excellent results with electric toothbrushes such as Sonicare and Oral-B.

There are also tiny brushes (interproximal toothbrushes) that clean between your teeth. If these are used improperly, you could injure the gums, so discuss proper use with your doctor.

Fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses, if used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, can reduce tooth decay as much as 40%. Remember, these rinses are not recommended for children under six years of age.

Listerine, an anti-plaque rinse approved by the American Dental Association, contain agents that may help bring early gum disease under control. Use this in conjunction with brushing and flossing.

Radiographs (X-Rays)

Also known as “x-rays”, radiographs are a key component to diagnosis that allow for assessment of the hard tissue structures.  In addition, pathology, caries, calculus and bone levels can all be observed.  It is common for radiographs to be taken during routine examinations, but if a patient has been historically disease free and there are no signs that would indicate the necessity for radiographs, a dentist can extend the period between radiographs for up to 36 months.