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Dental Health

Our Bay Area Dental Health Treatments

 

Dental Health-Oral Hygiene

Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some point in 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 that sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing, you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease. Daily brushing and flossing will keep dental calculus to a minimum. However, a professional cleaning will remove calculus in places your toothbrush and floss have missed. Your visit to our office is an important part of preventing gum disease and decay.

 

Dental Health - Child Dentistry

Teaching your child good oral hygiene habits early can lead to a lifelong healthy smile, but did you know that just because babies don’t have any visible teeth, doesn’t mean they can’t get cavities? A baby’s 20 primary teeth are already present in the jaws at birth. And those baby teeth that begin coming through the gums around six months help set the stage for future smiles by keeping space in the jaw for adult teeth.

  • Baby Teeth Are Important
    When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in. This can make teeth crooked or crowded. That’s why starting infants off with good oral care can help protect their teeth for decades to come.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a dental check-up at least twice a year for most children. Some children need more frequent dental visits because of increased risk of tooth decay, unusual growth patterns or poor oral hygiene.

Regular dental visits help your child stay cavity-free. Teeth cleanings remove debris that builds up on the teeth, irritate the gums and cause decay. Fluoride treatments strengthen the enamel and help prevent cavities. Dr. Olson and our hygienists provide an ongoing assessment of changes in your child's oral health. We will evaluate your child's needs for additional treatment such as sealants, dietary changes, and orthodontic development.

  • Nutrition

Children need strong, healthy teeth to chew their food, speak and have a good-looking smile. A good diet is essential for a child’s growth and development. Almost all foods, including milk or vegetables, have some type of sugar, which can contribute to tooth decay. To help control the amount of sugar your child consumes, always try to read food labels and choose foods and beverages that are low in added sugars. Water is the best choice for a healthy body and mouth.

Prophylaxis (Teeth Cleaning)

A dental prophylaxis is performed to thoroughly clean the teeth and gums. A prophylaxis is a preventative treatment that is an important part of stopping the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease.

The benefits include:

  • Plaque removal. Tartar (also referred to as calculus) and plaque buildup, both above and below the gum line, can result in serious periodontal problems. Unfortunately, even with a proper home brushing and flossing routine, 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 esthetics of a smile. Prophylaxis is an effective treatment in ridding the teeth of these stains.
  • Fresher breath. Bad breath (or halitosis) is generally indicative of advancing periodontal disease. A combination of rotting food particles (possibly below the gum line) and potential gangrene stemming from gum infection, results in bad breath. The routine removal of plaque, calculus, and bacteria at our office can noticeably improve bad breath and reduce risk of infection.

We recommend that prophylaxis be performed twice annually as a preventative measure. However, your hygienist may determine that you come in more often. Your hygienist will evaluate your individual needs and discuss the recommended timeline for your cleanings.

 

SC/RP (Deep Cleaning)

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gum and bone that support the teeth. If periodontal disease is not treated, it can get worse and lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is not always painful. You may not be aware of a problem until your gums and supporting bone are damaged. The first step in treating periodontal disease usually involves a special deep cleaning, called scaling and root planing. During the procedure, plaque and tartar that is in the "pockets" below the gumline are removed, and the root surfaces of the teeth are smoothed to allow the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the teeth. This treatment may take multiple visits. Once periodontal disease is brought under control with treatment, it is very important that you get dental care on a regular basis. Most patients who have undergone scaling and root planing will be placed on "periodontal maintenance care" instead of a general prophylaxis.

 

Periodontal Maintenance

Periodontal maintenance involves a cleaning that is deeper and more extensive than a normal cleaning in the dental office. A periodontal cleaning is considered to be a therapeutic procedure, not a preventative procedure like a general prophylaxis. Patients with a history of periodontal disease need deeper cleanings because the periodontal "pockets" have formed. Plaque and tartar form in these pockets and need to be removed on a routine basis. A periodontal maintenance cleaning is often recommended every 3-4 months. Your hygienist will evaluate your individual needs and discuss the recommended timeline for your periodontal cleanings.

Brushing and flossing are important for everyone, but even more so for periodontal patients. Keep in mind that periodontal treatment is most effective when the patient and dental team work together. This means taking good care of your teeth and gums at home every day. Patients who follow through with periodontal maintenance care are more likely to keep their teeth and prevent the disease from getting worse. Your hygienist will work with you to establish a good homecare routine.