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Dental Hygiene

Oral health is about more than just your teeth. It is about being both healthy and happy, having the confidence to be yourself, and being able to OWN YOUR SMILE. Our dental hygiene team works hard to make all that possible for you by providing you with the highest standard of dental care. This involves continuing education, training exercises, monthly team meetings, team building activities, and having pride in providing our patients with the best experience every time.

During your cleaning appointment your dental hygienist will take care of you from start to finish. At the start of your appointment you will have bitewing x-rays taken which are the cavity detecting x-rays. Once these are taken your dentist will examine them to diagnose any decay and discuss the findings with you. If it’s your first visit with us your hygienist will complete periodontal charting, which is the measuring of the space between your gums and your teeth. This is important as it helps detect bleeding gums, bone loss, gum recession, and gum disease. At every appointment your hygienist will scale, or “clean”, your teeth to remove any plaque buildup and then finish off by polishing your teeth.

Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps keep teeth resistant to decay, and is found in tap water, toothpastes, and mouthwashes. Using it on a regular basis helps strengthen your teeth and prevent decay, which is why your hygienist will recommend a fluoride varnish at your routine appointments.

Prevident toothpaste contains a high amount of fluoride (4x regular toothpaste to be exact), which is recommended to patients who are at high risk for cavities.

Dental sealants protect your teeth by helping to prevent food from getting stuck between the grooves, causing decay to form and creating the need for dental treatment. After your teeth have been cleaned, the sealants are applied to seal the grooves of your teeth and protect them against decay.

Oral cancer screenings are done at your first visit with us and at all routine cleanings. Checking for oral cancer during your appointments is important as many patients do not know the signs and symptoms to look out for on their own. Patients who are concerned about anything unusual in or around their mouths should contact us to book an appointment.

Going to the dentist on a regular basis may not be everyone’s favourite thing to do, but it is an important thing that should be done. Routine cleanings benefit you in many ways. Even with good at-home dental care (brushing and flossing), a visit to your dental hygienist is needed. Your hygienist removes plaque that you are not able to remove yourself. If left too long, plaque turns into tartar which can lead to cavities. At these visits, your hygienist will also check for oral cancer and any other noticeable concerns. Bitewing x-rays are taken at these visits as well, which detect decay, infection, and any other issues not detectable by the naked eye. Keeping on top of your x-rays helps catch things before they become problems. And keeping on top of your routine cleanings helps keeps your mouth healthy and clean.

There are some medical conditions that are closely linked to dental health and therefore require more frequent visits to the dentist to manage them. Heart disease and high blood pressure may have a link between gum disease, while osteoporosis can affect your teeth as the bones in your jaw may be more fragile. Lung disease may also be linked to gum disease due to increased bacteria in and around the mouth, while diabetes can affect your gums and even lead to periodontitis. Coming at more frequent visits may be recommended if you are at risk of dental disease and any of the associated medical conditions.

Some medical conditions require that premedication be taken before dental appointments as a prophylactic to help prevent infection. If required to take premedication, your family doctor or specialist will prescribe it for you before coming to see us.

Some medications taken on a regular basis have a side effect of dry mouth, which can cause several oral health issues. It is important to make us aware if you take any medications.

Dry mouth is a condition in which your salivary glands do not produce enough saliva, which can be a side effect of taking medications or having certain medical conditions. Saliva helps to protect your teeth against harmful bacteria that leads to decay, enhances your ability to taste, makes it easier to chew and swallow, and aids in digestion. And having a lack of saliva can cause bad breath! Having a healthy level of saliva is important, and so your dental providers will discuss options with you if you suffer from dry mouth.

Biotene is a solution that helps relieve dryness and pain associated with dry mouth. Biotene is a manmade product with pH levels similar to natural saliva. It is available as a toothpaste, mouthwash, spray, and gel. Speak with your dental provider about using Biotene if diagnosed with dry mouth.

Drinking water has many health benefits, but it especially helps your dental health. Drinking water fights dry mouth, washes away food and beverage particles left in your mouth after meals, and strengthens your teeth from the fluoride that is found in water.

Certain types of foods are very harmful to your teeth. These can include foods that are sugary, acidic, sticky or chewy, full of starches, crunchy or hard, and that dry out your mouth. Avoiding or limiting these types of foods can help reduce the amount of plaque build up in your mouth that can lead to tooth decay and possible dental treatment.

Xylitol is a sugar-free substance that looks and tastes like sugar. Because it is sugar-free, it has fewer calories and does not raise your blood sugar level. Chewing xylitol gum can improve your dental health, as having less sugar in your mouth decreases plaque build up on your teeth and in turn decreases and kills off the bacteria in your mouth.

pH levels indicate how acidic a substance is, which is important when discussing oral health. Your dental hygienist can perform pH testing for you at your routine cleaning to determine your own level. This aides in determining your dental needs and should be considered when discussing your overall dental health. Your hygienist can recommend options to help if your level is more on the acidic side.

Smoking can cause many health problems for your overall health, your oral health included. Smoking can cause bad breath, discoloured teeth, excessive plaque/tartar build-up, bone loss in your jaw, gum disease, and even oral cancer. Talk to your dental professional about how to prevent and treat decay and gum disease, and for advice on maintaining your oral health and wellness.

Taking care of your teeth at home is an essential part of your oral health. Brushing and flossing should be done at least twice a day, and done so in a proper manner. Using the right techniques will effectively clean your teeth, gums, tongue, and mouth.

Using the proper toothbrush for your dental needs can make all the difference in your oral health. Deciding between a manual and electric toothbrush is a personal choice, and your dental hygienist will always be available to discuss which option is best for you.

Getting married?! We want to help you celebrate! Contact us about our complimentary dental services for before the big day.

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