New Braunfels Dentists, PLLC.

Dr. Robert A. Heinrich

Your dental cleanings: Prophylaxis (regular cleaning) VS. Periodontal maintenance (deeper cleanings)

A prophylaxis is for someone that has completely health gum tissue with no evidence of bone loss.  Periodontal maintenance is for someone who has either bone loss or deep pockets (caused by bacteria) around their teeth or both.  Periodontal maintenance is for a patient with gum disease (periodontitis).  The signs of gum disease are not always easy to see and can be painless.  Once you have periodontal maintenance, you cannot go back to a regular cleaning as the damage to your gum tissue and bone loss has already taken place and you need to maintain the periodontal health usually every 3 to 4 months instead of your typical 6 months.  Failure to do so can result in worsening of your periodontal status thus potentially leading to further bone loss, gum recession and tooth loss.

Why do I have to floss?

 

Flossing…We all don’t love it, but our teeth love it.  The physical contact of the floss between the teeth allows you to remove plaque that the tooth brush bristles cannot reach.  With the removal of this plaque you avoid cavities on the contacts (between the teeth) as well as strengthen your gums (flossing before brushing allows clean surfaces for fluoride to reach from your toothpaste).  When we are infrequent with flossing, it can cause our gums to bleed that then leads to gingivitis or periodontitis.  There are many tools we can suggest besides just string floss to help make flossing easier to get into the routine.  Ask your dental hygienist for more information.

But my hard toothbrush feels so good.

But my hard toothbrush feels so good

 

Many times we run across patients who just love medium or hard toothbrushes because it feels like it cleans better.  However, we have found that using a medium or hard bristled brush can actually damage the teeth and cause gum recession, which leads to sensitivity.

 

When  we aggressively brush with this type of bristle we will wear the enamel down to the next layer of the tooth that has very small nerve endings.  Gum recession also exposes dentin on the root of the tooth that can cause sensitivity when brushing or getting teeth cleaned.  It is recommended we use a soft toothbrush because it removes the plaque debris from the teeth, massages the gums, and the bristles are more flexible to bend cleaning more tooth surface.

~Your dental hygienist,  Ariel Kilgore.
Stay flossing my friends
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