Dental hygiene services at Pacifica Dental

Dental hygiene services at Pacifica Dental

Dental hygiene is essential in order to maintain healthy and beautiful teeth. Lack of dental hygiene or poor oral hygiene can cause complications such as cavities or periodontal disease. These conditions may lead to infections, tooth loss, bone atrophy and more serious complications, including cardiovascular disease, metabolic and renal issues, respiratory problems, neurological disorders, and preterm birth.

Bacterial plaque and dental tartar are the main causes of periodontal disease. There are many cases in which the patient has what appear to be near perfect teeth, but can have hidden problems as a result of this relentless disease that acts slowly, without obvious symptoms or pain to attract attention. Unfortunately, when the first signs of periodontal disease appear (such as inflammation, bleeding gums, or dental mobility), the disease is already established.  In fact, the stage of evolution is advanced. The most effective approach in prevention, as well as early detection and the establishment of a quick and effective treatment plan, is to schedule regular check-ups at the dentist.

It is recommended that professional hygiene be scheduled regularly every 3-6 months. and specifically performed before starting any dental treatment, especially surgical procedures.

Good oral hygiene can be achieved and maintained in 2 ways:

  • Personal, individual oral hygiene, performed daily, both in the morning and in the evening, at home, by the patient;
  • Professional dental hygiene, performed at least every 6 months (or every 3-4 months for people who have implants, prosthetics, gum recession or other dental concerns) in the dental office, by specialized personnel using specific technology.

Professional dental hygiene includes the following services:

  • Root planing, ultrasonic scaling and hand scaling, which remove tartar deposits;
  • Polishing, which removes the small pieces of tartar left after descaling;
  • Fluoride, which protects the teeth.

What are scaling and root planing?

Scaling and root planing are essential procedures for the health of the teeth and gums that are performed in the dental office and which remove the deposits of tartar from the tooth surface. Although we brush our teeth daily, sometimes it is not enough to keep them perfectly clean. Depending on the food we consume, bacterial plaque is deposited on both the teeth and gums. Over time, it can mineralize, forming hard deposits, known as tartar deposits or dental calculus.

Scaling removes these deposits both above and below the gum line. Root planing specifically targets the teeth roots, smoothing them and removing any plaque build up.

With today’s advanced technology, the scaling procedure is done not only by hand, but also by an ultrasonic device. This device, used with water, cleans the teeth with ease and efficiency. An additional benefit is that ultrasound is able to effectively sanitize the wisdom teeth, which can be difficult to keep clean.

After scaling and root planing, patients may feel a slight tenderness in the teeth and gums for 2-3 days.

Teeth polishing is both healthy and cosmetic. It helps remove plaque and deters bacteria from adhering to the teeth. It is a gentle, pain-free procedure.

Positive polishing aspects:

  • Provides teeth with a beautiful aesthetic look;
  • Smooths tooth surface, so less plaque accumulates;
  • Produces the pleasant feeling of smooth teeth;
  • Helps improve effectiveness of orthodontic procedures.

Fluoride treatment

The last step of the cleaning process is a fluoride treatment. This treatment is used as a protectant for the teeth which helps fight against cavities for several months.

Fluoride varnish is painted onto the teeth with a small brush. The varnish will adhere to the teeth when in contact with saliva, so you can eat and drink immediately afterwards. The tooth surface will feel sticky- this will wear off gradually. It is recommended to leave the varnish on until brushing at the end of the day for maximum benefit.

At the end of the dental hygiene procedures, the hygienist will recommend which oral hygiene products to use daily at home – toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash and so on – depending on your specific needs.

Do not hesitate to contact us and book a professional cleaning session with your favorite hygienist here at Pacifica Dental!

How to take care of your teeth during the holidays

How to take care of your teeth during the holidays

This time of year, our teeth are exposed to very high levels of sugar, acid foods and beverages, which can lead to the weakening of the enamel and cavities. That is why it is more than important to follow the basic rules of oral hygiene, even now, during the holidays.

For the holidays, we like to put cakes, candy and chocolates on the table. There is no shortage of drinks either, whether we are talking about juices, mulled wine or champagne. What do they have in common? Large amounts of sugar, which, together with the bacteria in the mouth, produce acids that destroy tooth enamel, resulting in cavities.

Interdental cavities, a real holiday danger

This type of cavities develops between the teeth in a very short time. For example, interdental cavities can develop if cariogenic foods (sweets, juices, fast carbs) are consumed in a short time. They can affect one or two teeth and develop in hard-to-reach places that are difficult to detect with the naked eye. In order not to face great toothaches during the holidays, follow these recommendations.

A new toothbrush and a whitening toothpaste can work wonders

Before entering the festive season, make a change in your oral hygiene kit – a new toothbrush, whitening toothpaste, dental floss and fresh mouthwash, all of which will encourage you to brush often and efficiently. Also, investing in a new, electric toothbrush, is always a good idea and one we strongly advise you to do it.
Hard bristles can damage sensitive teeth. For complete oral health, opt for a brush with soft, fine bristles that slip discreetly into places that are difficult to brush.

After every meal, rinse your mouth with water

After eating high-sugar foods and beverages, if you don’t have mouthwash or a toothbrush and toothpaste on hand, at least rinse your mouth with water. This way, you restore the pH balance in the mouth, which decreases due to the sugar and carbohydrates. Eating sweets can make your teeth more sensitive and increase the risk of developing cavities. Therefore, in addition to daily brushing, it is very important to use dental floss. This way, the bacterial plaque is removed. Instead of sweets, why not choose cheeses, nuts or fruits. Consuming a fruit of stronger consistency for dessert (e.g. apple or pear) can play a very important role in cleaning the bacterial plaque on the teeth, in a natural way.

Keep a routine

The holidays can change your daily schedule, but try to brush your teeth at least twice a day. You can carry a toothbrush and toothpaste with you and take the time to take care of your oral health after meals. Occasionally, if brushing your teeth is not an option, chew sugar-free gum, which increases saliva and helps eliminate food debris. Attention! This not a long-term solution, but an emergency back-up.

If you travel

If you are going to spend your holidays this year with friends or family, somewhere far from home, don’t forget to put dental floss, gauze and painkillers in your luggage to deal with minor dental problems. This way, you will be able to enjoy the holidays, pain free.

Don’t use your teeth as a tool

Avoid opening gifts or bottles with your teeth. Over time, this habit weakens the enamel and the more fragile edges of the teeth, which will lead to cracking and breakage.

Do you like red wine? Keep a few recommendations in mind

If you like to drink red wine or mulled wine, keep in mind that the strong pigments can develop stains on the porous surface of the teeth. This does not mean that you should avoid red wine for the holidays.

To reduce tooth staining in the short term:

  • Brush your teeth before enjoying a glass of red wine – by properly removing plaque and food residue from your teeth before a heavy meal, you can minimize the risk of staining your teeth.
  • Rinse your mouth after drinking red wine – to help prevent stains on your teeth, after drinking red wine, drink a glass of water. This way, you also stay hydrated. Interestingly, you may think it makes sense to brush your teeth immediately, but the enamel is actually more sensitive right after a meal. Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to prevent tooth damage and allow the enamel to recalcify.
  • Eat while drinking – eat something savoury while enjoying a glass of red wine. Savoury foods act as a barrier to the acids in red wine.

Schedule an appointment with your dentist in Victoria right after the holidays

Make your general and oral health one of your new year resolutions. We strongly suggest you make an appointment with your dentist, right after the holiday season. The Pacifica Dental team will assess the health of your teeth and gums, and, if necessary, establish a treatment plan, including setting up a long-term routine to prevent possible problems or diseases.

Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season. See you next year!