Oral Hygiene

Why is oral hygiene so important?

Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily, visiting Dr Perry and his dental hygienist for regular scheduled routine dental hygiene appointments.

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

Why Is it so important to have my dental implants cleaned?

Your Role At Home

Practicing good oral hygiene at home is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. The New York State Dental Association and Dr Frank C Perry believes preventative care is the foundation of avoiding oral health problems. Simple care taken at home can help keep your mouth healthy and your smile bright between visits to your dentist.

Tips for Home to Make Dentist Visits Easier

Brush your teeth for 2 minutes, 2-3 times a day with a soft toothbrush, at your hygiene visit Dr Perry’s hygienist will give you a complimentary toothbrush and instructions on it’s proper use your you. Each person and mouth is different so professional instruction is often the best.
dental flossFloss at least once a day. during your dental hygiene visit Dr Perry’s dental hygienist will give you the best floss for you and help you learn how to use it properly.
Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months and when the bristles are frayed
Use an “ADA Accepted” fluoride toothpaste. Many adult patients will visit the dental hygienist every 3 to 6 months depending on their individual needs. Don’t worry we will give you a complimentary toothbrush at your visit.

“Always wear a protective mouthguard when playing sports!”
Brush Right, Smile Bright

Here are some tips to get you started!

Place your soft toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your gums
Move the brush back and forth gently, in wide strokes
Be sure to brush the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of your teeth
Brush your tongue to remove bad breath-causing bacteria

Dental Emergency Tips

Knocked out tooth? Retrieve the tooth and hold it by the crown (top). Gently rinse the root of the tooth if it is dirty. Do not scrub or remove any tissue or fragments. If possible, carefully attempt to put the tooth back in its socket. If replacing the tooth isn’t possible, put it in a container with milk or water and get to the dentist as soon as possible.
Broken tooth? Rinse your mouth with warm water and keep the area clean. Use cold compresses on the area to keep the swelling down and call Dr Frank C Perry at Frank C Perry DDS PC Phone Number 631-654-0707 for an appointment immediately.
Bitten tongue or lip? Clean the area gently and apply cold compresses to reduce any swelling. If there is persistent bleeding, go to a hospital’s emergency room quickly. I know that biting our tongue is not a common occurrence however in today’s busy hectic lives we tend to eat at work or during a meeting and it is human nature to talk and eat at the same time. To avoid this take some extra time out for lunch during the day and chew your food thoroughly not only will you avoid the unpleasant tongue biting episode but you will help with the first steps of digestion by mixing the important enzymes in our saliva with the food to begin the miracle of digestion.
Something caught between your teeth? Try to gently remove the object with dental floss and avoid cutting your gums. Do not use a sharp instrument of any kind to attempt removal. If you can’t get it out, call Dr Perry and get in as soon as possible. If you don’t often get food caught between your teeth and now it is happening more frequently then there may be a broken filling or tooth that has created a NEW space that was not there before. You will want to have Dr Perry check it out and make the appropriate recommendation for it’s repair. Food traps and spaces contribute to periodontal disease because even when you think you have all the food out there is most likely some additional debris in the area.
Toothache? Rinse your mouth with warm water. Make sure food or foreign objects are not lodged around the tooth by using dental floss. Do NOT put aspirin or any painkiller on the gums or around the aching tooth. It can cause a burn in your mouth and do more damage than good. There are over the counter remedies that can relieve the pain and provide temporary relief in the event you cannot get to see Dr Perry or on safari or at the top of Mount Everest but be sure to read the label on these products they are designed to provide temporary relief for a short period of time not for long term use.

Fluoridation

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention considers community water fluoridation one of the 10 Greatest Public Health Achievements of the 20th Century. It began in 1945 and has proven to be a safe and cost-effective way to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is a mineral found in nearly all naturally occurring water sources. It has been shown to prevent and even reverse tooth decay in communities.
For several decades, the American Dental Association has continuously endorsed community water fluoridation and the use of fluoride-containing products as safe and effective. These are excellent protective measures for preventing tooth decay.

applying topical fluorideWhen you visit Dr Perry for a dental hygiene visit we will in most cases do a concentrated in office rinse of fluoride this will help remineralize and protect the teeth after your dental hygiene visit. It will also REDUCE sensitivity. Over the past 20 years patients have complained about seeing the dental hygienist. The most common complaint is “my teeth are to sensitive” We have experienced in almost every case that keeping the gums and mouth healthy and using fluoride in our office has made these patient return and return and say.

“I was never able to have my teeth cleaned before. this is amazing thank you so much Dr Perry!!”

Oral Health and Pregnancy

Maintaining you oral health during your pregnancy is crucial. Research continues to suggestpreganant belly that there may be a relation between gum disease and preterm birth and/or low birth weight. Other studies reveal women with gum disease may also be more likely to develop gestational diabetes.  Continue your regular dental visits during your pregnancy, and be sure talk with Dr Frank C Perry and dis dental hygienist for personalized suggestions. Certain rising hormone levels and plaque buildup can irritate gums and cause pain. Dr Perry may recommend more frequent hygiene visits during the second or third trimester to help control gum inflammation or gingivitis.

Following pregnancy, oral health is very important because mothers and fathers can pass bacteria from their mouth to the child’s when sharing food, utensils or kisses. Clean mouths are important to babies with weak immune systems.

Tips on Preventing Some Problems During Pregnancy

If you are planning to become pregnant call Dr Perry and schedule and appointment often if the mouth is healthy before pregnancy we can avoid dental problems during pregnancy. Women often say that pregnancy destroyed their teeth when in fact when they were pregnant they did not visit the dentist and the problems that were there before have not been neglected because let’s face it. You have a lot going on as an expectant mother, baby showers, visit’s to the OBGYN, Making a new baby nursery and many woman still work and have to run their homes so this triples the amount of work you ladies have to do. Having to call us with an unexpected dental emergency is the last thing you need.
So get in visit Dr Frank c Perry and his team will keep your pregnancy event free; at least the unexpected dental event!

Using Products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance

Dentists and consumers have long recognized the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance as an important symbol of a dental product’s safety and effectiveness. For more than 125 years, the ADA has sought to promote the safety and effectiveness of dental products.

ADA seal of ApprovalThe first Seal of Acceptance was awarded in 1931. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan gave the Association a certificate of commendation for the outstanding self-regulatory efforts of its Seal program.  Although it is strictly voluntary, about 400 companies participate in the Seal program. Participating manufacturers commit significant resources to evaluate, test and market products in the Seal program. Some 1,300 dental products carry the Seal of Acceptance. Of these, about 45 percent are products sold to consumers, such as toothpaste, dental floss, manual and electric toothbrushes and mouth rinses. The rest are products prescribed or used by dentists, such as antibiotics or dental restorative materials.

Please be sure to select the correct product or ask us for a recommendation at your visit.

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 Frank C Perry DDS PC Phone Number 631-654-0707.

Dr. Perry recommends using a soft to medium 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. Use light pressure while putting the bristles between the teeth, but not so much pressure that you feel any discomfort.

guy with toothbrushWhen you are done cleaning the outside surfaces of all your teeth, follow the same directions while cleaning the inside of the back teeth.

To clean the inside surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth, hold the brush vertically. Make several gentle back-and-forth strokes over each tooth. Don’t forget to gently brush the surrounding gum tissue.

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. After you are done, 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. However, it is important 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.  During your dental hygiene visit Dr Perry’s hygienist will show you exactly how to floss for your specific needs.  Each mouth and person is different.  You will also get a complimentary dental floss!

Digital Image by Sean LockeDigital Planet Designwww.digitalplanetdesign.comTo clean the upper teeth, hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Gently insert the floss tightly between the teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Do not force the floss or try to snap it in to 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. As the floss becomes soiled, turn from one finger to the other to get a fresh section.

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. If your gums hurt while flossing you could be doing it too hard or pinching the gum. As you floss daily and remove the plaque your gums will heal and the bleeding should stop.

Caring for Sensitive Teeth

Sometimes after dental treatment, teeth are sensitive to hot and cold. This should not last long, but only 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 your doctor. They may recommend a medicated toothpaste or mouth rinse made especially for sensitive teeth.

Choosing Oral Hygiene Products

There are so many products on the market it can become confusing and choosing between all the products can be difficult. 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 the patients. Oral irrigators (water spraying devices) will rinse your mouth thoroughly, but will not remove plaque. You need to brush and floss in conjunction with the irrigator. We see excellent results with electric toothbrushes called Rotadent and Interplak.

Some toothbrushes have a rubber tip on the handle, this is used to massage the gums after brushing. 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. Tartar control toothpastes will reduce tartar above the gum line, but gum disease starts below the gumline so these products have not been proven to reduce the early stage of gum disease.

Anti-plaque rinses, approved by the American Dental Association, contain agents that may help bring early gum disease under control. Use these in conjunction with brushing and flossing.

Professional Cleaning

toolsDaily brushing and flossing will keep dental calculus to a minimum, but a professional cleaning will remove calculus in places your toothbrush and floss have missed. Your visit to our office is an important part of your program to prevent gum disease. Keep your teeth for your lifetime.

Fluoride and the Adult Periodontal Patients

Education is an ongoing process and essential to the management of the patient over the course of treatment, follow-up care, and periodontal maintenance.  Patients need to know the benefits of both professional and self-applied fluoride therapies.  Patients stop using fluoride once the sensitivity has subsided, not understanding the long-term benefits of strengthening root surfaces to reduce the likelihood of future caries .

Root caries is a significant issue for the aging and adult periodontal patient.   By the age or 30, 50% of adults have experienced root caries.  An aggressive program of home-care fluoride application in combination with professional treatments can maintain the periodontal patient in a caries free state.  Since root surfaces are more porous than enamel they allow for a higher uptake of topical fluoride.  It has been proven, however, that 91% of root caries can be arrested by proper use of topical fluoride.  For high risk cases, a combination of chlorhexidine rinse therapy in addition to fluoride therapy can help reduce the bacterial challenge of the high risk patient susceptible to root caries.

Fluoride therapy is recommended after periodontal debridement (scaling and root planning) to prevent root caries initiation.  Exposed root surfaces are softer than enamel, and are not meant to be exposed to the onslaught of acids produced by the tinerration of fermentable carbohydrates and the bacteria in plaque.  Fluoride will also help reduce sensitivity.  As our population ages, many adults now keep their natural dentition well into old age, often for the duration of their lifetimes.  It is important to be aware of the factors that will affect adult patients as the age.  Factors to consider include xerostomia, limited dexterity, failing eyesight, poor oral hygiene, illness or injury, in addition to the use of medications and the need for periodontal therapy.  The risk factors involved must continually be evaluated, and treatment recommendations must be made appropriately.  Preventive therapy is less invasive and less traumatic than continual dental repair and reconstruction and is less costly to the patient.

Fluoride works by inhibiting demineralization and by enhancing remineralization of the enamel and dentin.  Remineralization requires higher concentration and more frequent application of fluoride.

Fluoride Facts

Dr Perry and his dental hygienist can prescribe fluoride topically to be used before bedtime for most adults.  Fluoride will also decrease sensitivity at the gumline of certain teeth.

Another way to receive fluoride is by using oral care products such as toothpastes, mouth rinses and gels   In fact, about 90 percent of toothpastes and many mouth rinses contain fluoride.  Systemic fluoride (fluoride that comes from eating foods and drinking liquids) and topical fluoride (fluoride that is applied to the surfaces of the teeth) both work together to keep teeth healthy.

Fluoride is beneficial to people of all ages.  When children are young and their teeth are still forming, fluoride works by making tooth enamel harder and more resistant to the acid that causes tooth decay.  In fact, studies indicate that people who drink optimally fluoridated water from birth will experience a significantly higher percentage of lower amounts of tooth decay over their lifetimes.  As far as adults are concerned the benefits are just as great.  Fluoride helps repair the early stages of tooth decay even before e they become visible in the mouth, a process known as remineralization.  Other benefits include a decreased amount of sensitivity to cold foods along the gum line due to periodontal recession (another topic) and/or tooth brush abrasion (another topic) and for older adults who experience problems with root caries (decay along the gumline), fluoride has been effective in decreasing this condition.

Parents must monitor their children’s tooth brushing habits.  This office as well as the ADA encourages all parents to take an active role in their children’s oral health and one way to do so is to supervise their brushing habits.  Children should be told to use only a small amount of toothpaste and not to swallow toothpastes and mouth rinses.  You should always supervise your children in the bathroom when they are brushing.  In fact it is a good idea to demonstrate a good oral hygiene regimen by brushing and flossing along with them.  Children are often impressed by what their parents’ habits are and will often due the same.  Give small children a chance to brush on their own.  Then you should brush for them; you have to help them in the beginning until they get it right.  Fluoride alone cannot prevent dental disease, to help, the ADA recommends brushing 2-3 times a day, flossing daily and eating a well-balanced meal.  Regular dental check-ups also are recommended at least twice a year for all.

Q: My teeth are very sensitive when the dentist uses the sonic cleaning method. Would the new sonic toothbrushes that one can purchase help with that condition if I used one regularly? Or would a toothpaste for sensitive teeth be more effective?

Ultrasonic scalers generate a high frequency vibration to remove tartar from your teeth during cleanings performed at your dentist’s office. While sensitivity to such scaling is common, the sonic toothbrushes sold for at-home use are set at a much lower power and shouldn’t irritate your teeth. However, if you have sensitive teeth, using a sonic toothbrush may not alleviate the problem.

There are two primary reasons for tooth sensitivity. Dentinal sensitivity occurs when the middle layer of a tooth is exposed. This layer, known as dentin, lies below the gumline. The dentinal layer consists of fine tubules, which contain nerves that branch from the tooth’s pulp chamber. When the dentin is exposed, the nerves can be stimulated by pressure of temperature changes, resulting in sensitivity that can affect any number of your teeth. In contrast, pulpal sensitivity is a reaction of the pulp to infection, recent dental treatment, or excessive pressure from biting or grinding. Pulpal sensitivity is usually confined to an individual tooth.

There are several treatments available for dentinal sensitivity, all of which aim to block the tubules in the dentin, preventing the stimulus from reaching the nerves. In the dental office, your dentist or hygienist may use higher-strength fluoride varnishes and other products that are painted on the tooth to reduce sensitivity. At home, you can use any number of widely available toothpastes and fluoride rinses for sensitive teeth. Look for products that include potassium nitrate or stannous fluoride, which have been proven to reduce dentinal sensitivity in the roots. You should discuss treatment options with your dentist. Happily, tooth sensitivity is usually easily remedied.

Please Read More about Prevention on the Dr Frank C Perry DDS BLOG