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Dental Hygiene

Protecting Childrens Teeth

A regular teeth-cleaning routine is essential for good dental health in children!

Start brushing your baby's teeth with fluoride toothpaste as soon as the first milk tooth breaks through. It's important to use a fluoride toothpaste as this helps prevent and control tooth decay. Always check with your dentist about the right choice of toothpaste for your child's age and tooth development. All children can use family toothpaste as long as you supervise brushing until the age of seven. Brush your child's teeth for about two minutes twice a day: once just before bedtime and at least one other time during the day.

Supervise tooth brushing until your child is seven or eight years old, either by brushing their teeth yourself or watching how they do it. From the age of seven or eight they should be able to brush their own teeth.

Dental Hygiene in Adults

Our dental hygiene treatment includes professionally cleaning the teeth for the patient. This is usually called scaling and polishing. However, perhaps our most important role is showing you the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

The Importance of Dental Hygiene
Poor dental hygiene leads to bacteria that build-up on teeth make gums prone to infection. The immune system attempts to curb the infection and the gums become inflamed. The inflammation continues unless the infection is brought under control.

Over time, inflammation and the chemicals it releases eat away at the gums and bone structure that hold teeth in place. The result is severe gum disease, known as periodontitis. Inflammation can also cause problems in the rest of the body.

The Link to Diabetes
The relationship between diabetes and periodontitis is now becoming clear. Inflammation that starts in the mouth weakens the body's ability to control blood sugar. People with diabetes have trouble processing sugar because of a lack of insulin (the hormone that converts sugar into energy). Periodontal disease further complicates diabetes because the inflammation impairs the body's ability to utilise insulin.

The Link to Heart Disease
Though the reasons are not fully understood, it's clear that gum disease and heart disease also go hand in hand. Up to 91% of patients with heart disease have periodontitis, compared to 66% of people with no heart disease. The two conditions have several risk factors in common, such as smoking, unhealthy diet, and excess weight. And some suspect that periodontitis has a direct role in raising the risk for heart disease as well.

Links to Pregnancy Problems
While many factors contribute to premature or low birth weight deliveries, researchers are also looking at the possible role of gum disease. Infection and inflammation in general seem to interfere with a fetus' development in the womb.

What can a hygienist do for me?

A hygienist will do a deep clean or RSD (root surface debridement) which means the removal of calculus from the root surface and down into the pocket that exists between tooth and gum. This should help the pocket to resolve and new healthy gum attachments to occur. Outside factors such as smoking, general health and stress levels will determine how successful the treatment is. You may require a referral to a Periodontist if your gum disease is not responding to hygienist treatment or if the disease is very advanced.

One of the other ways in which we help prevent dental decay and acid erosion is by looking at foods you take in. The hygienist can help identify any acids/sugars in your diet which may the cause of dental decay/acid erosion and can advise you on how to prevent further damage to your teeth.

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