Good oral hygiene is one of the most effective ways of preventing long term dental problems. Cleaning teeth properly prevents tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath and stops more serious problems such as tooth loss and premature ageing from the resulting bone loss in the jaw.
Preventative dentistry makes treatments such as crowns, bridges and implants unnecessary because teeth last a lifetime if they are cared for properly.
Harley Street Dental and Implant Clinic encourages patients to floss every day and recommends hygiene appointments every quarter to remove plaque and calculus from behind the gum line and back teeth, areas which are difficult to reach.
Plaque is a sticky, colourless deposit of bacteria that is constantly forming on the tooth surface. The build up of plaque can trap stains on the teeth, and it is also the primary factor in gum problems. It begins forming on teeth four to 12 hours after brushing, which is why dentists advise people to brush at least twice a day and floss daily, and when left turns into calculus, a crusty deposit that creates a strong bond that can only be removed by a dental professional. Individuals vary in their susceptibility to plaque and calculus but it is common for these deposits to build up faster with older age.
Dental hygienists use tooth scaling to remove plaque and physically scrape away calculus to prevent cavities, gingivitis and gum disease, and they polish the teeth to leave them feeling smooth. Advice on brushing and flossing, smoking cessation and the application of fluoride to remineralise teeth is also provided by the Harley Street Dental and Implant Clinic team.
In oral health, prevention is better and cheaper than cure. Seeing a hygienist regularly reduces the risk of gum disease and tooth loss because even with a good tooth brushing technique, most people miss parts of their mouth.