Dental Hygiene in Cedar Park, TX
Stains, plaque, and debris get trapped continuously between our teeth, underneath our gum lines, and it is impossible to get rid of them with a regular toothbrush and mouthwash. That is why it is still important to come for regular dental hygiene appointments every six months.

What is plaque?

The answer is simple. It is a colony of live and dead bacterias and their byproducts or toxins. They especially like to thrive when we eat a lot of carbs, and when there are too many of them, they soften our tooth enamel and create cavities.
If you don't follow the proper oral hygiene process, you will get plaque between the teeth, which will mineralize, and their byproducts will develop gum disease.
Basically, the longer we wait between our hygiene appointments, the faster bacteria colonies reproduce themselves, and the more damage they do to us. It is critical to follow the hygiene schedule because you will stay healthier and spend a lot less by maintaining than replacing your teeth.

What are the types of plaque, and why can't we brush it off?

The plaque divides into colorless and colored types.
Colorless is less harmful. It usually develops while we sleep or between meals, and regular toothbrushes could easily remove it. If it remains in your mouth, it could create a bad breath and taste.
Colored plaque is the worst type. It creates nasty tartar, which causes all kinds of oral health issues including, cavities, gum, and bone diseases. Not everyone understands that regular brushing does not remove all the plaque altogether. We can only see and clean those teeth above the gum line, but the other part is hidden underneath and not visible. The hidden part of the tooth is the one responsible for the health of our teeth.

There is a space between tooth and gum where all the bacteria live and create plaque, which eventually becomes tartar. This process is hidden from our view because it is all happening underneath the gum. That is why white teeth do not always mean that they are healthy. A toothbrush is useless here, and only professional oral hygiene can help.

Tartar causes gum inflammation, and the first symptoms of that would be bleeding gums and discomfort. Many people do not see it as a problem at this stage, and some try to use over-counter mouthwashes, which might ease the symptoms but won't fix the problem, which will only worsen from this point.
If left alone, the inflammation turns into gum disease (gingivitis), which later becomes a bone disease (periodontitis). While gingivitis is considered a reversible condition, periodontitis usually causes permanent bone and tooth loss. Regular professional cleaning can help to avoid all these problems.

What is professional oral hygiene?

Many people mistakenly believe that this procedure is necessary only for teeth whitening, but it has very little to do with whitening. It is a large complex of measures aimed at removing plaque and tartar. It includes the destruction of soft and hard plaque, polishing the teeth' surface, and preventing various diseases.

How does a hygienist clean your teeth?

There are usually four stages of a professional dental cleaning. This separation allows the most thorough and safe destruction of all deposits on your teeth.
  • First stage
Its main task is to remove hardened plaque and tartar. At Cedar Park Dental Wellness, we use ultrasonic machines and handheld instruments to help us with this.
Water and ultrasonic vibrations come through a nozzle of a specially designed handpiece, and when it comes into contact with substantial deposits, they break off from the surface of the tooth. With the increased sensitivity of the teeth, this can cause quite unpleasant sensations; therefore, we suggest using local anesthesia at this stage. This part of the procedure is entirely safe for teeth and enamel.
  • Second stage
The removal of soft plaque from the teeth' surface, attention is paid to hard-to-reach spaces.
For this purpose, we suggest the AirFlow technology; it consists of a mixture of water and a special powder that hit the teeth' surface under pressure.
Hard particles hit the tooth and gradually remove all impurities. This procedure has a slight whitening effect. As a rule, the enamel becomes natural. It is usually pleasant, as the powder comes in various flavors - mint, lemon, and others, but sometimes it can cause a slight tingling sensation in the gums.
But after this stage, the surface of the tooth becomes smooth and pleasant to the touch.
  • Stage three
After completing the first two stages, all the teeth must be treated to prevent subsequent contamination. This process includes polishing using special brushes and an abrasive paste.
After this procedure, the teeth acquire a healthy look; we recommend to repeat this entire process every six months.
  • Stage four
It is an optional stage, and we recommend it for people with tooth sensitivity. Its essence lies in the mineralization of teeth. We cover the tooth surface with special varnishes containing various minerals and trace elements. This coating makes the tooth less sensitive to temperature extremes and strengthens it. Quite often, these varnishes contain fluoride, so this procedure is called fluoridation.
In general, all stages take about 1-1.5 hours, depending on the oral cavity contamination. With healthy teeth, you should undergo this procedure twice a year. Still, when plaque is formed in large quantities in certain diseases, for example, with periodontal disease, we might recommend professional teeth cleaning every three months.
But even after the procedure, do not forget about the daily self-cleaning of your teeth. In this case, you should select your toothpaste following the teeth' characteristics, and you must not neglect the use of rinses and dental floss.

What are the benefits of professional oral hygiene?

  • The whitening effect, due to the removal of all deposits on the surface of the teeth, returns the natural color of the enamel, plus the fact that such whitening does not violate its integrity in any way.
  • Destruction of tartar in the most inaccessible places, it is impossible to do this on your own. Its accumulation can cause an intense inflammatory process up to the loss of a tooth.
  • Absence of painful sensations. The great advantage of this procedure is that it is practically painless, slight pains are possible during the first stage, but local anesthesia can quickly help.
  • Speed and quality of cleaning that last. Healthy teeth only need to be back every six months, and at the same time, it takes only an hour.

What are the disadvantages of professional oral hygiene?

Professional teeth cleaning should not have many side effects except for increased sensitivity in the first two days. Of course, the result is highly dependant on the experience and professionalism of the person performing the cleaning. Another common problem is the possibility of hurting gums. But all this passes relatively quickly, and the positive effects of the procedure last a very long. So these disadvantages are relatively minor.

Oral hygiene after the procedure.

There are some basic rules for oral care that you can follow to keep the number of dental visits to a minimum.
Rule#1. The right choice of a toothbrush.
There are so many brushes in stores and pharmacies that many people get lost and buy an utterly unsuitable model. But this is very important.
  • Firstly, all brushes are classified according to their hardness, soft, medium, and hard. The latter should be chosen only by those who are sure of their gums' health and are not afraid to damage them. It is these brushes that provide an intense massage of the gums. If your gums are healthy, but you are worried about them and are afraid to harm, then the ideal choice is a brush of medium hardness. And soft and very soft should be bought when the gums bleed regularly not to damage them even more.
  • Secondly, you should pay attention to the bristle material. All dentists unanimously believe that pig bristles are unacceptable in this case; they are too unreliable and fall out quickly. It is better to purchase a brush made from natural materials. Do not forget about the number of bunches, for small children, there should be 23 of them, for teenagers - 39, and adults from 47 to 50. For example, an adult with small teeth is better off purchasing a brush for teenagers or children.
  • Thirdly carefully examine the design of the brush itself. The bristles should be trimmed evenly. It is useful when the handle has embossed rubber inserts that prevent the toothbrush from sliding in hand, the head should be rounded, so it is less likely to damage the mucous membrane.
  • Fourth, choose the size of the brush. The brush's length should correspond to the width of the owner's two teeth, and the width should not exceed 11 mm. The toothbrush should be changed regularly, preferably once every three months. After each use, it should be thoroughly rinsed and placed in a glass, head up.
Rule 2. Choosing a toothpaste.
All the pastes are divided into hygienic and therapeutic and prophylactic.
Hygienic ones are intended only for cleaning the teeth from food pieces and plaque and have no medicinal properties. They are recommended for those who have no dental problems. They are also divided into cleansing and deodorant, depending on the purpose.
Therapeutic and prophylactic pastes contain many healing components. They are subdivided into a family, children's and therapeutic.
Family - these are universal pastes with a firming effect, as a rule, contain fluoride. Children's pastes are specially designed for gentle care of baby teeth. And therapeutic are intended for the treatment and prevention of various diseases. They should be selected following the characteristics of the oral cavity. If you do not know which specific paste is right for you, then consult Dr. Regina Yunusov at Cedar Park Dental Wellness.
Rule 3. Brushing your teeth.
You must at least brush twice a day, in the morning before meal and in the evening before bedtime. The duration of one cleaning should be at least three minutes; otherwise, the paste will not have time to work.
Remember that the brush's movements must be soft and neat; otherwise, you can damage the gums, thoroughly clean the entire oral cavity, not forgetting about the farthest and most inaccessible corners—those areas where caries will develop because of plaque and tartar build-up.
Also, don't forget about dental floss and mouthwash. Dental floss will help you to clean the gaps between your teeth and prevent tartar. And the mouthwash will help freshen your breath, control bleeding, and kill bacteria.

Safety and guarantees.

Many unflattering reviews about professional oral hygiene are posted on the Internet, but this does not mean that this procedure is harmful and painful. It is essential to know the possible side effects of increased sensitivity, work in compliance with all safety standards, and follow your particular oral cavity's characteristics.
Qualified specialists always take into account all the patient's nuances and requirements, and as a result, you will get healthy, clean teeth that will delight you for a long time.
A timely hygiene procedure will save you time and money on the treatment of many unpleasant diseases. It is advisable to do it before dental treatment, which will allow you to achieve a better effect from the treatment.