„Tooth brush, paste, cup, warm water, this is how the great adventure begins, I brush my teeth because I know who does not wash them – he is in trouble! Because it is very important to have healthy teeth!”
The quoted text of the song for children is known to practically all of us from kindergarten. Now the children also sing it and how many beautiful smiles would there be if this song did not end with singing only … Because prophylaxis is the first step in the treatment of caries and periodontitis, consisting in the prevention of dental and periodontal diseases. It sounds serious, and it means almost the same as in the song. Prevention is nothing more than a simple method of caries prevention, which the earlier it is introduced, the better the results – healthy teeth and gums, saving time and money, and a beautiful and natural smile throughout your life. It sounds beautiful and it’s so simple… The main task of prophylaxis is to fight plaque – the main cause of the development of caries and periodontitis, as well as to increase the resistance of tooth tissues and periodontium to acid and bacteria attack.
At Elektoralna Dental Clinic, we provide patients a full range of professionally performed preventive treatments using modern and proven methods.” Because it is very important to have healthy teeth!”.
The hygiene instruction contains detailed instructions on the rules of oral care. After examining the patient, the doctor selects the appropriate tooth brushing technique individually, depending on the patient’s needs, the condition of his dentition and gums, as well as his manual skills. Taking into account the problem of cleaning tooth surfaces, interdental surfaces and hard-to-reach places, the doctor advises on the selection of the appropriate type of toothbrush and toothpaste as well as additional accessories. Demonstration of oral care products is often accompanied by a demonstration of how to use them on models or directly in the patient’s mouth.
Foods that we eat – their quality and consistency as well as the frequency of consumption have a huge impact on the condition of our teeth. Teeth are protected by enamel, but it is exposed to damage caused by lowered pH, which occurs immediately after eating cariogenic foods, in particular carbohydrates, which remain on the enamel surface for a long time. Carbohydrates are the reason of caries. They are the basis of the metabolism of bacteria. They create acids, which in turn demineralise the enamel.
The diet of pregnant women and infants is important for the proper development and mineralization of teeth.
Mother’s milk, which is the main nutrient of infants, is not particularly cariogenic, despite the fact that it contains the disaccharide lactose. It contains calcium and phosphates, which inhibit the demineralization of enamel, and casein, which, by covering the surface of the teeth, slows down the caries process.
It is also important to consume vitamin D, which causes the proper development of enamel. Proteins contribute to the development of salivary glands, which are responsible for the correct amount of saliva secreted.
Here are some examples of food products that are important in caries prevention:
- hard cheeses (e.g. camembert) stimulate the secretion of saliva, which increases the concentration of calcium in the plate and protects the enamel thanks to the casein contained in them
- groats, legumes, vegetables, nuts – they stopping the bacteria responsible for the formation of caries
- chewing gum preferably with sorbitol, xylitol or fluorides, used within 10 minutes. after meal,
- niskokaloryczne słodziki – wykazują niską próchnico twórczość, gdyż nie są rozkładane przez bakterię do kwasów
Some foods are highly sticky to the surface of the teeth, which makes them more cariogenic than others. These include candies (toffee type), chips.
Out of concern for the health of our patients, appreciating the role of diet in the prophylaxis of dental and periodontal diseases, we provide patients who come to our clinic with a full range of information on beneficial and negative eating habits.
Professional tooth cleaning is designed to remove plaque and other deposits on the surfaces of the teeth that cannot be removed with home hygiene procedures. Depending on the type of cover on the teeth, different methods are used:
- Mechanical tooth cleaning with the use of special brushes and rubber bands as well as professional toothpastes
- Sandblasting – a procedure for removing plaque and discoloration of dental crowns caused by coffee, tea and smoking. The so-called air-powder apparatuses are used for this purpose. “Sandblasters” – throwing a thin stream of a mixture of dust and water under high pressure, effectively eliminating deposits and discoloration that cannot be removed with a toothbrush.
- Scaling is a procedure to remove hard plaque (tartar) accumulating on the surfaces of tooth crowns, using ultrasonic devices called scalers. Scaling is usually a painless procedure, pain may appear only in the presence of inflammation of the tissues surrounding the tooth – in such a situation local anesthesia is given. Each scaling is finished with polishing of all cleaned surfaces. This prevents the re-build-up of plaque and provides the patient with a pleasant feeling of smooth teeth.
Fluoride is a scientifically proven weapon of the dentist, widely used in dental prevention. The most popular form of professional fluoride prophylaxis is varnishing of cleaned teeth with the use of fluoride varnishes, such as Fluor Protector or, especially recommended for children, Duraphat. Varnishing is commonly used both in the prevention of the entire dentition and selected places. Varnishes are characterized by a significant viscosity, which makes them stick well to the tooth enamel and stay on their surface for a longer time, thus slowly releasing fluoride. Due to the above features, these products ensure a reduction of caries up to 40%. The varnishing treatment should be repeated 2-4 times a year, depending on the patient’s susceptibility to caries. Fluoride used in the form of fluorine varnishes:
- strengthens the enamel of children and adults
- reduces the deposition of dental plaque
- prevents the formation of secondary caries (around fillings)
- prevents the formation of caries in the course of treatment with braces
- it removes the hypersensitivity of the necks of the teeth.
Sealing of the tooth grooves consists in filling the grooves and cavities in the teeth with a special material – crevice varnish. The furrows and fissures are places where food remains for the development of bacteria and the complicated shapes make it difficult or even impossible to clean them properly with a toothbrush, which promotes the development of caries. Sealing, both milk teeth and permanent teeth, is therefore intended to protect them against the caries process. The sealing procedure should be carried out as soon as possible after the tooth appears in the mouth, however, when the tooth is erupted enough to be isolated from saliva. We apply sealing to healthy permanent molars and premolars, as well as deciduous molars, it is also possible to seal the depressions in the palatal surface of the second permanent incisors. It is an excellent method of caries prevention, simple, painless and effective – it allows you to achieve approx. 90% reduction of caries.
In the Elektoralna Clinic, the education of the youngest is carried out by a certified dental hygienist in a specially prepared office, full of teaching tools, life-size tooth models, all kinds of brushes and other oral cleaning accessories, posters, books, etc.
The visit begins with staining the plaque with a special liquid. Thanks to this, our young patients can see if and how precisely they brush their teeth.
Education depends on the parents and consists of several important elements:
- proper diet
- proper brush and paste choice
- oral hygiene instruction and patient motivation
If you teach your child to brush their teeth, it is like you have already taught them everything.
1. What is plaque?
Plaque is a firmly adhering, soft deposit that stays on the surface of the teeth, gums, tongue, cheeks and prosthetic restorations. After stopping hygienic procedures (see -> oral hygiene instruction), it undergoes mineralization, transforming into tartar.
2. What is the cause of tooth decay?
The main cause of tooth decay is plaque, consisting of food debris and bacteria that builds up on the teeth after every meal. The bacteria are on the dental plaque. Lead to a reduction and create enamel, which will enable the development of caries. The bacteria that form plaque also attack the gums and deeper periodontal tissues, so they are the main and most important cause of periodontitis, which is accompanied by other factors such as smoking, general diseases (diabetes, osteoporosis, etc.), stress and genetic influences.
3. How to prevent caries?
In order to effectively prevent the development of caries, it is necessary to strengthen the structures of the hard tissues of the tooth. This is favored by:
- proper oral hygiene (see -> instructions, professional tooth cleaning);
- home and professional fluoride prophylaxis
- sealing the grooves of the teeth – covering the grooves and cavities in the teeth with a special material
- balanced diet
- malocclusion prophylaxis (see -> orthodontics).
4. Do you have to give up eating sweets in order to have healthy teeth?
Sugar in food is actually necessary for plaque bacteria to produce acid and thus initiate the caries proces. However, it is impossible to completely eliminate sugars from the diet.
Therefore, it is worth remembering that the consistency and the frequency of their consumption (the time spent in the mouth) are much more important than the amount of sweets consumed. The worst effect is frequent eating of sticky products that stick to the teeth (toffee-type candies, chips – the most popular salty snack, etc.).
So you do not have to completely deprive yourself of the pleasure of eating sweets, it is important to observe the time of meals and limit snacking, and after eating sweets, brush your teeth immediately.
5. What are sugar substitutes?
Sugar substitutes are substances that give the food a sweet taste, and at the same time do not harm the teeth and gums. Two types of sugar substitutes are known
- nutrients – xylitol, sorbitol
- synthetic sweeteners – e.g. aspartame, cyclamate, acesulfame, dulcin
All these substances are used to eliminate sucrose from the diet – sugar the most dangerous for the teeth.
6. Which toothbrush should I choose?
Choosing the right toothbrush it is very important in oral care. The most important thing is that the brush is selected individually to the patient’s needs, with the size and hardness of the bristles. The brush should have a small head thanks to which it can reach hardly accessible molars. Usually soft and medium-soft brushes are recommended. There are also electric and sonic toothbrushes on the market. They are very easy to use and their use reduces the time of tooth cleaning compared to traditional toothbrushes.
7. How often should the toothbrush be replaced?
The brush should be replaced on average every 2 months. Some brushes have an wear indicator – a bunch of bristles of a different color that fade as the brush wears down.
8. How to brush teeth?
Any method of brushing teeth is good as long as it is effective and does not harm teeth and gums. Most preferably, the brushing technique is selected individually by a doctor or a hygienist, depending on the patient’s needs, the condition of his teeth, gums and manual skills.
Proper brushing should last at least 3 minutes. The minimum frequency of this procedure in most patients is twice a day: in the morning after breakfast and after the evening meal before going to bed.
However, there are situations that require a different brushing rhythm, e.g. for people treated with fixed orthodontic appliances, it is advisable to brush their teeth after each meal.
9. Does tooth brush is enough?
In order to effectively care for the teeth, it is necessary to clean all their surfaces: vestibular, lingual, chewing and lateral. Only the first three surfaces are available for the toothbrush. Thus, a toothbrush is not a sufficient product to maintain proper oral hygiene.
There are also electric and sonic toothbrushes on the market. They are very easy to use and their use reduces the time of tooth cleaning compared to traditional toothbrushes.
It is necessary to use additional utensils:
- dental floss – used to clean the interdental spaces;
- dental toothpicks – silicone or made of woodless wood;
- interdental toothbrush;
- a one-tuft toothbrush;
- water irrigator
10. Which toothpaste choose?
The choice of toothpaste is not as important as the choice of toothbrush, but using the correct toothpaste can improve brushing efficiency. Most of the toothpastes available on the market meet the basic requirements.
There are tootpastes:
- prophylactic pastes;
- herbal pastes;
- whitening toothpastes;
- Fluoride -free toothpastes;
- children’s toothpastes;
- multi-action toothpastes.
11. Is it worth chewing gum without sugar?
Sugar-free chewing gum helps maintain proper oral hygiene. Chewing increases producing of saliva, which mechanically cleanses the teeth. In addition, sugar-free gums most often contain xylitol or sorbitol (simple sugars), which inhibit the growth of plaque bacteria.
Chewing gum should not last longer than 5-10 minutes so that it does not turn into a habit unfavorable for the temporomandibular joints.
12. What are the benefits of using preparations for professional dental prophylaxis?
Professional prophylaxis includes varnishes, gels and fluorine foams – commonly used both in the prophylaxis of the entire teeth and selected places, as well as modern fluorine-free preparations containing restoring tooth tissues, the so-called “Artificial enamel” (Tooth Mouse).
The above-mentioned preparations:
- strengthen the enamel of children and adults;
- reduce the deposition of dental plaque;
- prevents the formation of secondary caries (around fillings);
- prevent the formation of caries in the course of treatment with fixed appliances;
- they can reduce the hypersensitivity of the teeth necks.