Houston Teeth Cleaning
Proper dental care means more than brushing and flossing. Many experts recommend a professional teeth cleaning by a dentist at least twice every year to keep smiles healthy and prevent tooth decay and damage to the gums. Regular brushing and flossing removes plaque and bacteria from the teeth, but not completely! In hard-to-reach places between the teeth and gums, plaque and bacteria will form into tartar (also known as calculus). Tartar is too solid to be removed with a brush or floss and must be removed by a dentist during a professional cleaning. Removing tartar will help prevent gum disease, infection, and painful irritation. Additionally, semi-annual teeth cleanings work to maintain fresh breath removing odor-causing plaque and bacteria.
Tips for Proper Dental Care
- Brush and Floss Regularly
Brushing is the easiest way to promote good oral hygiene. Brushing food particles and bacteria off the teeth, the tongue, and entire mouth at least twice a day will work to prevent bad breath and infection. Flossing at least once a day will remove food particles your brush cannot reach.
- Use Mouthwash
A healthy mouthwash makes a great addition to a proper brushing and flossing routine by killing the bacteria weakening teeth and causing bad breath. Mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing or flossing but when used as part of an overall dental hygiene program, it can kill bacteria in hard-to-reach areas your brushing or flossing might miss. It is recommended to use a mouth wash without alcohol, such as Closys®, so that the mouth does not dry out.
- Quit Smoking
Eliminating tobacco use (cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco) is one of the best ways to improve oral health. Tobacco use is responsible for tooth discoloration, gum disease, and deterioration of the teeth and gums. Additionally, quitting smoking will improve your breath!
- Reduce or Eliminate Coffee, Soda, and Alcohol
These beverages can reduce tooth strength by depleting calcium, resulting in tooth decay and gum irritation or disease. Many of these beverages contain agents that will stain and discolor your teeth, removing the luster from your smile.
- Know your Risks
Approximately half of Americans have some form of gingivitis. Dr. Barras offers simple tests to determine your risk for oral cancer (oral HPV) and gum disease. Patients simply swish a saline solution in their mouth before spitting into a container, which is then quickly tested. Once the results have been determined Dr. Barras can prescribe treatment or make a referral to a medical doctor, if necessary.
- Change and Clean your Toothbrush
After each use you should thoroughly rinse your toothbrush and allow it to air dry. Covering your brush may actually promote bacteria growth. Store your toothbrush in an upright position somewhere clean. Toothbrushes should be changed every three to four months to ensure they remain clean and functional.
- Limit Snacking
Unless you’re prepared to brush your teeth after each snack, limit how much you munch to keep your teeth healthy and clean. Food particles left on the teeth after snacking will lead to bacteria and odor.
- Visit a Dentist
While there is much you can do at home to promote good dental hygiene, professional cleanings and exams are the best way to keep your smile healthy. Semi-annual cleanings and examinations with Dr. Barras will keep your teeth and gums healthy and can prevent costly complications later on!
Treating Gum Disease
When plaque and tartar form on the teeth, the gums can become irritated and inflamed. This is called gingivitis or low-level gum disease. Left untreated gingivitis will develop into periodontitis, then into advanced periodontitis. Gum disease may be painless but is typically accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms:
- Constant bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
- Loose teeth
- Swollen, bleeding, tender or red gums
- Receding gums
- Pus surrounding the teeth or gums
Low-level gum disease (gingivitis) is typically overcome with professional teeth cleanings and proper dental hygiene. For gum disease which has developed into periodontitis Dr. Barras offers advanced periodontal laser treatment to remove bacteria and rejuvenate the gums. Using lasers Dr. Barras is able to precisely target bacteria for fast and thorough treatment without disturbing the surrounding tissue.
Schedule a Cleaning and Exam Today
The building-blocks of proper dental care are regularly-scheduled check-ups with a dentist. Schedule a cleaning and exam at our Houston office near the Galleria today. Our team will thoroughly clean your teeth and gums and using the latest in dental technology will examine your mouth for any issues or concerns that may have gone unnoticed. To schedule a cleaning and exam with Dr. John Barras, DDS call (713) 993-9814 today!