Dental Hygiene

Stay in the pink with regular dental hygiene appointments in Lethbridge

dental-hygiene-lethbridgeWe’ve all been told to brush and floss twice daily. You’ve probably heard it a million times in your life – and yes, it’s true – they are important things you should do for a healthy, gleaming smile. However, there’s a third thing required to keep your oral health at its best – regular dental exams and dental hygiene appointments.

Excellent dental hygiene helps to maintain strong teeth and healthy gums. By partnering up with Lethbridge dentist Dr. Lachman and his team, you can cover all the bases of your oral health care needs. That’s because even the best brushers and flossers can’t do it alone.

Dental hygienists have the tools and the training to help you keep on top of plaque, tartar and bacteria build up. Regular dental exams allow Dr Lachman to identify oral health issues early and start treatment when problems tend to be more easily resolvable.

Why is regular dental hygiene care so important?

Because plaque is white, it is very hard to see as it blends into the tooth’s natural white colour. Your teeth may appear white, but, in many instances, they could still be covered with plaque, especially in those hard to reach areas. To locate the plaque, Dr. Lachman may use a special dye to show you the areas you may be missing with your twice daily brushing and flossing regime.

Our patients are often surprised to learn that their tooth brushing technique could use some professional help. In order to stay on top of things, we recommend you schedule a professional cleaning and dental exam twice a year.

What goes on during a dental exam?

During a regular dental exam, Dr. Lachman will:

  • evaluate your oral hygiene
  • oral cancer screening
  • check for signs of tooth decay, root decay, and gum or bone disease
  • evaluate your need for dental restoration or tooth replacement
  • assess your bite alignment and jaw joint
  • if required, take dental X-rays and perform other diagnostic procedures such as an oral cancer exam

Your dental exam may also include counselling about diet, and lifestyle factors that can impact your oral health.

dental-hygiene-gum-disease-lethbridgeA note about gum disease

If your gums bleed when you brush or floss, it could be a sign of gum disease. Bleeding gums are not normal. Generally, your gums bleed because of built up bacteria in your mouth caused by plaque and tartar. This bacteria can threaten your gums, teeth, dental restorations, cosmetic dental work and your health.

Bacteria inflames the gums.  When the gums are inflamed, they can pull away from your teeth, creating pockets where the bacteria can live and grow. If an infection sets in, your teeth, gums and underlying bone structure can start to break down.

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is often painless in its early stages.  In fact, many people don’t know that they have gum disease. That’s why it’s so important to have your oral health assessed by a dental professional on a regular basis.

 

A note about tongue bars

snoring-sleep-apnea-tongue-barA tongue bar is a body piercing done directly through the tongue. These x-rays show how a tongue bar can impact your airway.

The top x ray  to the right shows no tongue bar  in place.   Notice between the yellow arrows there is a large black area. This is a normal size airway.

The bottom x ray shows the same person with a tongue bar, or stud in place.  Look how small the airway is between the yellow arrows on the bottom x ray compared to the top.

The tongue bar has shrunken the volume of the airway by 75% because it compresses the tongue, and forces it backward into the airway. This effectively simulates sleep apnea by compressing and shrinking the airway.

If you are thinking about a tongue piercing, we recommend you reconsider. Besides the airway issue,  tongue studs can:

  • harbour bacteria causing bad breath
  • break teeth
  • abrade and erode the gums

Keep your teeth healthy

Like all dentists, we want you and your family to have the healthiest teeth possible. Regular, semi-annual check-ups and dental hygiene appointments can help to achieve this. If you would like to learn more about how to keep your teeth their healthiest, please contact us.