Where does your dentist fit into good oral higiene?

Maintaining good oral hygiene involves going to the dentist every 6-12 months. The dentist is able to:
• Recommend cleaning techniques and products;
• Clean plaque and calculus from the teeth;
• Fill cavities that could lead to further tooth decay;
• Administer fluoride treatments;
• Treat mild gingivitis before it turns into periodontitis;
• Take radiographs; and
• Reinforce oral hygiene instruction over long term.

Key points to remember
• Everyone requires the regular use of a toothbrush and fluoride containing toothpaste, either manual or electric, at least once or twice a day.
• Fluoride is safe in water and toothpaste!! There is less chance of problems if one spits only, rather than rinsing after brushing.
• Soft bristled toothbrushes should be used, and replaced every three months.
• Electric toothbrushes are as effective, if not slightly better than manual toothbrushes.
• Using floss every day, or another device to clean in between your teeth before brushing is essential to maintain good dental hygiene.
• Mouthwashes are not necessary if flossing and brushing are adequate, however those containing chlorhexidine gluconate are most effective if used, but should not be used for long periods of time.
• The dentist is able to determine the best way for every individual to maintain good oral hygiene, and is able to provide feedback and tips.
• It is essential to have 3-12 month visits to the dentist to have dental calculus and dental plaque removed professionally.