PREVENTION AND PROPHYLAXIS
Oral prophylaxis, or “prophy” as it is sometimes called, is the process of having your teeth professionally cleaned by a dental health care specialist—either a dentist or dental hygienist. Although regular home care cleaning is necessary for maintaining a clean, healthy mouth, only prophylaxis can remove stains and calculus from your teeth. Even the most diligent brusher and flosser can’t remove all of the dangers that build up to erode health, as science is more powerful than nature in ensuring longevity of strong teeth, gums, and bone.
As you eat, a plaque constantly forms on teeth. If not completely removed (which home care only offers a limited ability), it hardens into calculus. It is particularly harmful when it forms at and near the gum line. When this happens, your gums become irritated and begin to pull away from the teeth.
A pocket then forms between the teeth and gums, allowing even more plaque to accumulate on top of the calculus. After a while, irritated gums can become red, puffy, and may bleed. This is the way periodontal, or gum, disease begins. Without proper treatment, it can result in the loosening and loss of teeth! The frequency with which a prophylaxis is necessary to keep your teeth clean is best determined by your dentist or dental hygienist.
NUTRITION AND YOUR TEETH
What you eat also affects how much plaque and calculus result. To plaque, your mouth is just like a candy store. When you eat sweets, germs have all the sugar they want. The more often you eat sweets between meals, the more often the acid will eat away the enamel and dentin protecting the soft center of the tooth. The best time to east sweets is at mealtime and then brush your teeth. Also avoid sticky, chewy candy. You don’t want to turn your mouth into a hotel for unwanted guests (germs). However, you don’t have to stop eating sweets entirely. But you can be smart about what you eat and when you eat it.
ARE STAINS HARMFUL?
The stains which may appear on your teeth are not harmful. However, having stains removed from your teeth by prophylaxis will make your mouth look more attractive and feel clean and fresh. And when your teeth have been made smooth and clean, your dentist is better able to perform a good visual exam of them.
The benefits of a prophylaxis are greatly increased if you floss and brush daily, eat healthful foods, and keep snacking to a minimum.
Additionally, The American Cancer Society recommends that patients have a complete oral soft tissue examination that screens for oral cancer at least once a year. Every hour of every day, one American dies of oral cancer.
Click here to discover what patients have experienced working with Dr. Chernoff for their dental treatments.
Refer to related articles that make oral health understanding easy and action clear:
“Preventative: Regular Dental Visits” —educational video with clear and concise instructions.
“It’s More Than ‘Just a Cleaning.’ It’s Prevention!” —the condition of teeth and gums can indicate overall health. Find tips for hygiene, dental procedures, and home oral care habits.
“General Hygiene Check-up” —describes regular dental evaluation, maintenance, and diagnosis.
“Achieve an Ageless Smile” —tips for keeping teeth and gums younger than years.
Explore blog articles for more personal and practical considerations:
“What is the Value of One Tooth?” —Scott Smith explains his realizations gained from hard experience.
“Eight Steps to Dental Health” —of all the activities for ensuring health, dental diligence is the least time-consuming. Keep your teeth for a lifetime with only eight simple steps in a daily routine.
“Cleaning Towards Total Health” —discover how regular hygiene check-ups affects your health in unexpected ways.
“Inevitable Decisions” —Everyone has to deal with toothaches at some point, so being prepared is as easy as knowing the solutions.
“Your Dentist Can Save Your Life” —Oral cancer is deadly. Your dentist is your first line of defense.
Choose a dental care team with experience, skill, talent, and compassion you can depend upon.
Please call our convenient Evanston dental office at 847-475-4080.
Consult “Patient Education” for concise dental treatment explanations and solutions.
Enjoy “Chernoffisms” to inspire your dental health from a wealth of memorable sayings.
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Improve and maintain your oral health. Visit our dental office located in downtown Evanston, convenient to Skokie, Wilmette, and Northern Chicago suburbs. We look forward to helping you! —Dr. Arnold K. Chernoff