How to Clean Your Teeth
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Do you know how to properly clean your teeth?
And do you know why that is important??
I am Dr. Mishler, and I am a periodontist.
A periodontist is one of the two dental surgical specialties. An oral surgeon is trained to treat problems in the entire head and neck area, and a periodontist focuses on the bone, soft tissue, and the ligaments in the mouth and around the teeth.
As a Periodontist, I deal with two types of problems: trauma and destruction from dental infection and disease.
When preparing for a surgery to rebuild teeth and bone that that have been lost from trauma or disease, I spend much of my time carefully cleaning and preparing teeth and implants.
Any plaque or tartar left on the teeth before surgery puts the procedures at risk for infection and less than ideal results.
The photos below are of a man that lost his two front teeth from a traumatic bicycle accident.
He started with an area that had a lot of bone loss from the accident. There wasn’t room to put implants in.
After bone regeneration surgery, he now has a thick, strong area of bone with enough bone and gum thickness for stability, health, and a great new smile.
What Happens When You Don't Clean Your Teeth:
Although, the surgeries to rebuild a smile after an accident can be technically challenging, the outcomes and longterm implant success is very favorable.
The cases I worry about more are the ones where people have lost teeth and bone from disease and infections.
In the first photo you can see the infections between the two implants (there is pus coming out from under the gums). And when I looked to find the source, I found a big piece of tartar on the implant which had led to bone being lost around both implants.
Patients like this that didn’t clean their teeth effectively are those that may have a lower clinical success rate.
The story usually starts with tooth decay from an early age, that continues throughout life leading from one restorative treatment to another and finally, the tooth is lost.
Another extremely common cause of bone and tooth loss is Periodontitis or gum disease.
CDC.gov reports that 47% of the population 30 or older are affected with Periodontitis.
And that number increases as we get older.
I often get asked by patients what they can do to improve healing and success of the surgeries I perform.
How to Clean Your Teeth Properly
That information is important, but what has a more longterm effect is the habits and routines we find ourselves doing on a daily, monthly and yearly basis.
A healthy lifestyle includes a diet that doesn’t leave the body in an acidic state. When the body is acidic, it that robs minerals from the bone and uses up all our antioxidants.
We know that, but it should be one of the first things we look at when things go wrong.
And even more fundamental than that is how you clean your teeth at home.
Almost always patients report that they brush twice a day, and some people say they floss regularly.
Yet, even with that, I find the bottoms of the teeth are still covered in plaque biofilm.
The principle is not to brush daily just to check the box, but to ensure that the teeth are clean all the way into gum around the tooth. Once you have that area clean, the rest is a breeze, and you will start having the results you are seeking.
Statistically we underestimate how long it takes for us to achieve a clean mouth.
It has been recommended to brush for two minutes, but that is not a rule.
Gently brush long enough to get the teeth free of thick plaque biofilm, especially around the gum line portion of the tooth, and then use something between the teeth like floss and proxy brushes to clean in-between the teeth and gently below the gum line.
I know what some of you are thinking, “I do all of that and still I am having trouble”. And that is true for some.
Occasionally, I look into a person’s mouth who has quite clean teeth, and they are still having problems.
That is the minority, and even if it is the case, I can assure you things would be much worse without your efforts to clean your teeth well.
And for the places you cannot reach we have trained professionals, hygienists, and doctors who can access and clean those difficult areas.
This a team effort, and we are glad you have chosen us to be on your team!
You clean your teeth twice daily, thoroughly at home, and we clean every 3-6 months depending on your current gum and bone health.
Working together, you CAN have a healthy, good looking smile for life!
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Dr. David Mishler
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