Maintaining good oral hygiene practices is extremely important, not just for your oral health, but for your general health as well. Failure to properly care for your teeth and gums can lead to a variety of health problems, including:
- Gum disease
- Bone loss
- Heart disease
In order to ensure you maintain healthy teeth and gums, you will need to diligently follow your daily at-home dental hygiene regimen and come to our office for your regularly scheduled dental checkups and cleanings. Kansas City dentist Dr. Thomas Barton recommends that you get your teeth professionally cleaned at our office at least twice a year. If you have health issues such as periodontal disease, you may require more frequent appointments.
Your Daily Oral Hygiene Regimen
Dr. Barton feels it is important to educate his patients about how to maintain a proper daily oral hygiene regimen. By caring for your teeth and gums at home between your checkups, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing serious dental problems.
When brushing, make sure to use a soft bristle toothbrush. Brush in small circles rather than side to side, angling the toothbrush 45 degrees into the gum line. It is important to brush for at least two minutes and reach all surfaces, including the front, back, and sides of your teeth as well as your tongue.
When flossing, wrap the dental floss around your middle fingers, and hold it between your index finger and thumb. Use your middle fingers to hold the floss and your index fingers/thumbs to guide it between your teeth. Make sure you extend below the gum line when flossing, using an up-and-down sweeping motion against the surface of your teeth. It is important to reach all of your teeth, getting behind even those farthest back in your mouth.
Purpose of Your Dental X-Rays
When you come to our office for your regular dental checkups, Dr. Barton will generally take a set of x-rays of your teeth. These x-rays accomplish several important purposes and help detect any problems that must be addressed.
Bite wing x-rays, the little x-rays that go in your mouth, are used to identify places of decay in between the teeth that can’t be seen by looking with the naked eye. Dr. Barton will also use these x-rays to look at bone levels and bone height in between the teeth to see if you are developing periodontal disease.
In certain cases, Dr. Barton will take x-rays to look for abscesses, tumors, or cysts as well. However, these x-rays are only taken based on patient need. When you bring your children in for their regular checkups, Dr. Barton will take x-rays to make sure their permanent teeth are developing properly underneath their baby teeth.
Please contact Dr. Barton today to schedule your next professional teeth cleaning at our Kansas City, Missouri dental office.