Oral Health Services at Coquitlam Family Dental Clinic
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
Altitude Dental provides oral health services and oral hygiene tips at our Coquitlam family dental clinic. We believe in, and support, oral hygiene for children early on – leading to healthy teeth for a lifetime.
A healthy mouth and beautiful smile that lasts for your lifetime is our ultimate goal, and yours. Starting a practice of oral health early is key to achieving this goal. Dental health is often one of the first items we put aside in our busy lives. Many people understand the basic oral hygiene tips of daily brushing and flossing but delay regular dental check-ups and hygiene cleanings because their teeth feel fine.
Cavities and gum disease are two medical conditions that can occur without any warning signs. Preventative services, such as recall dental exams and hygiene cleanings, ensure that your oral health is maintained with minimal cost on small and safer procedures and avoid more invasive and expensive treatments.
Our Oral Health Services: what happens at a dental hygiene appointment?
Scaling and Root Planing: Your dental hygiene appointment is most often spent on scaling and root planing. Your dental hygienist will manually remove any soft (plaque) or hard (calculus) buildup that has accumulated above and below your gum line. This is a very important part of preventing gum disease.
Polishing: This pain free procedure is done with a polish that is similar to toothpaste, and a rubber cup. Polishing helps to remove stubborn stain and sticky build up, called biofilm, from the enamel.
Fluoride: Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods however due to the acids in the foods we eat we lose fluoride through demineralization and remineralization. We recommend fluoride as a preventative oral care treatment – this preventative care is endorsed by Health Canada and the Canadian Dental Association. Remineralization with fluoride will allow the enamel layer to repair and make the teeth more resistant to plaque and early decay.
Oral hygiene for children: when providing fluoride treatments for children under 6 years old, the fluoride is absorbed in the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride speeds remineralization and disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth. We recommend first visits to our dentist and oral hygienist starting at an early age - when the first teeth erupt - because it's important for children to develop the early habit of good oral health care and regular visits to our dentist office. This healthy habit will benefit them, and their teeth, life-long.
Professional Examination: Regular dental check-ups are recommended every 6 months. This allows for early detection and correction of oral health problems.
Digital radiographs: A digital radiograph allows us to see oral health problems that occur in the jaw bone and around the root of the tooth. The need for dental x-rays depends on your individual needs however we are committed to only conducting x-rays when necessary.
Why do I need to have oral health services, such as dental exams and hygiene cleanings?
Brushing, flossing and the use of mouth rinse at home helps to maintain your dental health but it doesn’t take the place of the more in-depth cleaning that we are able to perform during your hygiene visits.
At home you are able to maintain the removal of soft plaque and food debris on only the top third of your teeth.
Even with a perfect home-care routine, you are only able to clean one third of your tooth surface. Your dental hygiene appointments are the only way to have the tenacious build up removed from your teeth and below the gum line. Not only does this help maintain your overall dental health, it also gives us a chance to monitor you for any early signs of reversible conditions, such as gingivitis.
What is Plaque and Calculus?
Plaque is a sticky film that forms on your teeth. It develops when food debris and saliva mix with the bacteria in your mouth. Plaque is always present in the mouth. Regular brushing and flossing keeps plaque at a minimum. When left too long on the teeth, plaque hardens and turns into Calculus (also known as tartar). Calculus is hard and you need special instruments to safely remove it from your teeth – our dental hygienists are professionally trained to do this removal effectively.
Toxins emitted from both plaque and calculus can cause gum disease, cavities and, if left unchecked, can cause the recession of the bone that supports the tooth.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal Disease is commonly known as gum disease. 75% of adults will have a form of periodontal disease during their lifetime. Periodontal disease has different stages from mild (gingivitis) to severe (periodontitis).
Periodontal disease has been linked to serious health conditions such as coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pancreatic cancer in men, lung disease and, in pregnant women, low birth weight and premature births. It is also the major cause of 70 percent of adult tooth loss and affects three out of four people.
Periodontal disease can be caused by poor oral health, the use of tobacco, stress, poor diet and even genetics. All of these can play a role in the health of your gums.
Periodontal disease is caused by a large build-up of calculus. The toxins from the calculus cause the gums around the tooth to become damaged. The gums become puffy, swollen, bright red, and bleed; in severe cases, the gums will shrink and the teeth will loosen and may fall out. The gums can often be treated but the main damage is done to the bone underneath. Periodontal disease erodes healthy bone from around the teeth.
To prevent periodontal disease, or to treat it once it occurs, you need to focus on practicing good oral health (brushing, cleaning and flossing) consistently, eat a healthy and balanced diet, and visit your dentist regularly.
If you are experiencing periodontal issues, we will need to schedule multiple appointments, with a shorter interval between appointments, so that we can help you maintain or regain your oral health.
Please contact our family dental office to book your dental hygiene and examination appointment.