Dental Cleanliness : Why It Matters

Dental Cleanliness : Why It Matters


Oral hygiene is deemed important by dentists because it prevents tooth decay and other dental problems. It is the practice of keeping your teeth and mouth clean to avoid bacteria and germ build-up that causes problems.


The process of teeth cleaning involves the removal of plaque, tartar and bacteria residing in the teeth to prevent cavities from causing tooth decay. Teeth cleaning also prevents gum disease, such as gingivitis, that may cause a person to lose their teeth. Among the most common global diseases, tooth decay ranks the first. Most cavities are said to be in between the teeth where food is lodged and the toothbrush cannot reach. Fewer cavities occur on the surface of the teeth that toothbrushes reach.


Even during ancient times, our ancestors have used several ways to clean the teeth. These methods include twigs from certain trees, chewing certain sticks, using animal bones, using bird feathers and even using porcupine quills. What they used to clean their teeth with depends on their particular belief and what kind of medicine they used. Baking soda and chalk were also used to clean teeth.

We should be grateful that cleaning teeth is easier and more effective than before this era. People should regularly brush their teeth and floss to keep the teeth clean and the mouth healthy.

What is Plaque?

Plaque is the sticky film that is seen on teeth and the gums. It is more visible with the use of a food dye. Plaque gives the teeth a yellow color that is embarrassing to have. Brushing your teeth and regularly flossing can remove this sticky film and prevent tartar buildup.

Plaque causes gingivitis, which causes your gums to bleed while flossing. This problem may affect your teeth, and when left untreated it may cause the tooth to move. Sometimes, the only choice left for the moving tooth is to be extracted.

What is Tartar?

When the plaque builds over time, it leads to tartar. Since it has rough surface, tartar provides a good medium for further plaque formation that affects the health of the gums. Tartar causes gingivitis; when this is left untreated, and further complications called periodontitis. This infection leads to tooth loss if left untreated. In worse case scenario, it may increase a person’s risk of stroke or heart attack. Cleaning the teeth is important to prevent your gums from being inflamed.


You may want to consult your doctor on how to clean your teeth properly. Here are the most common ways people keep their mouth clean to prevent dental problems.

1. TOOTH BRUSHING: This is the most common way of cleaning the teeth. This process includes the use of a toothbrush to clean the teeth. Brushing your teeth has been an important part of oral care that promotes dental cleanliness. Ancient civilizations have used different items, such as tree twigs and sticks, as tooth brush. One may choose to use either modern tooth gel or tooth powder. Tooth paste is commonly used by everyone and helps remove dental plaque from the teeth while the fluoride it contains helps prevent gum diseases.

2. DENTAL FLOSS: Another important instrument used to clean the teeth is dental floss. This is a string that curves around the teeth just right above the gum line to remove the food and plaque stuck in between the teeth and along the gum line. Flossing is another important regimen in dental cleanliness and helps prevent the buildup of plaque and bacteria along the gum line. This procedure also helps prevent the accumulation of plaque and tartar on teeth that may cause cavities and tooth decay.

3. INTERDENTAL BRUSHES: These brushes are known to assist toothbrush in removing plaques from bridges, crowns and braces. They may be used to remove plaque in between the teeth.

4. TONGUE CLEANING: It is important to clean the tongue because bacteria may thrive in this area and cause acidity which may lead your teeth to weaken.

5. ORAL IRRIGATION: This process requires the use of oral irrigators to clean the teeth and the gum line. The pressured and directed stream of water helps removes plaque and bacteria in the teeth and the gums. If you want to learn more about how to clean your teeth at home, you may want to come visit our office. Dental experts from our clinic are willing to teach you how to use these instruments to effectively remove plaque and tartar build up. Come to our office for a consultation so we can explain everything you should know about dental cleanliness.


To keep your teeth clean, one must visit the dentist at least twice a year. During these visits, you may ask for a professional dental cleaning to remove the plaque and tartar in your teeth thoroughly. You will know whether you are able to take care of your teeth correctly when the cleaning doesn’t hurt. Those who neglected dental hygiene will experience discomfort, which is why you may ask the dentist to use local anesthetics before performing the dental cleaning. Our professional dental staff, here at Karen Gordon, DMD Dental Office, can do this professional cleaning and then teach you proper ways to clean your teeth with the use of the instruments mentioned. It is our pleasure to help you save your teeth by keeping your teeth and mouth clean.

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Karen Gordon, DMD
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