Hygiene and Prevention

Hygiene and prevention lie at the heart of everything we do here at Elmet Dental Care. Tooth decay and gum disease are life-changing problems that are also entirely preventable with a simple cleaning routine and regular visits to your dentist and hygienist. While daily cleaning keeps plaque under control, visiting us regularly means we can treat any problems before they are allowed to become more serious.

Air Flow

Here at Elmet Dental Care, we’re delighted to be able to offer our patients high-tech Air-Flow cleaning, for fast and effective stain removal. Completely safe, chemical-free and actually more gentle on your teeth and gums than traditional cleaning tools, Air-Flow combines air, water and a very fine polishing powder into a focused stream that buffs away plaque and stains off your teeth and under the gum line.

As well as providing a seriously deep clean that significantly brightens your smile, Air-Flow is a great way to prepare patients for teeth whitening or to maintain the whiteness of your smile long after you’ve invested in a whitening treatment. Your dentist may also recommend Air-Flow cleaning if you’ve had restorations or dental implants – all of which require careful monitoring of oral hygiene. Air-Flow is also great for anyone who wears braces, enabling us to clean more effectively during treatment, and restore your enamel to full health afterwards.

Why is hygiene and prevention so important?

Regular visits to the hygienist are vital to maintain good oral health and are an important supplement to regular check-ups. Having made an assessment of your condition, the hygienist will recommend an appropriate treatment interval.

What treatments can the hygienist offer?

The hygienist will carry out a scale and polish – a professional deep clean that removes disease-causing plaque and tartar from under and around the gum line. The hygienist is also qualified to advise you on the latest techniques and products for effective cleaning at home, as well as tips on diet, nutrition and lifestyle issues such as smoking and alcohol intake.

What are the causes of gum disease?

Quite simply, gum disease begins with bad oral hygiene – let your regular brushing and flossing slide, and you’ll allow a film of bacteria – known as plaque – to build up around the gum line. Caused by the food that remains on your teeth after eating, plaque eventually hardens to become tartar. Together, they attack the tooth enamel, making gums and teeth vulnerable to disease and decay.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

The first sign is blood on the toothbrush or in the rinsing water when you clean your teeth. Your gums may also bleed when you are eating, leaving a bad taste in your mouth. Your breath may also become unpleasant. Early signs like these are known as gingivitis – a condition that is reversible with good oral hygiene. If left untreated, though, it progresses to periodontitis, a much more serious condition that is much harder to treat and can lead to tooth loss.

How can I change my diet to help my teeth?

Limiting your intake of sugar and acid is the key to avoiding cavities and gum problems. While it’s easy to cut down on sweets and lemonade, there are lots of foods and drinks out there that you may not realise are bad for your teeth, such as stir-in sauces, baked beans, soups, ready meals and acid-rich drinks like green juices and smoothies.

Is Air-Flow painful?

No. Air-Flow is painless and typically can be completed in around 30 minutes. It does not require anaesthetic or any other type of pain management, and is ideal for nervous patients.

What kind of stains can be removed with Air-Flow?

Almost any type of surface stain can be removed with the help of Air-F, from everyday tea, coffee and red wine stains to the kind of stains caused by smoking. For certain stains, such as those caused naturally by ageing, a professional teeth whitening treatment may be more suitable for you. We will advise you accordingly.