CHAPTER 19 Preventing the Need for Dental Treatment
Protecting Against Future Problems
When You Have finished This Chapter, You Will Understand That The Need For Most Dental Treatment Can Be Prevented. This Is The Most Valuable Chapter In The Book, Because It Describes What You Can Do To Prevent Dental Disease Or Injury And Thus Save Yourself Future Problems, Expense, And Destruction Of Your Teeth And Their Supporting Structures.
You may know about the standard ways to prevent dental disease and injury, but numerous aspects of this chapter will be new, interesting, and useful to most people. The chapter is organized into subheadings that discuss common preventable situations that cause oral dental disease or injury.
Tooth brushing accomplishes some oral hygiene requirements. Proper brushing can remove some food debris and dental plaque (sticky, slimy, cream-colored debris that accumulates on tooth surfaces). However, brushing only removes debris from the front, back, and top of the teeth. It does not remove plaque from between the teeth, where a significant amount of dental caries (decay) begins. You must practice oral hygiene between the teeth also, and that requires dental floss. Oral hygiene techniques for a typical child or adult patient with no major special problems are as follows.
FIG. 19.4 A to C, Standard waxed dental floss is best for most people. flossing at least once every 24 hours, just before bedtime is recommended. Gentle flossing should not injure the gums or produce pain or bleeding.
FIG. 19.6 A, The Braun mechanical toothbrush is one of the most popular on the market. Mechanical toothbrushes are a major help to patients who have difficulty using their hands. B, The Rota-dent was one of the first mechanical toothbrushes to provide a rotating brush that easily reaches areas difficult to access. it has been well accepted.
FIG. 19.7 A, These special cleaning products assist patients who have spaces between their teeth or have bridges in place. B, Small toothpick and bridge threaders help patients clean in difficult situations.
Tongue scrapers are readily available in the oral hygiene departments of stores. They are easy to use. You place the device as far back in your mouth as comfort allows, press firmly, and pull the scraper forward. After using the scraper, your mouth will feel clean, your breath will be fresher, and tooth decay and gum disease should be reduced.