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Oral Care & Hygiene
Portland, OR


Woman brushing her teeth for good oral care after visiting Sylvan Heights Dental in Portland, ORDo you know that there are about 300 different bacterial species living inside your mouth? Although many of these bacteria are beneficial in preventing disease, some are responsible for causing tooth decay and gum disease.
For a healthy mouth, you must exercise oral care and hygiene every day. Even though brushing and flossing are essential for your oral health, you also need to get regular professional dental exams and eat a healthy diet to ensure your mouth does not have any problems. At Sylvan Heights Dental, we can help you practice good oral care that can help your teeth and gums stay healthy for life.

What Causes Tooth Decay and Gum Disease?


There are billions of harmful bacteria in your mouth, which feed on sugar and leave behind a yellowish biofilm known as dental plaque. This plaque becomes a breeding ground for bacteria that makes even more plaque. When this plaque is accumulated, it creates acid, which can erode the dental enamel and cause cavities.
The bacterial plaque also produces toxins that can enter into the gum tissues and cause periodontal disease which is characterized by gum inflammation, pain, bleeding, pus, larger gum pockets, and damage to the gums, ligaments, and supporting bones of the teeth. If periodontitis is not treated quickly, it can cause tooth loss.
Uncontrolled gum disease is also associated with other health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and premature, low-weight births.
Fortunately, some simple things can prevent tooth decay and gum disease in their tracks.

How to Practice Good Oral Hygiene and Care?


If you have good oral health, there are certain signs:
•  Your teeth are clean, white, and free of plaque.
•  Your gums are pink and do not hurt when you brush or floss.
•  You do not suffer from bad breath.

At Sylvan Heights Dental, Dr. Jeremiah Leary can help you learn the right oral hygiene techniques as well as conduct a dental examination of your mouth.

Proper Brushing


To ensure you effectively remove plaque, you need to diligently brush your teeth twice a day every day. Brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush can remove plaque from the surface of your teeth. Your toothbrush should be small enough to fit your mouth and reach all areas, particularly the back teeth, easily.
Toothpaste, which contains fluoride, can strengthen your teeth and prevent enamel damage.
According to the American Dental Association, proper brushing technique involves the following steps:
•  Tilt your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gum and brush in short strokes.
•  Brush the front and back surfaces of the teeth as well as the chewing surface.
•  Use the tip of the toothbrush to gently clean the inner tooth surface with gentle up and down strokes.
•  You should also brush your tongue to remove food residue and bacteria from your tongue.
•  Brush every tooth for about 10 seconds. It should take about 2 minutes to brush your entire mouth. Do not overbrush.


Flossing Technique


Clean between the teeth and the beneath the gum line with floss or interdental cleaners to remove plaque from places your toothbrush cannot reach. This is essential for the prevention of gum disease.
•  Break about 18 inches of dental floss and wrap the ends around the middle finger of each hand. Hold the thread between the thumb and forefinger.
•  Gently insert the floss between your teeth in a to-and-fro sawing motion. Do not snap the floss into the gums quickly as that can lead to gum injury.
•  When the floss reaches your gum line, curve the thread into an inverted U shape so that it can clean beneath the gum line.
•  Glide the floss down from the gum in a gentle up and down motion.
•  Repeat on all the other teeth.


Use Mouthrinse


Rinsing your mouth after every meal with an antimicrobial mouthrinse can increase the hygiene of your mouth. Mouthrinses containing fluoride can strengthen enamel and prevent tooth decay. You can consult Dr. Jeremiah Leary to ask about the type of mouthrinse you should use.

Keeping Your Dental Exam Appointments


The ADA strongly advises you should get a regular dental check up every six months so that any oral diseases may be identified and treated in their earliest stage. Dental exam involves:
[[[DIVSTYLE:margin-left:25px|[[[BulletList: Dental cleaning: Using a special instrument, we will clean the plaque from your teeth and below the gumline that can cause dental cavities and gum disease. We will also floss and polish your teeth.
~Dental exam: We will also conduct a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and mouth to detect signs of disease. The goal is to find potential problems that can grow bigger in the future and treat them before they require expensive restorations.
~X-rays: Depending on your oral health, age, and risk of disease, we may also get x-rays of your mouth to diagnose hidden problems like impacted teeth, cysts or tumors, hidden decays, below-the-gum tooth fractures, and issues with the jawbone.

When Should I Get a Dental Appointment?


If your mouth is healthy, you do not need to come in for the next six months. However, if you have active gum disease, you may need to make periodontal maintenance appointments every two to four months. If your teeth require treatment like a cavity filling, root canal therapy, or wisdom tooth removal, you can make an appointment with us for a later date before you leave the dentist.
If you have any questions concerning your dental health, call us at (503) 388-5882 and schedule a consultation today.
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Office Location

5440 SW Westgate Drive Suite 165
Portland, OR 97221

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Opening Hours

Mon - Thurs: 8am - 5pm
Fri -Sun: CLOSED

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Phone

(503) 388-5882

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