Dental Hygiene and Periodontal Maintenance
The practice of dental hygiene is critical to oral health of an individual. Dental hygiene includes daily tooth brushing, flossing, and tongue brushing. In addition to daily hygiene, individuals are encouraged to seek professional dental cleaning from dental hygienists once every 3 to 6 months, depending on the individual’s gum health and levels of oral hygiene.
Dental hygiene is a preventive type of dental therapy that constantly disrupts the bacterial biofilm growing inside your mouth. With good dental hygiene, one is at reduced risk for gingivitis, gum disease (periodontal disease), dental cavities, and bad breath (halitosis).
Periodontal maintenance visits are dental hygiene cleaning appointments for patients with gum disease. Periodontal maintenance is usually performed every 3 months, alternating between your periodontist and your general dentist. The main purpose of periodontal maintenance to control, stabilize, and slow down the progression of gum disease. In our office, periodontal maintenance visits include manual and ultrasonic cleaning of teeth, laser periodontal pocket disinfection, tooth polishing, and oral hygiene instruction. Once a year, the patient will also have their periodontist check for periodontal pockets during periodontal maintenance visits. In general, a patient is suitable for periodontal maintenance only if his/her gum disease has been stabilized, either with deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) and/or gum surgeries.