Hygiene matters: How a blend of professional and home care fuels a healthy mouth and body

Your friends in south-central Kansas at Pratt Family Dental appreciate there is more to dentistry than meets the eye. Yes, an attractive smile is, of course, important. But a beautiful smile also fuels confidence and a positive self-image. Furthermore, the beauty of your smile is often indicative and a nice byproduct of good oral health. Oral health fuels overall health by supporting many essential functions, from breaking down pieces of food for proper digestion to sustaining good nutrition with varied foods. Nutrition can suffer when our teeth are damaged, and, in turn, it hurts to chew. 

Oral hygiene is fundamental to keeping your teeth, gums, and supportive structures healthy. Our team, led by Drs. Carson Hopkins and Steven Kunz provide guidance on good oral care tailored to your needs. Plus, we provide professional services that cannot be replicated at home. You really cannot have one without the other. Consistent oral care at home must be complemented by professional care at our office and vice versa. 

There are limitations to what standard toothbrushes and floss can accomplish, and likewise, our professionals cannot constantly be available to care for your teeth. That is where good at-home hygiene steps up to minimize the build-up of destructive, disease-causing substances like plaque. From there, our hygienists can use their special dental instruments and training to remove what your toothbrush can’t – and that’s very stubborn, hard plaque (tartar or calculus).

A few pointers

All patients, regardless of their risk factors for conditions like gum disease and oral cancer, can benefit from the following essential services and healthy habits: 

  • Visit us for check-ups at least two times per year. These six-month appointments would only be complete with a comprehensive exam by Drs. Hopkins or Kunz and dental cleaning by one of our professionals. As needed, for a given visit, we may use cutting-edge diagnostics to detect tough-to-spot problems or areas and screen for suspicious lumps, bumps, and other potential pre-cancers and cancerous lesions. 
  • Protect your teeth and tissues from damage with professional services. These services include dental sealants to “seal out” bacteria and other nasties from decay-prone premolars and molars and oral appliances like mouthguards to prevent damage caused by sports-related injuries. 
  • Brush your teeth, tongue, gums, and other areas that harbor bacteria at least twice daily. Don’t rush it. Be sure to brush all sides of the teeth and set a two-minute timer to ensure you are not missing any areas. We can advise on the best toothbrushes, toothpaste, rinses, and other oral products to make cleanings as effective and effortless as possible.
  • Floss every day. Did you know that patients who only brush their teeth are not cleaning more than one-third of the surface of each tooth? That’s a lot of tooth structure that is ignored and a lot of plaque left behind! Here again, we can advise you on good flossing techniques and the best types of floss. For instance, products such as floss threaders or floss picks may be helpful to reach hard-to-clean areas (like underneath a dental bridge).

The health of your teeth and the rest of you is only as good as your habits and behaviors.

Our team in Pratt, KS, looks forward to providing guidance specific to your situation and addressing your needs and concerns. Call Pratt Family Dental at (620) 318-1182 to schedule your check-up today.