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    We all understand that we must schedule routine dental checkups in order to maintain excellent oral health. Professional cleanings twice yearly at Spokane, Cheney Family Dentist will help to remove a most disease-causing bacteria and plaque, but you must be proactive and combine professional dental care with proper daily oral hygiene. Let’s review some of the more common oral hygiene aids on the market and their uses:


    Dental Flosses
    Dental floss is the most common interdental cleaner and comes in a variety of types and flavors. Dental floss is effective at removing food particles and plaque from between teeth. Floss should normally be used twice daily after brushing.

    Interdental Cleaners
    In addition to dental floss, many hygienists and periodontists recommend interdental brushes in addition to dental floss. Interdental brushes come in various shapes and sizes, and they are very effective in cleaning between the gums.

    Mouth Rinses

    Cosmetic rinses sold over the counter only temporarily mask bad breath. Therapeutic rinses, however, are regulated by the FDA and contain active ingredients that can help reduce bad breath, plaque, and cavities. Mouth rinses should generally be used after brushing.

    Oral Irrigators
    Oral irrigators (like Water Jets and Waterpiks) clean debris from below the gum line. Oral irrigators are effective in lowering the risk of gum disease but should not be used as a replacement for brushing and flossing.

    Rubber Tip Stimulators
    Excellent for removing plaque around the gum line, rubber tip stimulators also increase blood flow to the gums. Trace gently around the inner and outer gumline at least once daily. To ensure its effectiveness, replace the tip as soon as it starts to appear worn.

    Tongue Cleaners

    Tongue cleaners (or scrapers) are designed to remove bacterial buildup from the tongue. Bacteria colonize on the tongue, causing bad breath and other systemic diseases. Use the tongue cleaner prior to brushing.

    Dentists usually recommend electric toothbrushes as the vibrating or rotary motion helps remove plaque and remove food particles from around the gums and teeth. They also require far less effort than a manual toothbrush.

    Replace manual toothbrushes every three months since worn bristles become ineffective over time. Soft bristle toothbrushes are easier on sensitive gum tissue than medium and hard bristle varieties. Teeth should be brushed after each meal, or at least twice each day.


    If you are uncertain as to which of these aids are the best for you, check with our Spokane Family Dental Office during your next visit, and we’ll be happy to guide through selecting the best products for your situation.

    The practice of family dentistry is similar to general dentistry; both types of dentistry handle oral hygiene and tooth health, but family dentists usually accept patients of all ages, establishing an important ongoing relationship with you and your family.

    Family dentistry provides preventative dentistry services, such as regular cleanings and fluoride treatments, routine x-rays and other basic dental work. The emphasis at Spokane Family Dental Care is prevention. The American Dental Association suggests visits to your family dentist for checkups a minimum of two times a year. During each checkup, you will have a routine oral examination and cleaning to get rid of stains and plaque buildup in order to prevent tooth decay and gum problems. Your dentist will give you tips and recommendations for brushing, flossing and rinsing at home to prevent plaque and tooth decay between appointments.

    Monitoring the oral health of your family from the time they’re babies and into adulthood establishes an ongoing relationship with your Family Dentist.  It is especially important that young children establish a comfortable relationship with a family dentist. At Cheney Family Dentistry we address the special needs of our young patients by creating a comfortable and friendly atmosphere to make your child’s visit as stress-free as possible.

    It is important to schedule regular appointments for checkups, so that your dentist can catch any problems before more extensive and costly dental work becomes necessary. Finding a family dentistry practice with which your whole family is comfortable can take a lot of stress out of making and keeping your regularly scheduled appointments. Your family dentist is trained to keep your teeth healthy by providing preventative care. It’s possible that with routine visits every six months, you may never have to seek additional dental services.

    There are an increasing number of reports about the damage caused by dental erosion. The problems that result from this process are not new. But our increased consumption of fruity drinks, soda and energy drinks has caused an increase in the number of patients experiencing the unfortunate results of this excess.


    How Acidic Foods Cause Cavities


    Tooth enamel is made of minerals, and cavities are caused by a process known as demineralization. This occurs when the enamel on your tooth comes in contact with sweet foods and drinks. Waste products created by bacteria as it consumes these sugars contain the acids that cause demineralization. When these acids remain on the teeth they start producing tooth decay within minutes.


    Most of us have experienced cavities, but left untreated over a long period of time, a simple cavity can result in the complete destruction of the tooth structure. With the increased consumption of soda, fruit juices and energy drinks Spokane, Cheney Dental Office is seeing an increase in the number of patients with dental erosion. While sugar is the most common cause of dental erosion, some other causes are:


      • Poor oral hygiene
      • Consuming sour foods or candies
      • Dry mouth or low saliva volume
      • Acid reflux disease (GERD), or heartburn


    If you experience sensitivity when eating hot, cold or sweet foods and drinks you may have dental erosion. Also, yellowing of the enamel indicates that it is thinning and exposing the yellow dentin beneath. Dental erosion can literally destroy your teeth over time if not addressed, and if it reaches this point, tooth extraction and costly dental prosthetics may be necessary.


    Diligent oral hygiene habits and regular visits to your dentist are the best defense against the destruction caused by dental erosion. Your Spokane, Cheney Dentist is trained to detect signs of dental erosion and take the necessary steps to arrest and reverse its damage. If the enamel has sustained significant cosmetic damage, veneers, either porcelain or Lumineers, may be recommended to protect your teeth and restore your healthy smile.