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Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene


We have a strong ethos for preventative dentistry at Callan Dental Practice. The presence of plaque and tartar erodes and quickly damages your teeth. The build up of plaque and tartar is the single biggest factor that results in patients requiring dental treatment. We recommend you visit the hygienist at least once every 6 months to remove any plaque or tartar build up. We will teach you techniques and provide you with useful advice which you can use at home to help prevent the build up of plaque and tartar, saving you the need for treatment in the future.

Our hygenist can remove unsightly stains caused by smoking and food or drink, to help create a whiter, healthier smile. We recommend you visit our hygienist regularly to maintain a stain-free smile or in preparation for a Zoom tooth whitening procedure to ensure you get the very best results.


During your visit, the hygienist uses fine instruments or a special ultrasonic machine to remove the hard tartar from below the gum level of the teeth. She will remove plaque, stains and polish your teeth thoroughly. If you are looking for a dental practice to restore and maintain your oral health then call us now on (056) 7755577 for a consultation.


In addition to cleaning your teeth we offer a fresh breath clinic where we can diagnose and treat the cause of bad breath, which affects a large proportion of the population.

Examinations and Hygiene


Our practice ethos focuses on restoring and maintaining good oral health. We place great importance on the dental exam as this provides the best opportunity to identify any problems early on and prevent the need for any future treatment. 90% of dental treatment can be avoided by attending regular dental exam and hygiene visits. Before your exam, your dentist will spend some time reviewing your past medical history. We will listen to your concerns and discuss your requirements for dental care.


After your examination, we will discuss what treatment (if any) is required. If you have any questions we will be pleased to answer them. Prior to doing any treatment, we will provide you with a full written estimate so you will know exactly how much it will cost.

Bad Breath


Bad breath is a very common problem and there are many different causes. Persistent bad breath is usually caused by the smelly gases released by the bacteria that coat your teeth and gums. However, strong foods like garlic and onions can add to the problem. Smoking is also one of the main causes of bad breath, along with certain illnesses such as nasal and stomach conditions. Bits of food that get caught between the teeth and on the tongue will rot and can sometimes cause an unpleasant smell. So correct and regular brushing is very important to keep your breath smelling fresh.

The bacteria on our teeth and gums (plaque) also cause gum disease and dental decay. If you see your dentist regularly this will not only help prevent bad breath but will also let the dentist look for and treat these problems. Smoking can cause short term bad breath.


What causes Bad Breath?

Bad breath is usually caused by bacteria in the mouth. Gum disease can cause bad breath. But you could still have bad breath with good oral hygiene and healthy teeth and gums. The smell usually comes from the far back of the tongue. It gets stronger when you talk, as your mouth gets drier.


If you are worried about bad breath, take the first step and call us. We will investigate if you really have a bad breath problem; identify the causes and help you deal with it.

What can I do about Bad Breath?

• Visit your dentist to scale and polish your teeth.
• Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste.
• Use floss or other oral hygiene aids.
• You can check for signs of bad breath by smelling the floss after you have used it. If there is a   smell from a particular part of the mouth, clean that area with special care.
• Gently brush your tongue if it is heavily coated. Special plaque tongue scrapers can be bought   from chemists.


Your mouth will smell less when it is moist. Chewing sugar free gum can help with bad breath by increasing the flow of saliva. You might have a dry mouth because you breathe with your mouth open or because you are taking certain medicines.

If you smoke, try to give up. As well as making your breath smell better, giving up smoking will keep your mouth and gums healthy, and will benefit your general health.

Gum Disease


Gum disease includes swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. Screening for gum disease forms an integral part of your routine dental examination. There are two main forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontal disease.


What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. This is when the gums around the teeth become very red and swollen. Often the swollen gums bleed when they are brushed during cleaning.


What is periodontal disease?

Long-standing gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease. There are a number of types of periodontal disease and they all affect the tissues supporting the teeth. As the disease gets worse the bone anchoring the teeth in the jaw is lost, making the teeth loose. If this is not treated, the teeth may eventually fall out.


What is the cause of gum disease?

All gum disease is caused by plaque. Plaque is a film of bacteria which forms on the surface of the teeth and gums every day causing gum disease. To prevent and treat gum disease, you need to make sure you remove all the plaque from your teeth every day. This is done by brushing and flossing.


What happens if gum disease is not treated?

Unfortunately, gum disease progresses painlessly so you do not notice the damage it is doing. As the bacteria becomes more active, gums become sore and this can lead to abscesses and pus may ooze from around the teeth. Over a number of years, the bone       supporting the teeth can be lost. If the disease is left untreated for a long time, treatment can become more difficult.


Links between gum disease with Heart disease and stroke

A genetic link between dental disease and heart attacks has been found by German researchers at the University of Kiel. The study found a strong link between gum disease and narrowing of the arteries which can lead to heart attacks and stroke. The study went on to say that 85 percent of heart-attack patients had periodontal disease. Click here for more information on the link between gum disease and heart disease


How can you prevent gum disease?

The best way to prevent gum disease is to maintain good oral hygiene. This means brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and regularly visiting your dentist or hygienist. Brushing is the most effective way of removing plaque and preventing the build up of bacteria. For more on looking after your teeth, please see our factsheet


What are the signs of gum disease?

Normally, gums are pink and healthy looking. When you have gum disease your gums may be red and swollen, although sometimes they may look normal. Sometimes the only sign of gum disease is bleeding gums when brushing. If you find that your gums are bleeding when you brush, it is vital that you clean them more thoroughly, not less. Make sure that you clean every surface of every tooth and use dental floss or interdental brushes to clean in between the teeth.


How often should you go to your dentist?

Brushing and flossing cannot remove every trace of plaque, so your dentist needs to check your teeth regularly and remove the build-up of any tartar. We strongly advise that you visit your dentist every 6 months to maintain healthy teeth and gums. More regular intensive deep cleaning may be required depending on the level of your oral health.


How is gum disease treated?

Gum disease is treated by removing plaque and preventing it from reforming. With mild gum disease, more careful brushing and flossing may cure the problem without need for further treatment. However once a hard layer of tartar has formed, you cannot remove it yourself. Your dentist or hygienist needs to remove it using a specialist scaling tool. We will also polish your teeth’s surfaces to make it harder for bacteria to attach themselves. Your dentist may recommend an antiseptic mouthwash to control plaque levels in the short term but these are not used for longer than one month. If the infection has developed into periodontitis and deep pockets have formed that are affecting the support of the tooth, your dentist or hygienist will need to clean these regularly. It may be necessary to visit your dentist as often as every two months.

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