Dr. Marvin Gretzinger

family & cosmetic dentistry in Waterloo

Cleaning and Prevention

Professional Dental Cleaning

Professional dental cleanings are performed by Registered Dental Hygienists.  Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:

  • Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface.  Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
  • Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth.  It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva.  The bacteria produce toxins that inflame the gums.  This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease.
  • Polishing: : Removal of stain

Be Sure to Tell Your Dentist

The more Dr. Gretzinger knows about your overall health, the more effective he can be in addressing your oral health care needs. Be sure to mention:

  • Any new medical conditions you’ve been diagnosed with since your last visit even if they don’t seem pertinent. Your dentist needs to know to properly manage your treatment and prevention program.
  • If you’re pregnant
  • If you have any allergies
  • Any changes you’ve noticed in your teeth, such as changes in colour, looseness or position
  • Any changes you’ve noticed in your gums, such as bleeding when you brush, floss, or changes in appearance
  • Any increased sensitivity to heat, cold or sweets
  • Whether your floss catches on rough edges, causing it to shred
  • Any colour changes in the skin on the inside of your mouth
  • If you smoke or chew tobacco
  • If your neck or jaw muscles are tight or if you’re aware of clenching or grinding your teeth

Preventative Measures

The Six Steps of Preventive Care

  1. Brush at least twice a day.
  2. Floss once a day.
  3. Limit sugary snacks and drinks (including fruit juices).
  4. Don’t smoke or use any tobacco products.
  5. Have an examination as often as is recommended by your dentist. (The frequency will be based on your individual needs)
  6. Have your teeth cleaned and polished as per the schedule recommended by your dentist.

Examinations—Once, Twice or More per Year?

Examinations are an important part of maintaining good oral health. The Frequency should be determined in consultation with Dr. Gretzinger.

Back to the Basics—A Refresher on Brushing and Flossing

Brushing and flossing remove the bacteria that promote tooth decay and the plaque that can cause gum disease.  A reminder of what works best:

  • Ideally, brush after every meal—but at least twice a day including just before bed.
  • Use a soft-bristle brush with rounded bristles, small enough to reach your back teeth.
  • Use toothpaste with fluoride—look for the CDA seal.
  • Brush for at least two minutes.
  • Don’t forget to gently brush your tongue.
  • Get a new toothbrush if yours looks worn, is more than three months old, or if you’ve had a cold (bristles can harbour germs that may re-infect you).
  • Flossing is a must—otherwise more than a third of your tooth surface is not getting cleaned.
  • Brushing and flossing aren’t complicated, but technique does matter. Ask your dentist or click here for a visual guide.

Dental Exam

Dental Exams are critical to your oral health. Your initial exam consists of an intra and extra oral exam of your hard and soft tissues.

Here are a few things we will look for during your exam:

Intra Oral Exam Includes

  • early signs of cavities
  • condition of your gums, , inflammation or other signs of gum disease
  • early signs of mouth or throat cancer (HPV) suspicious growths or cysts
  • position of your teeth (e.g., spacing, bite)
  • clenching or grinding of your The Function of your  jaw joint ( TMJ)
  • X-rays are prescribed based on patients individual and unique needs

Dental Inspection Extra Oral Exam Includes

  • A complete medical history  provides important information  about any health conditions that may affect the success of dental treatments or procedures.
  • An examination of your neck. (feeling the glands and lymph nodes for possible signs of inflammation)
Dr. Gretzinger performing a dental exam on his patient

Watch Your Mouth

Preventive care also means being alert for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. If you see any of the warning signs listed below, contact your dentist right away.

Tooth decay

  • Sensitivity to heat, cold, sweetness, or pressure

Periodontal disease (gum disease)

  • Red, shiny, puffy, sore, or sensitive gums
  • Bleeding when you brush or floss
  • Persistent bad breath

Oral cancer

  • Bleeding that you can’t explain
  • Open sores that don’t heal within 7 to 10 days
  • White or red patches
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Small lumps or thickening on your gums, the sides or bottom of your tongue, the floor or roof of your mouth, or the inside of your cheeks