Oral hygiene means the cleaning of the oral cavity and in a more extended sense all the maneuvers to obtain it.
Professional oral hygiene
This definition includes all the maneuvers practiced by the professional (dentist, dental hygienist) in order to eliminate all the residuals accumulated over time due to the impossibility of the maneuvers to be absolutely effective. Obviously if we add to this an insufficient oral hygiene in both a qualitative and quantitative sense, the oral hygiene condition will only be inadequate to maintain a suitable level of oral health. The maneuvers of oral hygiene are different:
- calculus ablation: removal of supra-gingival calculus;
- polishing: polishing of dental surfaces and mechanical elimination of extrinsic pigments by: 1) abrasive paste, rubber cups or rotating brushes mounted on a contra-angle handpiece 2) air-polishing, water jet and pressurized powders;
- root planing: removal of sub-gingival calculus at periodontal pockets, subject to local anesthesia;
- open-air root planing: similar to the previous deviation of the gingiva of the underlying bone. This practice is necessary if the periodontal pockets reach a depth that prevents complete cleaning with the previous methods.