Even if you care for your teeth well at home, professional cleanings on a regular basis is important to your overall dental health. A thorough cleaning provides the opportunity for deeper cleaning and prevention of more problems.
Overtime, your teeth build up a layer of plaque (a sticky, bacteria-rich film) and hard deposits (called tartar, or calculus) and can be very difficult to remove without special tools. If plaque or tartar is not removed on a regular basis, they can provide the ideal conditions for bacteria to grow and multiply. Bacteria can cause tooth decay and gum disease, which if left uncontrolled, can lead to inflammation and infection of the gums, and even influence the entire body.
A deep, professional cleaning performed in conjunction with a routine dental exam can help combat tooth decay and gum disease. While your teeth are being professionally cleaned, we can take a closer look at your oral health.
A professional cleaning is usually performed by our highly trained dental hygienists. Everyone’s situation is different but our hygienists usually follow a similar plan.
First, the dental hygienist will do an oral examination to evaluate the health of your oral tissues. Next, the hygienist will use an ultrasonic scaler or metal instruments to remove plaque and calculus from the tooth surfaces. Our hygienists will also floss your teeth to remove leftover debris.
After the plaque and calculus is removed, your teeth will be polished with a low-speed rotary brush with a gritty, toothpaste-like gel to polish your teeth and make them smooth and shiny.
Most people with good oral health do not notice any discomfort during dental cleanings. However, if you have not had a professional cleaning in a while, you may experience some slight discomfort. If you do experience any discomfort, it may be possible to apply a topical numbing gel.
If you have bacterial buildup, your gums may become irritated by the cleaning which may make them sore or vulnerable to bleeding. Keeping up a healthy home routine with improved flossing and/or special mouthrinses may help prevent soreness or bleeding in the future. It may also indicate that you need more in-office cleanings which can be discussed with Dr. Nguyen. Regular maintenance will help give you the best chance at keeping your teeth for life!