What Is Teeth Cleaning?
Teeth cleaning is the removal of dental plaque and calculus and should be a part of every person’s regular dental hygiene routine. The formation of plaque, if not removed on time, turns into tartar, which is then impossible to remove by simply brushing your teeth. If left on the teeth, this hardened deposits can cause cavities, gingivitis, as well as periodontal disease.
In order to prevent all these problems, regularly cleaning your teeth is a must. This cleaning process, also called prophylaxis, consists of removing mineralized plaque, which can appear on teeth no matter how diligent of a tooth-washer you are. Teeth cleaning also includes tooth scaling and tooth polishing, as well as debridement if too much tartar has accumulated on the teeth. To do this, our dental technicians use various instruments and devices to firstly loosen and then easily remove deposits.
How Often Should Teeth Cleaning Be Done?
The frequency of teeth cleaning appointments primarily depends on the patient’s oral health. Often times, if there is a lot of buildups that has affected the gums, the patient is advised to make more frequent visits, until our dental technicians make sure the gums are getting back to their healthy state. Once there is improvement, the patient can get back on a regular teeth-cleaning schedule.
For patients with good oral health, we recommend 6 to 9-month cleaning intervals, while those with oral disorders might need to come in a bit more often (3 to 4-month cleaning intervals). Youth and kids generally have significantly less buildup, so 9 to 12-month cleaning intervals are perfectly fine for them.
Does Teeth Cleaning Hurt?
Depending on how much plaque buildup a patient has, dental teeth cleaning can last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, and if done properly, it should not hurt. Some discomfort is completely normal and to be expected, but pain should not be present during a simple teeth-cleaning procedure. If you are an exceptionally nervous patient, have dental anxiety, or sensitive teeth, make sure your dentist is aware of these issues. That way, he will be able to devise a treatment plan that will make you feel more comfortable, and the treatments themselves less stressful. If needed, a dentist can also use a topical, desensitizing cream.
How Can I Prevent Plaque Buildup?
Saliva contains calcium and constantly circulates around your mouth. This calcium is meant to protect and strengthen your teeth, but it can also create calcium deposits. This is what we call calculus or tartar, and it provides the perfect playground for bacteria. While regular flossing and washing can slow the buildup down, there is no way to totally prevent it.
Another thing you can do to slow the buildup down is to watch your diet and quit smoking. As we all know, the bad mouth bacteria thrive on sugary, as well as starchy foods, so those should be avoided. As for tobacco, it is shown that no matter if you’re chewing it, or smoking it, it still has the same detrimental effect on your teeth and causes plaque to build up much faster than it should be.