Healthy teeth and gums are important to your overall health. Brushing and flossing daily helps to remove plaque and helps protect teeth from decay. If not removed, plaque build-up can lead to tooth loss, gingivitis and gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. However, proper professional cleanings can not only promote healthy teeth and gums as well as a more confident smile — but ultimately leads to better overall and lifelong health.
What is professional teeth cleaning?
A professional cleaning is done by a dentist or hygienist who uses professional tools to eliminate the build-up of plaque, tartar, and bacteria that is often unable to be removed otherwise by patients themselves.
A professional cleaning involves three simple steps:
Scaling is used to remove hard calculus deposits or tarter. The hygienist may use a manual scaler to remove tartar deposits from the teeth by gently scraping them. Tartar can also be removed with an ultrasonic scaler, which is an electronic device that uses a gentle vibration and a steady stream of water to break up larger pieces of tartar and wash away the particles.
By using a handheld tool with a spinning rubber head, a hygienist polishes all tooth surfaces using a slightly abrasive paste. Polishing helps remove minor stains on the enamel and gives teeth a smooth surface that is less likely to attract plaque and oral bacteria.
After each cleaning, a fluoride treatment is applied as a rinse, gel, foam or a varnish. Fluoride helps strengthen the outermost layer of the teeth (enamel), helping it combat the acid from foods and beverages that can lead to tooth decay.
Why is professional teeth cleaning important?
Many patients are very diligent in keeping their teeth clean. However, even the most careful patients can miss hard-to-reach areas of the mouth and leave themselves susceptible to tooth decay and periodontal disease.
For overall health, cleaning the teeth is very important. Regular brushing and flossing daily as well as at least an annual professional cleaning will not only give you more confidence in your smile, but it will also keep you from painful problems that come with tooth decay, tarter build-up, gingivitis (inflammation and infection of the gums) and gum disease.
Another major benefit of a professional cleaning is the removal of a calculus or bacterial plaque, called tarter, which will build up on teeth in the normal process of eating and daily activities. This plaque will harden over time. Everyone builds up these calcium deposits to some amount. However, if tarter is allowed to build up on the teeth next to the gums it will provide a place for bacteria to grow and greater chances for tooth decay to develop as well as infections and inflammations of the gums, and further painful and expensive dental problems that can affect one’s overall health.
The only way to remove tarter, or calculus deposits, is with a professional dental cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist. This cleaning and polishing is imperative to oral health because it leaves the surfaces of the teeth clean and smooth so that bacteria are unable to adhere to the teeth near the gums. As a result, patients who undergo professional cleaning have a better chance of keeping the teeth clean between visits during their regular dental care at home through daily brushing and flossing.
How often should I expect when I see a dentist for a professional cleaning?
In general, children begin to been seen by a dentist starting at the age of 3 years old and usually every six months after this initial visit. This often helps to identify any concerns early and also helps to develop healthy oral hygiene habits at a young age.
For adults, it varies depending on the oral health of the patient. Some are seen as frequently as every three or four months, while others can be maintained every six months if in good health.
Professional cleanings are an important part of maintaining health and a confident smile for your lifetime.
Call Rogers Family Dental, 801-225-7712, for a professional cleaning today.