Dental Cleaning

The dental cleaning appointment is one of the most neglected types of dental visits. Some people are of the mistaken belief that their own cleaning efforts at home are always enough. While this is true for many people, it is easy to miss a few spots and allow plaque to gain a foothold in your mouth, potentially leading to gum disease. 

What is a dental cleaning?

A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning of the teeth to remove accumulations of plaque and tartar that can form over time. In combination with proper oral hygiene at home, regular dental cleaning appointments can dramatically lower your odds of tooth decay and gum disease.

Professional Dental Cleanings:

  • Remove plaque and tartar
  • Prevent gum disease
  • Polish teeth to a smooth finish

Dangers of Plaque

Most of us have heard of plaque, but what is it, really? Each of us has bacteria in our mouth at all times. Most bacteria is completely harmless. Certain types thrive in the environment of the mouth and feed upon the foods that we eat, particularly foods rich in sugar.

Over time, bacteria can create a sticky film that attaches itself to the surfaces of the teeth. Plaque creates an acidic environment within the mouth that damages and inflames gum tissue. If this goes on long enough, a chronic condition called gingivitis can develop. 

Although gingivitis is a reversible condition, it can develop into a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis. It is irreversible at this stage and can lead to teeth loosening and even falling out.

Who benefits from a dental cleaning?

Almost anyone can benefit from a dental cleaning. Most dentists recommend that everyday patients come in for a routine dental cleaning appointment twice yearly. If you have an ongoing condition, such as gum disease, you may require more frequent dental cleaning appointments to prevent the progression of the disease.

What happens at a dental cleaning?

A dental cleaning appointment will often begin with a dental exam conducted by a dental hygienist. They will conduct an examination of your teeth and gums to look for signs of gum disease and tooth decay. If any problems were detected during your exam, your hygienist will ask your dentist to take a closer look.

At your dental cleaning, your hygienist will be scraping away any plaque and tartar found on the surfaces of your teeth. Although you can remove some plaque at home when you brush and floss, tartar is a hardened form of plaque that is only removable by a dental professional using specialized dental tools.

Schedule Your Next Dental Cleaning 

Keeping up with your oral hygiene routine at home and your dental cleaning appointments is very important in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. If you have fallen behind with your dental cleaning appointments, we strongly encourage you to contact us and schedule your next appointment today.

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