70% of Americans brush their teeth twice a day for an average of two minutes, which is what dentists recommend for basic oral hygiene. However, some particles may attach themselves to the teeth and cause staining or plaque buildup. Stains and plaque require more than regular brushing or flossing; you need a visit to the Encino Dentist for a dental cleaning. Dental cleaning is a form of protective oral hygiene service offered by dentists and dental hygienists to prevent gum disease, gingivitis, dental caries, and cavities. Dental cleaning is thorough and reaches parts of the tooth that a toothbrush, floss, or toothpaste cannot reach.
Overview of Dental Cleaning
Dentists recommend brushing and flossing teeth daily. Also, they recommend deeper and thorough cleaning every six months to protect your oral health. Dental cleaning is on way of taking control of your oral hygiene. Teeth require constant and regular care to protect them from the buildup of harmful bacteria. Bacteria and particle accumulation wear out the teeth over time, making them weak.
Dental cleaning involves removing plaque and tartar from teeth. These two substances, if left undisturbed on the teeth, provide a suitable ground for the development of cavities and other dental problems. Brushing contains the buildup of tartar and plaque but does not entirely remove them.
This is where dental cleaning comes in. In dental cleaning, the dentist or hygienist will remove all this buildup and polish your teeth, leaving them with a smooth surface on which bacteria find it hard to attach.
To understand the importance of dental cleaning, let us briefly examine how plaque builds up. Bacteria are a normal part of the oral cavity. It exists as a loose biofilm on the teeth that attaches itself to your teeth with the help of saliva.
These bacteria act upon food particles and sugars in your mouth to reproduce and spread throughout your mouth, forming a loose layer, which thickens and hardens with every skipped brushing or flossing.
The plaque grows downwards and infiltrates your gums, growing beneath the gum. As the plaque builds up, the bacteria ferment sugars in your mouth for their food, releasing acids in the process. The acid corrodes your teeth, weakening them and exposing them to decay and cavities.
Plaque is not easy to detect as first. It starts a transparent film, which yellows with each accumulation. As it hardens, it grows from yellow to a blackish substance.
The consequences of plaque buildup include:
- Gingivitis which causes inflammation and bleeding of gums
- Periodontitis, which develops if gingivitis remains untreated. Periodontitis causes bone destruction and loss in the teeth and gums.
- Dental caries
Dental cleaning is important for good oral health, in preventing cavities, tartar buildup, removing stains on teeth and in preventing periodontal diseases. Perhaps the most important and immediately appealing benefit of dental cleaning is the resulting beautiful and clean smile.
Types of Dental Cleaning
Different individuals have different teeth cleaning needs. The dentist recommends the best type of cleaning depending on the health of your mouth, teeth, and gums. Some of the different types of dental cleanings include:
Prophylaxis is a regular biannual cleaning performed on people with generally healthy gums and teeth. During the procedure, the dentist probes the teeth to identify whether you have periodontal disease, and then proceeds to clean the teeth above the gum.
2. Gross Debridement
Gross debridement is done on people who have not had a dental cleaning in a while. Such people are likely to have more tartar accumulation on their teeth. The tartar may be so deep that scaling and polishing cannot effectively remove it. Gross debridement aims at removing plaque and calculus on people with gingivitis or periodontal diseases. The procedure precedes additional treatment by allowing the visibility of the tooth and gum.
3. Scale and Polish
A scale and polish is the process of removing calculus beneath the gum. It is done on people with moderate to severe gingivitis after they have received gross debridement cleaning. Scaling removes films of accumulated substances from the teeth while polishing smoothens the surface of the teeth.
4. Root Planing
Root planing is a form of deep dental cleaning recommended for people with periodontal diseases. During the procedure, the dentist cleans your teeth on the surface and below the gum. It can be a slow and painful process that requires local anesthesia and several dentist visits.
5. Periodontal Cleaning
It is a quarterly treatment for individuals with periodontal diseases meant to prevent further bone loss. Plaque wears out the teeth and the gum leading to weakening in these areas. Periodontal cleaning removes the plaque buildup and attempts to restore these areas.
The Process of Dental Cleaning
Understanding what goes on during a dental cleaning is relieving. It prepares you on how to handle yourself and what to expect as you go through the procedure.
Dental cleaning happens in several stages, such as:
1. Physical Exam
The physical exam aims at determining how healthy your mouth is and whether it is safe to proceed with the cleaning. Your dental hygienist will look around in your mouth to check for inflammation, plaque, tartar, and other oral health problems.
2. Plaque and Tartar Removal
The dental hygienist uses a scaler to scrape off plaque and tartar near the gum line and between your teeth. These are the areas where the plaque is likely to buildup, even in a healthy mouth.
3. Cleaning With Gritty Toothpaste
The dental hygienist then uses an electric toothbrush and a gritty toothpaste to deep-clean your teeth by scrubbing.
Flossing aims at removing particles stuck in between the teeth. Flossing by an expert often goes deeper than your regular flossing and enables deep cleaning of your teeth. In addition, it allows the hygienist to clear off particles from tartar and plaque removal and toothpaste.
The dentist will rinse your mouth using a rinse containing liquid fluoride to remove particles and debris from the previous cleaning processes.
6. Fluoride Treatment
A fluoride treatment involves the use of a foamy fluoride gel to provide protection from cavities for a few months. After placing the fluoride gel, the hygienist will then apply fluoride varnish for additional protection. Once applied, you have to wait for thirty minutes without eating or drinking to allow enough time for absorption.
Maintenance after Dental Cleaning
Dental cleaning does not absolve you from taking responsibility for your teeth. Dental cleaning is a temporary and protective procedure that protects your teeth from excessive plaque buildup. It is a way of detecting potential problems sooner and dealing with them just as soon.
Dental cleaning controls the plaque buildup by removing the existing matter. Once removed, the teeth and your mouth have a better opportunity of remaining healthy, to serve you for longer.
Your dental hygienist will provide you with additional aftercare tips depending on your circumstances and the state of your oral hygiene. You may need to schedule several visits to your dentist for the dental cleaning and aftercare services.
If your dentist noticed other issues with your oral health, he or she will advise you on whether these issues require treatment and recommend the best way to deal with these issues.
Some of the aftercare tips include:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day. For effective results, you need to choose a toothbrush with a small head, soft bristles, and a rounded end. Such a toothbrush will reach every part of your mouth and effectively remove residues. If you can, get an electric toothbrush, which is more effective than a manual one. In addition, replace your toothbrush every three months.
- Floss your teeth as regularly (mostly after eating) to dislodge particles and plaque buildup from the pits, grooves, and fissures on your teeth. You can floss using an interdental toothbrush or a string of dental floss.
- Maintain healthy eating habits by avoiding sugar and smoking. Sugar increases acidity and bacteria buildup in your mouth, thus increasing plaque accumulation. Nicotine from smoking, on the other hand, corrodes your gums and promotes plaque accumulation, and increases the occurrence of oral cancer, tooth decay, cavities, and tooth loss.
- Use a fluoride-based mouthwash to enhance the health of your teeth by preventing decay
- Visit the dentist regularly for checkups. Even with the best care practices, it is possible to miss some plaque or develop other issues with your dental hygiene. Therefore, you should make regular visits to your dentist to maintain your dental health and detect problems early.
Get Dental Cleaning Services Near Me
Teeth are the strongest organ in the body, with the ability to live on for centuries. However, they are also the most delicate due to their inability to repair themselves. Such fragility places a responsibility upon you, to care for your teeth so that they can remain healthy to serve you for a longer time. Dental cleanings are one way of caring for your teeth, which involves the professional removal of plaque, tartar, and other substances that stick on teeth and affect their health. The Encino Dentist supports you through your pursuit of better oral hygiene by offering efficient and affordable dental cleaning services. Take responsibility for your dental health today. Call 818-650-0429 to book a consultation.