What Does a Cleaning Include?
Dental cleanings will begin with an assessment of a patient’s teeth and gums. This helps the dentist to identify areas of damage or decay as well as the presence of any serious issues which need to be addressed. These issues can interfere with a dental cleaning and require advanced treatment. Special cleaning tools and a paste will be used to cleanse each tooth. This helps to get rid of any plaque and tartar where disease causing bacteria like to accumulate. A cleaning can also help to remove surface stains and make the teeth look whiter. The hygienist will pay particular attention to area which are commonly missed during regular brushing and flossing. After the cleaning, the doctor will also go over how to improve or maintain good oral hygiene habits. The cleaning will usually take 30 minutes.
How Often Should I Get my Teeth Cleaned?
A routine cleaning should be scheduled for every six months or twice a year. However, if there are any issues during that time or if you have a concern, you should come into the office right away. Having a routine cleaning performed every six months assists with avoiding oral health issues such as gum disease, tooth decay, and even oral cancer.
What Happens if I Get Gum Disease?
If a dental cleaning reveals that a patient has gum disease, he or she may need additional, deeper cleanings. These cleanings will use advanced techniques to reach bacteria which have built up under tartar, along the gum line, and between teeth. Left untreated, gum disease can progress and cause bacteria to reach the tooth root. When this happens the tooth can become loose and even fall out. Mild gum disease is treated with more frequent cleanings. When the disease is more advanced, it may require the deeper cleaning techniques of root planing and scaling. Antibiotic ointments and pills may also be prescribed to kill the bacteria which cannot be reached during the cleanings.