DownloadOur Forms Like Us
Like uson Facebook Reviews
ReadOur Reviews Watch
Watch Uson Youtube Call Give us a Call Map View our Map
You know that smooth, clean feeling we all love after a trip to the dentist? That’s the way your teeth feel without plaque and tartar -- and we want you to enjoy that sensation all the time. A dental cleaning is an important step in preventive dental care, and we usually recommend that patients of all ages have a hygiene appointment at least every six months. Why are dental cleanings so important? Let’s take a closer look at what happens during this preventive appointment.
One of the main goals of your dental cleaning is to rid your teeth of the plaque and tartar that cause decay and infection. Plaque is the clear, sticky substance that you can scratch off with your fingernail. When it’s not completely removed with your toothbrush and dental floss, plaque turns into tartar in as little as 24 hours. And once your teeth have developed tartar, special tools are needed for its removal. Only your dental hygienist can rid your teeth of the hard, yellow substance.
Expect the dental cleaning portion of your preventive appointment to last 30 to 45 minutes. Your dental hygienist begins by talking to you about your dental health. Have you noticed any problems since your last visit? Any pain, swelling, or anything unusual? These questions are important for diagnosing oral problems you may not realize you have -- and treating them before they become bigger issues.
Then, your hygienist cleans the surface of your teeth and around the gumline using special tools, brushes, and pastes. He or she also checks the depth of the pockets between your teeth. It’s a process we call charting, and it helps to catch gum disease in its tracks. Deep pockets indicate infection and the need for periodontal treatment.
After your teeth are squeaky clean and charting is complete, your hygienist takes any necessary x-rays. Now it’s time for your dentist to examine your teeth, x-rays, and all oral structures. If problems like tooth decay, gum disease, or broken, worn dental work are detected, a plan for restorative care will be put in place.
In general, we recommend that most patients visit the dentist for a cleaning and checkup every six months. Some patients can get by only visiting once a year, but it depends on the rate at which your mouth produces plaque, and if you’re at an increased risk of developing gum disease or cavities. Let your doctor make a recommendation for how often you should be coming in, and then play it safe by sticking to it.
Healthy teeth and gums require three things: regular brushing, flossing, and preventive care from your dentist. Take good care of your teeth at home to make your dental hygienist’s job of removing plaque and tartar a little easier -- and to make your smile a lot happier. Brush for two minutes, preferably after each meal but at least twice a day. Floss daily, and maintain a balanced, nutritious diet.