While it’s important to keep up with regular dental hygiene at home, including brushing, flossing, and using a non-alcoholic mouthwash, it’s not always perfect. The main purpose of your dental care is to eliminate bad bacteria that like to hang out in your mouth and to remove plaque from the surface of your teeth. Plaque is a film-like bacterial layer that can cause tooth decay and gum disease over time if left untreated. Unfortunately, brushing your teeth doesn’t always get all of the plaque off, which can lead to the buildup of a hardened substance called tartar.
Dental Exam and X-Rays
If you’re going to a local dentist for the first time, or it’s been a long time since you were last at your dentist, you can expect to have a dental examination with x-rays of your mouth taken. The main purpose for the dental examination is to check for issues such as gum disease, and what stage of gum disease you might have, as well as tooth decay and cavities. This gives a bigger picture of your current oral hygiene, but also provides us with a better foundation for your personalized oral healthcare plan. During an examination, it also gives us a better idea of whether you will need a deeper teeth cleaning, often called scaling and root planning.
Now for the main part: getting the teeth cleaned. Dental hygienists use more specialized tools and high-grade toothpaste to get your teeth extra clean and ensure both plaque and tartar have been removed. We make sure that all sides of your teeth get a good clean, including the back and the front side of the teeth. But first, your dental hygienist will scrape the surfaces of your teeth with specialized metal tools designed specifically for such a job. This ensures that plaque and tartar are removed. The bulk of the time spent getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist is during this step, because the more plaque and tartar you have, the longer it will take. Getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist will typically include polish. This part of a teeth cleaning, which may or may not be included in all dental cleanings, is more of a cosmetic procedure. A special gritty paste is typically used with an electronic polish brush. The result aims to give your teeth an appearance that is smoother and shiny, as opposed to dull.
What About Deep Cleaning?
Sometimes a deeper cleaning is required, which is often referred to as scaling and root planning. This is because your regular dental cleanings are meant to be used as preventative measures against things such as gum disease. However, when gum disease has already developed, a deeper clean is required to get your dental health back into shape. Scaling is when plaque and tartar is removed from your teeth, including areas, or pockets, that form between your teeth and gums. Because these pockets are beneath your gums, regular brushing won’t reach it. Root planning is then done to smooth the root area of your teeth.
It’s also important to note that while a regular dental cleaning is done in one visit, deep dental cleanings may require more than one appointment. This is usually required with heavily progressed gum disease and a high amount of plaque and tartar that need to be removed.
Dental Cleaning Frequency
If your dental health is in good condition, then the recommended frequency for regular dental cleanings is twice every year. If your dental health is not in good condition, however, your dentist may provide a more personalized temporary cleaning schedule. Dental cleanings are the best preventative methods to protect against gum disease and other oral issues, alongside a regular routine of brushing, flossing, and mouthwash.
Schedule Your Dental Cleaning in Prosper, TX Today
Take back control of your dental health and hygiene with Prosper and Smile Dental Care in Prosper, TX. We work with you to provide personalized recommendations for dental products and cleaning routines. We’re always here to answer your questions to ensure that you get the best professional advice without breaking the bank. To schedule your dental cleaning, give us a call today!