The Importance of Dental Cleanings

What to Expect 

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for overall health and regular dental cleaning visits can play a vital role in achieving this goal. These cleaning visits are essential for knowing how you are looking after your own dental health and learning how to correct and improve your technique to prevent various dental problems ensuring you have a bright, healthy smile. 

Why are they important?

Dental Plaque Biofilm and Tartar Removal

Unless you learn how to remove Dental Plaque Biofilm correctly yourself, having regular cleanings will only provide a temporary solution to oral health problems because the plaque biofilm starts to form immediately following a cleaning.  Dental plaque biofilm is a sticky film of bacteria that can lead to cavities and gum disease (gingivitis) if not removed daily. Tartar, a hardened form of dental plaque biofilm takes longer to form and can only be removed by a dentist/hygienist.  

Prevention of Gum Disease

Gum disease, such as gingivitis and periodontitis, is an inflammatory condition that gives rise to, bleeding, and in severe cases bone loss around the teeth.  Regular cleaning visits to your dentist or hygienist can help to keep your gums healthy and prevent gum disease from developing by monitoring your cleaning, measuring your gum health and removing tartar and staining if these are present.

Cavity Prevention

Cavities are formed when acids produced from carbohydrate food by dental plaque biofilm interact with tooth enamel. When the frequency of carbohydrate food intake between meals is greater than four times a day the risk of acid and bacteria penetrating tooth enamel pores increases.  Brushing at least twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride at 1450 parts per million disturbs plaque biofilm,  hardens tooth enamel and prevent it from causing cavities. Your dentist or hygienist can identify areas of your mouth and teeth that you are not cleaning properly and may be showing signs of early dental decay. They can help you adjust your cleaning technique including how to use interdental cleaners and may  use a fluoride paste to clean and protect your teeth.

Fresh Breath

Persistent bad breath can often be a sign of underlying dental problems including poor oral hygiene and gum disease. Regular cleaning visits can help to keep your breath fresh by ensuring you have a good oral hygiene technique, including using correct a soft bristle toothbrush, interdental cleaners, and a tongue cleaner. The advice of a dentist and hygienist are essential for having fresh breath. 

What to expect during a cleaning

*Dental Plaque Biofilm and Tartar Removal

Using special tools, the dental hygienist or dentist will carefully remove dental plaque biofilm and tartar from your teeth. This process may involve scraping your teeth with hand instruments and using an ultrasonic scaler that uses fine vibrations to dislodge hardened plaque called calculus and stubborn stains from your teeth. 

*Polishing

After the dental plaque biofilm, tartar and stains are removed, your teeth will be polished using a gritty toothpaste containing fluoride. This helps remove surface stains and leaves your teeth smooth and clean. 

*Expert Advice

The most important part of a cleaning visit is the personalised advice you will receive to help you maintain your oral health, this may include tips on proper brushing technique, correct type of toothpaste, correct type of toothbrush, interdental cleaners including a wide range of interdental brushes and dental floss devices, when to use a mouthwash and dietary recommendations about reducing the frequency of carbohydrate intakes. 

Conclusion

Regular cleaning visits are an integral part of a comprehensive oral care routine. The frequency of visits is determined by your level of risk advised by your dentist. Once a year may be sufficient for low risk individuals, moderate risk twice a year and elevated risk more frequently.  Removing dental plaque biofilm every day prevents tartar build up and together with daily use of fluoride toothpaste at 1450 parts per million will contribute to the prevention of cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. Embrace dental cleaning visits as an opportunity to measure your oral hygiene performance in maintaining a healthy, radiant smile and ensuring your overall wellbeing.  Don’t forget to follow your dentist’s or your hygienist’s advice for at-home care to complement the benefits of professional cleanings. 

 

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