Many people only schedule dental appointments when they sense discomfort or pain in their gums and teeth. However, treating the infected tooth as soon as possible is essential if that pain is because of a dental cavity. A dental cavity known as tooth decay can form over a few months. Professional dental cleanings are the best way to maintain a healthy smile and oral and general health. A regular dental cleaning coupled with a checkup helps prevent tartar and plaque buildup, significantly reducing your chance of tooth decay and gum disease.
How Fast Does Tooth Decay Spread?
The rate of the spread of decay depends on several factors, such as stress levels, diet, age, oral hygiene habits, and other dental conditions like dry mouth. When cavities are ignored, they get bigger and impact deeper layers of your teeth. As a result, they can lead to severe toothache, infection and tooth loss.
It’s important to follow a regular professional dental cleaning schedule, even when your mouth is pain-free.
What are the Benefits of Dental Cleanings and Checkups?
Preventing gum disease is the most important benefit of professional dental cleaning. However, you will find that the five benefits listed below are equally important.
- Cavity prevention
- Tooth loss prevention
- Bad breath prevention
- Brighter Teeth
- Less sensitive teeth
What is a Professional Dental Cleaning?
While brushing and flossing at home is essential and can help ensure cleanliness, a professional cleaning can ensure that your teeth are healthy and clean. A professional dental cleaning includes a physical exam, tooth scaling, tooth polishing, and debridement if too much tartar has accumulated.
The first step is a thorough physical examination of the entire mouth. In this step, the hygienist checks the teeth and gums for any inflamed gums, tooth decay, or other dental issues.
Removal of Plaque and Tartar Buildup
At this point, it’s time to remove dental plaque and tartar buildup with a scaler. Removing this sticky film from around teeth is essential as it contains harmful bacteria. Plaque and tartar are the leading causes of dental damage and decay.
Next, a high-powered electric toothbrush is used to clean your teeth. The high-powered brush is the best way to get a deep clean and remove any tartar missed by the scaler.
The next step is to floss your teeth to remove the remaining plaque and tartar. In addition, the hygienist is also checking for bleeding gums.
It is time to rinse your mouth to remove any debris left behind.
Your dentist or the dental hygienist will perform a fluoride treatment as the final step. Two types of fluoride are available to prevent or reduce caries: neutral sodium fluoride gels and varnish and acidulated phosphate fluoride gels and foams.
Types of Dental Cleanings
Prophylaxis cleaning is routine for healthy patients who need regular maintenance to ensure oral health.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is deep cleaning for patients at a high risk of gum disease or who have already developed gum disease.
A gross debridement removes plaque and tartar embedded in and around the gums and between the teeth.