A dental cleaning—usually performed by a dental hygienist-- is a very effective procedure for the removal of tartar (mineralized plaque) that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, especially in areas that are difficult to reach in routine brushing. Because it is essential to remove the tartar below the gum-line as well as above it, getting your teeth professionally cleaned by a dental hygienist at least twice a year is a must.
Teeth cleaning with special dental tools removes harmful plaque, calculus (hardened plaque), and bacteria that otherwise can’t be removed at home by simply brushing or flossing- regardless of how vigorously you brush or floss. Professional teeth cleaning will include tooth scaling (root- planing) and tooth polishing and debridement if too much tartar has accumulated and can prevent cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease.
Why Dental Cleaning Is Important?
A dental cleaning appointment is the one medical appointment that a person will miss says the Centre for Disease Control. Also according to the CDC, 71.4 percent of women over age 18 had their teeth cleaned in 2008. That means more than a quarter of all women are skipping the dentist.
Cleaning your teeth will not only prevent the obvious dental problems from occurring but will also provide cosmetic benefits while helping to prevent other physical ailments down the road. Let’s look at a few things that teeth cleaning does:
- Prevents Tooth Decay- this is obvious but shouldn’t be overstated
- Prevents Gum Disease- plaque build-up leads to the bacteria that causes all sorts of problems
- Freshens your breath- maybe not as important as other benefits but a worthwhile outcome
- Reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and oral cancer because what remains lurking and unattended to in the mouth finds its way into the bloodstream
What Happens During Dental cleaning?
For most patients, teeth cleaning is simple and painless. Knowing exactly what is going on during the process can help ease your stress and allow you to better enjoy the minty-fresh results.
1. The physical exam
Most teeth cleanings are performed by a dental hygienist. Before the actual cleaning process begins, they start with a physical exam of your entire mouth. The dental hygienist uses a small mirror to check around your teeth and gums for any signs of gingivitis (inflamed gums) or other potential concerns. If they detect major problems, the dental hygienist might call the dentist to make sure it’s fine to proceed.
2. Plaque and tartar removed
With the small mirror to guide them, the dental hygienist uses a scaler to get rid of plaque and tartar around your gum line, as well as in between your teeth. You’ll hear scraping, but this is normal. The more tartar there is in your mouth, the more time they’ll need to scrape a particular spot.
Brushing and flossing stop plaque from building up and hardening into tartar. Once you have tartar, you can only have it removed at your dentist’s office. So if this is your least favourite part of the teeth cleaning process, the lesson is to brush and floss more often.
3. Gritty toothpaste cleaning
After your teeth are completely tartar-free, the hygienist brushes them with a high-powered electric brush which makes a grinding noise. While it sounds scary, it’s a great way to get a deep clean and remove any tartar left behind from the scaler. Professional cleanings use toothpaste that smells and tastes like regular toothpaste, though you can often choose between flavors. However, it has a gritty consistency that gently scrubs your teeth. If done by a professional, this polishing of the teeth is deemed safe to do twice a year. But don’t be as harsh with your teeth at home, because you’ll wear down the enamel.
4. Expert flossing
Whether you floss regularly at home or not, nothing beats an expert flossing session. Your dental hygienist can get deep between your teeth and locate any potential trouble spots where you might bleed at the gums. This might seem pointless if you floss at home, but having a professional floss your teeth also removes any leftover plaque or toothpaste from earlier in the cleaning process.
5. Fluoride applied
The last step of the cleaning process is a fluoride treatment. This treatment is used as a protectant for your teeth to help fight against cavities for several months. Your dental hygienist may ask you what flavour you like best. They’ll then place the foamy gel (or sometimes a sticky paste) into a mouthpiece that fits over your teeth. It’s usually left on your teeth for one minute. Besides the foamy gel, fluoride varnish is also painted onto the teeth with a small brush. Fluoride varnish will harden when in contact with saliva, so you can eat and drink immediately after.
Dental cleaning from 47 GBP at Forest & Ray
A dental cleaning can be thought of as an investment, and as such, it is one that will save you a ton of money in the future. Oral hygiene sessions are classified into three categories, each with a set price, the lowest being only 47 pounds. Which category you are in depends on how much work is needed to clean your teeth, and how much chair time is needed to complete the task.
Some patients think that by not having their teeth cleaned they are saving money. Just the opposite is true. You will avoid more costly future procedures later by having dental cleanings regularly. We at Forest & Ray know differently. That is why we encourage you to come in at least twice a year to maintain good oral health and that beautiful smile. Contact us for a cleaning today!