Professional Teeth Cleaning; How, When, and Why

Returning for your routine cleanings may just be the most important thing you do in order to maintain your oral health, and to continue making decisions that will live a lifestyle that promotes a healthy and happy mouth. Continue reading for more information on professional teeth cleaning.

Why must I return for a professional cleaning?

Dentists and dental hygienists recommend returning, on average, every six months for a thorough, professional cleaning. This is to halt the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth. When bacteria is allowed to reside in the mouth and on the teeth, a thin film-like layer forms on the teeth known as plaque. Plaque is usually removed with regular home care, consisting of thorough brushing and flossing.

In the case that there is improper home care, plaque hardens into tartar. Tartar is a hard concentration of bacteria that causes immense amounts of decay in the mouth; when it is able to escape underneath the gums, it eats away at the bone, and eventually, causes the looseness of teeth. This is a condition known as Periodontitis, which requires deeper cleanings. We’ll get to that momentarily.

When you return for your cleaning, your dental hygienist removes any plaque or tartar from your teeth that you may have missed. It is important to remember that once tartar develops, it can only be professionally removed, due to how hard it is. Your dental hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth and remove any signs of tartar during your visit, and they will give you directions on how to further your home care.

In the case that you have been diagnosed with Periodontitis, it is crucial that you return every three months for a deep cleaning, known as a “scaling”. During this cleaning, your hygienist will not only thoroughly clean your teeth, but they will also place antibiotics underneath your gums in order to prevent the growth of bacteria. Scalings are crucial in the process of treating Periodontitis, which can never be reversed. Once diagnosed, a patient can only make efforts in order to prevent it from progressing.

The importance of proper oral care

Many people do not know that the health of your mouth is directly related to the rest of your body. In fact, patients with gum disease have been linked directly to heart disease and diabetes. It is extremely important to return for your regular cleanings to prevent the development of tartar.

In the case that Periodontitis is allowed to progress without regular cleanings to regulate the bacteria growth, teeth will become loose due to bone loss. Patients also experience extreme discomfort and bleeding in the gums, even when untouched. The antibiotics that are placed underneath the gums during a scaling cleaning are essential in preventing these unfortunate side effects

Even for patients that do not have gum disease, it is important to return every six months for a cleaning. Though you may think you reach all corners of your mouth while brushing, there are always spots that could use the trained eye of a dental hygienist.