Topics

  • 10 Reasons to Have a Dental Cleaning
  • How Dental Cleaning is done?
  • 1. Ultrasonic Scaler
  • 2. Hand Scalers
  • 3. Polishing Tool
  • 4. Fluoride
  • Is it going to be painful?

10 Reasons to Have a Dental Cleaning

Good oral hygiene is important, not only for looks, but for general health as well. Poor oral hygiene can lead to a variety of dental and medical problems such as gum disease, infection, bone loss, heart disease, strokes and more. Regular check ups and cleanings can prevent these problems as well as provide you with good oral hygiene.

1. To Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease (or periodontitis) is an infection in the gum tissues and bone that keep your teeth in place and is one of the leading causes of adult tooth loss. If diagnosed early, it can be treated and reversed. If treatment is not received, a more serious and advanced stage of gum disease may follow. Regular dental cleanings and check ups, flossing daily and brushing twice a day are key factors in preventing gum disease.

2. To Help Maintain Good Physical Health

Recent studies have linked heart attacks and strokes to gum disease, resulting from poor oral hygiene. A dental cleaning every 6 months helps to keep your teeth and gums healthy and could possibly reduce your risk of heart disease and strokes.

3. To Keep Your Teeth

Since gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults, regular dental check ups and cleanings,brushing and flossing are vital to keeping as many teeth as you can. Keeping your teeth means better chewing function and ultimately, better health.

4. To Detect Dental Problems Early

Your dentistwill be able to detect any early signs of problems with your teeth or gums. Early detection of cavities, broken fillings and gum disease are easily treatable. If these problems go untreated, root canals, gum surgery and removal of teeth could become the only treatment options available.

5. To Maintain Good Oral Health

Your dentist will help to ensure that you are maintaining your good oral health by visual examination and comparing your previous dental check ups. If you are falling off track with your oral hygiene he / she will help put you back on the right path.

6. To Use Your Dental Benefits or Dental Insurance Plan

Dental benefits provided by your company or dental insurance plans usually pay for all or most of the cost of dental cleanings and check ups every six months. Take advantage of this and save a lot of money in the long run by avoiding costly dental procedures that can result from poor oral hygiene.

7. To Create a Treatment Plan

If your dentist diagnoses any problems in your mouth, he /she will most likely give you a treatment plan. This treatment plan should have the cost of each procedure that you will need, so that you can discuss financial arrangements with the front office.What Your Dentist Knows..That You Should Too

8. To Have a Bright and White Smile

Your dental hygienist can remove most tobacco, coffee and tea stains. During your cleaning, your hygienist will also polish your teeth to a beautiful shine. The result? A whiter and brighter smile!

9. To Prevent Bad Breath

Dental studies show that about 85 percent of people with persistent bad breath, also known as halitosis have a dental problem that is to blame. Good oral hygiene is essential in preventing bad breath. Regular check ups and cleanings are the best way to make sure that you are maintaining good oral hygiene.

10. To Prevent Oral Cancer

According to The Oral Cancer Foundation, someone dies from oral cancer, every hour of every day in the United States alone. When you have your dental cleaning, your dentist is also screening you for oral cancer, which is highly curable if diagnosed early.

How Dental Cleaning is done?

Scaling and polishing

Dental scaling is used to eliminate bacteria that stick to plaque and hardened plaque, which is called calculus, or tartar. Scaling is nonsurgical, but it’s different from a standard dental cleaning in that it involves cleaning the areas of the tooth below the gum line. Scaling is usually the first treatment for periodontal, or gum, disease. Because removing calculus can be painful, the dentist may give you a local anesthetic to desensitize the nerves before the scaling procedure. Scaling is usually done with a combination of ultrasonic and hand instruments called dental scalers.

1. Ultrasonic Scaler

The dentist first removes calculus using an ultrasonic scaler. This tool has a blunt tip and operates at a very high frequency, blasting away calculus through its vibrations. It also has a built-in water spray to wash out fragments and keep the tip of the instrument cool.

Video: Ultrasonic Scaling

2. Hand Scalers

Gracey Curettes. Hand instrument used to remove

Gracey Curettes – Hand scaler used to remove calculus

After using the ultrasonic scaler, a dentist will usually use a hand scaler that doesn’t operate on electricity. Hand scalers come in several different shapes designed for use in specific areas of the mouth. With the hand scaler, the dentist scrapes away any remaining calculus, particularly from the pockets between the teeth and gums as well as below the gum line. Hand dental scalers can have bladed, balled or pointed tips, according to DentalFearCentral. Additionally, because a dentist can’t see plaque, a hand scaler allows him to identify tartar buildup and remaining rough spots by touch. Once the scaling is complete, the dentist will likely plane the root surfaces with a hand scaler. This smoothes them, allowing the gums to regenerate to avoid a future buildup of calculus.

3. Polishing Tool


Once all the surfaces are smooth, the dental worker may polish your teeth. Polishing is done using a slow speed handpiece with a soft rubber cup that spins on the end. Prophylaxis (short for prophy) paste – a special gritty toothpaste-like material – is scooped up like ice cream into the cup and spun around on the teeth to make them shiny smooth.

The purpose of polishing is to make it difficult for plaque to accumulate on the surface area. Common practice is to use a prophy cup—a small motorized rubber cup—along with an abrasive polishing compound.

It usually takes one visit to complete a dental scaling; however, if there is excessive plaque accumulation, or more advanced periodontal problems, the dentist may work on only one quadrant, or one-quarter of your mouth, during a single visit. Once the scaling is complete, the dentist will usually polish your teeth. Polishing is done using an electric, slow-speed instrument with a soft rubber cup on the end, which spins, notes DentalFearCentral. A gritty toothpaste-like material is scooped into the cup and spun over and around each tooth, making it smooth.

4. Fluoride Therapy

Your dentist may also apply fluoride. This is the final, and my favorite part of the dental cleaning! Fluoride comes in many different flavours such as chocolate, mint, strawberry, cherry, watermelon, pina colada and can be mixed and matched  for a great taste sensation!

Make no mistake though, this in-office fluoride treatment is meant for topical use only on the surfaces of the teeth and swallowing excessive amounts can give a person a tummy ache as it is not meant to be ingested. Fluoride foam or gel is then placed into small, flexible foam trays and placed over the teeth for 30 seconds. Afterwards the patient is directed to spit as much out as possible into a saliva ejector. The fluoride helps to strengthen the teeth since the acids from bacteria in dental tartar and plaque will have weakened the surfaces. It is best not to eat, drink or rinse for 30 minutes after the fluoride has been applied.

Is it going to be painful?

Most people find that cleanings are painless, and find the sensations described above – tickling vibrations, the cooling mist of water, and the feeling of pressure during “scraping” – do not cause discomfort. A lot of people even report that they enjoy cleanings and the lovely smooth feel of their teeth afterwards! There may be odd zingy sensations, but many people don’t mind as they only last a nanosecond. Be sure to let your dentist/hygienist know if you find things are getting too uncomfortable for your liking. They can recommend various options to make the cleaning more enjoyable. Painful cleaning experiences can be caused by a number of things: a rough dentist or hygienist, exposed dentine (not dangerous, but can make cleanings unpleasant), or sore gum tissues. In case you may have had painful cleaning experiences in the past, switching to a gentle hygienist/dentist and perhaps a spot of nitrous oxide can often make all the difference. You could also choose to be numbed. If you find the scaling a bit uncomfortable because the gum tissues (rather than the teeth themselves) are sensitive, topical numbing gels can be used.

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