Even if you do brush your teeth after every meal, it’s very important for you to have your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Even with the best of personal care, your teeth, over time, will build up a layer of plaque and hard deposits that are very difficult to remove without special instruments. Plaque is a very sticky, bacteria-rich film; calculus or tartar is a very hard deposit that cannot be removed simply by brushing. If either remains on the tooth - or worse below the gum line – your mouth becomes an ideal location for bacteria to grow and multiply. Acids produced by these bacteria contribute to tooth decay and gum disease which, if left uncontrolled, can lead to inflammation and infection of the gums. All of which might possibly influence systemic diseases. Combine a professional cleaning with a routine dental examination and you’ve taken the best first step to improving your oral and overall health!
Most professional cleanings are performed by a highly trained hygienist. Everyone’s teeth are different and have different levels of comfort when visiting the dentist. Rest assured, our hygienists will know how best to take care of your needs. Using hand instruments or ultrasonic scalers, the hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth using moderate pressure. If it’s been a while since you’ve had your teeth professionally cleaned, you may feel some discomfort. In cases like these, your hygienist can apply a topical numbing gel or other type of anesthetic. But for most people, nothing special is required and the experience is often enjoyable. To finish things up, the hygienist will polish your teeth using a rubber tipped rotary brush and a gritty, pumice-like paste that leaves your teeth feeling smooth and squeaky-clean!
If it is determined that your gums are irritated due to bacterial buildup, you may experience soreness and bleeding during the cleaning. Your hygienist and Dr. Degnen will discuss things you can do at home, between dental visits, to possibly prevent this from happening in the future. More frequent visits (3-4 times a year) might also be suggested to get things under control. One thing’s for sure, poor oral health, when left alone, will likely lead to more involved dental procedures down the road. Visiting the dentist regularly provides the best chance of keeping your teeth for life!