Regular dental cleanings by our dentists or dental hygienists are part of a proper oral hygiene program. Cleanings help fight plaque, the major cause of tooth decay, gingivitis and serious gum disease. One of our Registered Dental Hygienists or dentists will perform a professional dental cleaning (dental prophylaxis) during your exam. The cleaning will involve:
• Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus comes from plaque build up that has hardened around the tooth. It forms both above and below the gum line, making the use of special dental instruments necessary to remove it from around the teeth.
• Removal of plaque: A sticky, almost invisible film, plaque is actually made up of living bacteria, food debris and saliva. When it forms on the teeth, the bacteria produces poisons that infect the gums, causing them to inflame. This inflammation is one of the first signs of periodontal disease.
• Teeth polishing: Through teeth polishing, your hygienist can remove stains and plaque that did not come off during the rest of the cleaning.
Why do I need regular dental cleanings?
The fight against plaque is a major component of preventative care, and Sinking Spring Family Dental can be your main ally in this effort. While daily brushing and flossing are your first line of defense against plaque, the professional cleaning from one of our dentists or dental hygienists is more thorough than the best you can do at home. Even proper brushing alone can’t remove the tartar that accumulates at the gumline. Good hygiene and regular dental cleanings are cost-effective, too. It costs much more to have teeth repaired and replaced than it does to have regular exams and cleanings.
What happens during a regular dental cleaning?
Usually an exam and cleaning are scheduled during the same appointment. Your dental hygienist is an expert at giving teeth this thorough regular cleaning known as a prophylaxis or “prophy”. Stubborn plaque and tartar will be removed with specially designed dental tools. Tartar is the plaque which has hardened at and even below the gumline. Your hygienist can clean tartar below the gumline as well in an intensive cleaning called scaling. Often the last step in the cleaning is polishing.
How often do I need cleanings?
Many adults require cleanings every six months. If your mouth is prone to tooth decay, tartar buildup or gum disease, we will recommend more frequent appointments.