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What Is Involved In A Dental Cleaning?

Professional teeth cleaning from a certified hygienist or dentist aims to get rid of tartar, plaque, and stains that have stuck on the teeth.

Indeed, tartar can still develop even if one regularly brushes and flosses daily.

In reality, professional cleaning is a vital component of good oral hygiene and is required periodically to maintain healthy gums and teeth.

Most dental hygienists or dentists advise having your teeth cleaned professionally every six months to lessen the possibility of periodontal disease. Good oral hygiene practice at home is crucial to ward off gum disease and tartar accumulation.

Furthermore, dental cleanings can clear away tartar and plaque deposits that have accumulated onto the teeth over time. The bacteria present in plaque is what actually causes tooth decay and gum disease. Thus, it is important to remove plaque through daily flossing and regular brushing, and of course, via periodic dental visits.

Dental calculus or tartar refers to a hard, calcified deposit which forms on the teeth. This becomes partly responsible for tooth decay. Moreover, dentists make use of special instruments to carefully remove these deposits without causing damage to the teeth. For quality control and safety, all dental instruments receive thorough cleaning, sterilization, and disinfection.

The Academy of General Dentistry actively recommends that a hygienist or dentist perform a dental cleaning at least twice a year. In fact, this professional dental cleaning adds to the home-care oral health regimen of flossing and brushing. This also gives the dentist a chance to detect areas of the mouth that may require special attention.

It matters to know that people who constantly practice good oral hygiene at home usually do not encounter pain or discomfort during professional cleanings. People who have not paid attention to oral hygiene habits may encounter sensitivity or discomfort during the procedure. To eliminate discomfort, the dentist may prefer using a topical anesthetic prior to the dental cleaning procedure.

Keep in mind that it is best to receive necessary preventive and diagnostic services from your dentist at the time of professional cleaning.

Diagnostic Services Include:

  • Going over and updating the patient’s medical history which may have an impact on his or her oral health
  • Evaluation of gum tissue
  • Referral to specialists for specific dental treatment
  • Oral cancer screening and examination
  • Teeth examination or X-rays to detect decay
  • Checking of swallowing, chewing, and biting patterns

Educational Services Include:

  • Tobacco-cessation counseling
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Assessment of self-care effectiveness
  • Proper flossing and tooth brushing instructions
  • Recommendations for future treatment such as restorative options, periodontal concerns, and also when to return for your follow-up hygiene treatment

What’s Included in Preventive Services?

  • Fluoride application
  • Adjustment and cleaning of dentures and partial dentures
  • Stain removal
  • Sealants (for kids)
  • Polishing teeth such as crowns and fillings
  • Removal of tartar and plaque

Disclaimer: The oral health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. Hawaii Family Dental strongly recommends to always consult licensed dentists or other qualified health care professionals for any questions concerning your oral health.

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