To main your oral cavity healthy, it is recommended to have your teeth cleaned by a board licensed dentist once every six months. If you have a recurring history of gum disease and infections, then it is recommended to have your teeth professionally cleaned more often. Undergoing the teeth cleaning technique more frequently is also advisable for patients with diabetes and heart conditions, due to their link to dental problems.
What does the procedure of teeth cleaning imply?
Teeth cleaning is a procedure performed at the dentist’s office. With the use of various tools, the dentist will deep clean your gums and the surface of the teeth, resulting in a healthy mouth and a more confident smile. The teeth cleaning procedure does not only ensure healthy teeth and gums, but the technique also removes plaque and bacteria deposits you cannot eliminate with the help of your toothbrush.
The teeth cleaning procedure is scheduled bi-annually and provides a great opportunity for your dentist to evaluate your oral care practices and make suggestions for ways you can improve them. The technique can be performed in three steps, namely:
To remove tartar deposits that have been building up on the teeth the dentist will have to perform scaling. Scaling can be done with either a hand instrument or an ultrasonic device. Most dentists and dental hygienists will typically use both. Incorporating metal tips, the ultrasonic instruments used for scaling employ vibrations to remove tartar deposits. Take note that because these tips can get quite hot, the dentists can employ a water spray to maintain your oral cavity cool.
The hand instruments used for scaling include a curved tip and are available in different shapes and sizes, so they can easily fit in various areas of the mouth. To remove tartar deposits with such instruments, the dentist will perform scraping motions upon the surface of the teeth. Because the hand instruments have thinner and finer tips, they are best utilized to scrape smaller deposits, such as those found below and above the gums.
Following the scaling, the dentist will proceed to polishing the teeth to leave them extra smooth and with a shiny finish. Teeth polishing is typically performed with a slow-speed handpiece which has a smooth rubber cup attached at one end. After covering your teeth with a flavored paste, the dentist activates the handpiece causing the top rubber cup to spin and polish the mixture onto the teeth. Patients will often be required to rinse their mouth with water to remove the extra paste.
3. Applying the fluoride treatment
The last step of a professional teeth cleaning consists of the application of the fluoride treatment. The treatment has the role of strengthening the enamel of the teeth and prevents decay. The procedure entails placing some fluoride gel onto a specialized tray, which is afterwards inserted into the mouth. Your teeth will have to bathe in this mixture for 30 to 60 seconds.
After the tray has been removed, the excess fluoride and saliva will be removed with the help of a suction device. It is highly advisable that you refrain from eating or drinking anything following the fluoride treatment for approximately 30 minutes, as to allow the mixture to work properly.
The recovery phase
More often than not, patients report that their teeth and gums feel sore following the teeth cleaning procedure. In addition, if you didn’t have your teeth professionally cleaned before, then there’s also a chance you will experience teeth and gums bleeding. Bleeding is perfectly natural and it occurs because the accumulation of bacteria has irritated your gums and made them more sensitive. The good news is that these side effects subside naturally in a couple of days.