It’s important to get the teeth professionally cleaned at least once a year. Teeth cleaning not only brightens the smile but prevents diseases of the oral cavity that can have health consequences in other parts of the body. For example, some doctors believe that bacteria found in the mouth can travel to the valves of the heart and cause problems.
Teeth Cleaning Steps
The first thing the dental hygienist does before cleaning the teeth is examine the mouth to check the health of the oral cavity. After the examination, the hygienist removes plaque and tartar from the teeth. Plaque is a viscous film of bacteria and debris that eat away at the tooth enamel and cause dental caries. Tartar, or calculus, is a hardened form of plaque.
The hygienist loosens the tartar with an ultrasonic tool then removes it and remnants of plaque with a scaler. The scaler is good at getting at the plaque and tartar that hide in the spaces between the teeth and at the gum line. If the patient has gingivitis, the hygienist may deep clean the teeth. This is called planing and is done to clean deep pockets that form between the gum and the teeth and provide reservoirs for harmful bacteria. Planing smooths the rough patches on the teeth and makes it hard for the bacteria to cling to them.
The patient may need to come in more than once for complete scaling and planing. The hygienist will give them a local anesthesia to ease any discomfort. When the planing and scaling are complete, the hygienist brushes the teeth with an electric toothbrush. They use a gritty toothpaste to remove the very last traces of tartar. This toothpaste shouldn’t be used daily at home because it will eventually wear down the tooth enamel.
After the teeth are cleaned, the patient may also opt for teeth whitening Arlington Heights IL. Though whitening can be done at home, it is less risky to have it done in the dentist’s office. The teeth also tend to be whiter if they are done professionally, and the effect lasts for a longer time.