Thursday, February 26, 2015

What Is Involved in Having My Teeth Professionally Cleaned?

Everyone knows that brushing and flossing at least twice daily is vital for good dental health. Unfortunately, even the most diligent brushing and flossing is incapable of keeping your teeth clean and healthy over time. This is why family dentists and cosmetic dentists alike recommend a professional teeth cleaning at least once every six months in addition to regular self-care through brushing and flossing.

Even when you brush your teeth every morning and every night, a regular toothbrush is not able to remove all the plaque that forms on your teeth during the day and at night while you sleep. The plaque you are unable to remove builds up, and over time it mineralizes, meaning it hardens. When plaque mineralizes and hardens, it turns into a substance called tartar. In addition to being very unsightly, tartar is downright impossible to remove with regular brushing and like plaque, it builds up over time without professional cleanings.

A tartar build-up is bad news in many ways. Tartar will give your teeth a yellow, crusty appearance rather than the brilliant white that is a staple of a "million dollar smile." Tartar doesn't smell too great, either, and it's a leading culprit when it comes to halitosis (bad breath). Finally, when tarter builds up on your teeth, it contributes to the calcium on your tooth enamel breaking down. This speeds up the development of cavities.

To prevent all this from happening, you need to eliminate tartar with regular professional teeth cleanings. Typically, a professional cleaning begins with tooth scaling, which your dental hygienist will complete using a handheld tooth scaler. This is the somewhat scary-looking metal contraption you've probably seen at the dentist's office with the hook-shaped metal point on one end. Truth be told, this device is nothing to be scared of and its use is not only painless but vital for loosening up calcified tartar so that it can be removed from your teeth.

The next step is tooth polishing, which is done with a specialized electric brush featuring a small round brushing surface which spins rapidly as the hygienist uses it to clean your teeth. This not only removes all the remaining tartar, but it also polishes the surface of your teeth which makes it more difficult for plaque to build up between now and your next cleaning.

If your tartar buildup is severe, your dental hygienist may also elect to perform a procedure known as debridement. This is a more aggressive approach where an ultrasonic device, periodontal scaler, or saline solution is used to break up the tartar which was not able to be loosened with normal tooth scaling. After this is completed, the tartar is removed.

There is no reason not to schedule a professional teeth cleaning at least every six months. For one thing, it is a very affordable procedure. In addition, modern instruments and cleaning techniques minimize the discomfort that used to be synonymous with a dental visit decades ago. Nowadays, most people report that teeth cleanings are comfortable and even pleasant. The best part of a professional cleaning, however, is walking out of the dentist's office and being able to flash a tartar-free, bright white smile!

If you are seeking professional dental advice, it's time to call Shumway Dental Care. Their Chandler dentists will ask you questions, examine you, and determine exactly what needs to be done to get you back to normal. Call today for an appointment. Visit
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