Teeth cleaning

Just as charity begins at home, teeth cleaning also begins at home, and will also end at home if done properly and religiously. Teeth cleaning should be done at least twice a day. In fact if you knew what you are preventing by cleaning your teeth regularly, you would be doing it after every meal and every snack if not every hour. Teeth cleaning includes brushing and flossing, which should be done, at a minimum, twice a day. For ordinary people the normal bristle brush is quite suitable. Care should be taken that the brush is not hard enough to damage gums while brushing. It should also not be too soft else it will not prevent formation of plaque and cavities. Floss is piece of thread which is inserted in interdental spaces to clean out that material which the brush cannot. For those with braces the interdental brush is recommended. People having dentures may utilize special denture cleaners. Other than these standard tools, the tooth pick, the irrigator, and miswak may be used. The irrigator is an electric appliance which fires a jet of water onto the teeth and cleans them and the interdental spaces.

What does Tooth Cleaning Prevent?

The visible part of your teeth is protected by an enamel covering. Enamel is mineralized layer which is the hardest tissue in the body. It also lends a good appearance to your teeth and gives you your beautiful smile. But this hardest tissue can be destroyed by the very food which it crushes so conveniently. Food leaves very thin deposits (plaque) on the enamel. Carbohydrates and sugars are turned by bacteria into acid which makes the oral environment acidic, and hence, favourable to erosion of the enamel. Cavities, calculus, and gum disease result.

Regular Dental Visits

If you fail to maintain your oral hygiene, then plaque will form, resulting slowly in paleness of teeth, caries, and gum disease. Those things will then, need the attention of a dentist. It may cost heavily in terms of money, time, and comfort. But to prevent further loss of time, money, and comfort, you must react immediately and see a professional. To prevent the situation going that bad it is advisable, along with personal teeth cleaning, to see your dentist regularly. Your own effort may not be sufficient to prevent a slow build-up of plaque and other more serious problems. An inspection by a qualified dental professional will show up any impending problems and allow an appropriate timely action including teeth cleaning.

Professional Cleaning

The professional term for teeth cleaning is prophylaxis, which literally means treatment towards prevention. Prophylaxis may include:

  • Ultrasonic Scaling
  • Tartar (calculus) Removal
  • Debridement
  • Polishing
  • Ultrasonic and Hand Scaling

Scaling is removing thin layers of plaque which may have built up. Tartar is hardened plaque. In some people even regular personal cleaning may not prevent build-up of tartar in inaccessible areas like in between the teeth. Debridement is the process of breaking or loosening excessive layer of tartar for easy removal. Ultrasonic procedures are available with your dentist for debridement. The most commonly used method for teeth cleaning is the removal of dental plaque and calculus with the help of hand and ultrasonic scalers. The ultrasonic scalers vibrate at very high frequencies and remove the adherent plaque and calculus from the teeth and the gums. After professional cleaning has been performed, the teeth are polished so as to enhance their aesthetics and to prevent adherence of plaque and calculus in future by making them smooth.

What to Expect After the Procedure

You may experience slight discomfort, bleeding and pain in your gums after the procedure. However, your dentist may prescribe you with pain-killers to take care of the pain. The pain and discomfort are expect to go away in 2-3 days.

Frequency of Professional Cleaning

There is no single agreed period for professional cleaning. The need for undergoing teeth cleaning will vary from person to person, depending on their cleaning habits and structure of their dentition. It is good to start with a yearly cleaning, and depending on observations of the dental professional, reduce the period if necessary.

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