Teeth Cleaning

We highly believe that preventative cleanings, care and education are the keys to optimal dental health. Receiving regular dental cleanings and exams are an essential part of an overall plan to maintain your oral health and ultimately prevent dental disease or “cavities”. Our experienced dental hygienists perform these thorough cleanings for you. Everyone is different and you may require a different type of cleaning.

As mentioned before at your initial exam, your overall periodontal health will be evaluated.  This will be based on the amount of time since your last cleaning, your oral hygiene habits at home, diet, and any genetic factors that can contribute to diagnosing you with periodontal disease.

If it has been “a while” since your last cleaning, you may require more than one appointment for a thorough debridement of plaque and calculus.  It is just as important to your gingival health to clean the ares that you can’t see as it is to clean the areas you can see.  Typically plaque and calculus will form in the areas below the gums i.e. (nooks and crannies) and need to be “scaled” off the root surface in order to be removed.  This will release certain bacterias which reduce inflammation and bleeding that cause gingivitis.

If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, there is a different approach to your dental care.  Please refer to our services page “treating periodontal disease” for more information.

Here are some common words your hygienist will use during your cleaning:

  • Plaque: sticky, white film that forms on the teeth over time. It is a growing combination of living bacteria and saliva. The bacteria produces acid that causes enamel decay and can also inflame the gums if not removed regularly. This inflammation is called gingivitis and is the beginning of periodontal disease.
  • Calculus: hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth or root surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed by your hygienist. Your toothbrush will not remove calculus.
  • Polishing: removes stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during the brushing and scaling.
  • Fluoride: the most effective agent available to help prevent tooth decay. It is a mineral that is naturally present in almost all water supplies. The benefits of fluoride have been well known for over fifty years and are supported by many health and professional organizations. Although most people receive fluoride from faucet water, sometimes it is not enough to prevent decay. For those patients, we recommend fluoride treatments as part of their overall preventative plan.