More Than Just Brushing: Importance of A Professional Dental Cleaning

Posted on: January 16, 2018

There is a common misconception that merely brushing the teeth two times per day prevents the need for a dental cleaning once every six months.  In fact, some people believe regular brushing and flossing is enough to warrant a skipping of dental visits for years or even decades.  Flossing and brushing are undoubtedly important for maintaining oral health.  However, a professional dental cleaning is also necessary to ensure your teeth and gums remain in optimal condition across posterity.

Brushing And Flossing Are Not Enough

Brushing the teeth two times per day only performs a superficial clean.  A more in-depth cleaning is necessary at least once per year at a bare minimum.  Ideally, you will visit with your dentist at 6-month intervals to gauge the condition of your teeth and gums. It does not matter if you use a fancy toothpaste and replace your toothbrush every couple months.  Even the most expensive toothpaste that claims to be the strongest on the market will not eliminate some tooth stains.  Dental equipment is necessary to remove these troublesome stains and clean out portions of the mouth toothbrushes and floss can't reach.

Why a Professional Dental Cleaning is Necessary

A professional dental cleaning performed by a dental hygienist cleans those hard-to-reach portions of your teeth and gums that toothbrushes and floss can't access.  Deep cleanings treat periodontal disease and gum disease following the patient's failure to adhere to a regular schedule of dental visits.  The dental hygienist uses an instrument known as a probe to measure the area around the teeth to determine if there is pocketing.  Pocketing is the space between the gum and teeth where bacteria congregate.  

If the depth of gum tissue between the gums and teeth is five millimeters or deeper, it is an official pocket.  Healthy pockets are three millimeters deep or less.  This periodontal evaluation should occur at least once per year to gauge if subsequent treatment is necessary.  If you have pockets in your mouth beyond five millimeters in depth, the dentist will likely suggest a deep scaling along with root planing.  

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling is a removal of tartar and plaque from the tooth surface as well as the pocket area between the gums and teeth.  Scaling and root planing can be performed with ultrasonic or electric instruments.  Even manual scaling tools will suffice.  What matters most is that this deep cleaning occurs before your oral health declines to the point that a major dental restoration procedure is required.  

Root planing refers to the dental hygienist's use of a scaling instrument to eliminate tartar and plaque from the roots of the teeth.  Scaling and root planing typically require a couple visits to the dentist.  It might also be necessary to attend a follow-up appointment to determine if the teeth and gums are progressing.  This follow-up appointment also gives the dentist a chance to gauge whether pocket depth is worsening, stabilizing or improving.

Call us at (763) 237-3371 for more information from Arden Dental Associates – Carlos Campodonico, DDS or to schedule an appointment in our dentist office in Blaine.

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