Getting a dental cleaning twice a year goes a long way toward preventing tooth decay. It is a procedure involving the removal of plaque and tartar from tooth surfaces. Plaque is a thin, sticky film created by oral bacteria. It contains bacteria and tooth-destroying acids. It hardens into tartar when left on teeth surfaces for a few days. Plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing, but getting rid of tartar is not as easy. Tartar is too hard to be removed by the bristles of a toothbrush. A tool called a scaler needs to be used to scrape it off.
Why a dentist might recommend a dental cleaning
Dental cleanings help to protect teeth against the two most common issues, which are tooth decay and gum disease. The American Dental Association recommends getting your teeth cleaned at least two times per year, but more visits might be recommended if the dentist feels they would be beneficial to you. Reasons why a dentist might recommend getting a dental cleaning include:
Dental cleaning helps to protect teeth against decay, so a dentist might recommend the procedure if they determine the patient’s teeth are particularly vulnerable to decay. Getting rid of tartar deposits on teeth limits the hiding spaces bacteria can hide. It makes it easier to remove the acids created by oral bacteria before they cause damage to tooth structures. Cleanings are sometimes followed up with fluoride treatments for those who are susceptible to tooth decay.
The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis and it can be reversed with good oral hygiene and dental cleanings. Gum disease is caused by plaque and tartar getting into gum pockets. This leads to an immune system response that causes inflammation and irritation of the gum tissues. Over time, this irritation leads to permanent damage to gum and bone structures that support teeth.
Patients who have been diagnosed with gum disease are typically advised to come in for a dental cleaning more than two times per year. The dentist might also recommend deep cleanings or laser cleanings to remove tartar trapped in gum pockets.
Dental cleaning also provides some aesthetic benefits. Tartar has a yellowish/brownish color, and it is more prone to staining than real teeth. Most of the stains you see on a person’s teeth form on tartar deposits on their teeth. Dental cleanings help to get rid of most surface stains on a person’s teeth.
Teeth cleaning will not get rid of discoloration in a tooth’s inner layers, though. Professional teeth whitening treatments can be used to bleach away deep stains in a tooth, and cleaning a patient’s teeth before whitening treatments leads to better results.
Ready to schedule a dental cleaning?
Next to brushing and flossing, regular dental cleanings are the third most important thing you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Call or visit our Blaine clinic to set up an appointment for a dental cleaning.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Cleaning and Examinations in Blaine, MN.
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