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What is professional teeth cleaning?

No matter how thorough your brushing and flossing is, it can’t remove all the tartar and plaque in your mouth.  If plaque is not removed within about 48 hours after it forms, it begins to calcify into tartar, a hard substance that cannot be removed with brushing or flossing. A professional teeth cleaning is done by the dentist or the dental hygienist at a dentist’s office. They use tools to remove tartar from your teeth — both above and below where the gum meets the tooth. Dental cleaning takes 30-40 minutes. It is painless and performed in a comfortable, lying position in a dental chair.

How teeth cleaning is performed

Teeth cleaning usually involves three simple steps:

Scaling: This procedure is carried out with a tool called a scaler. In cases where there are only a few small spots of hard calculus, your hygienist may use a manual scaler to remove tartar deposits from the teeth by gently scraping them. Tartar can also be removed with an ultrasonic scaler, which is an electronic device that uses a gentle vibration and a steady stream of water to break up larger pieces of tartar and wash away the particles.

Polishing: This step involves using a handheld tool with a spinning rubber head that polishes all tooth surfaces using a slightly abrasive paste. Polishing helps remove minor stains on the enamel and gives teeth a smooth surface that is less likely to attract plaque and oral bacteria.

Fluoride: Your dentist or dental hygienist will recommend a fluoride treatment after each cleaning. Fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen the enamel, which is the outermost layer of the teeth, helping it resist the acid attack that can lead to tooth decay.

Good oral hygiene is important not only for your smile, but for your overall health as well. Gum infections and periodontal disease are related to heart problems, stroke and several other diseases. Regular dental exams and professional cleaning can prevent these and many other health problems.

Some of the most important reasons to have your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis are:

  1. To prevent gum disease
    Gum disease is infection of tissues surrounding your teeth, and one of the major causes of bone loss if left untreated. Regular dental cleanings and good home care are main factors in preventing gum disease.
  2. To help detect oral cancer
    Early diagnosis of oral cancer is very important in improving of the prognosis of cancer. When you have dental cleanings, you are also screened for oral cancer.
  3. To have a healthy smile
    When you have a beautiful smile, you feel more confident and satisfied with your being. Regular dental cleanings and hygienist’s individualization of your needs, will help you to get and keep a healthy smile.
  4. To maintain good oral health
    On regular dental visits your dentist and hygienist will look closely for any signs of problems with your teeth and gums, and it is well known that all problems when detected early are a lot easier and less expensive to treat and have a better prognosis.
  5. To help maintain good overall health
    Research has shown and experts agree that there is a correlation between poor oral health and chronic inflammatory diseases such as: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other problems such as: stroke, premature and low birth weight. Regular dental cleanings will help to keep your teeth and gums healthy, which will also help with management of these other problems.