Everyone thinks he or she is a good, dutiful tooth brusher. Following that logic, they see no reason for regular dental cleanings. After all, they’re doing such a great job at home, why bother with the pros at Gentle Dental?
Truth be told, most people are somewhat distracted brushers. Excellent
dental hygiene is a partnership between home care and professional cleanings. Twice yearly checkups and cleanings with us — we use the fancy term prophylaxis, for some reason — are a necessity.
Tartar is public enemy #1
When you come see the team at Gentle Dental for a cleaning our hygienist removes plaque, calculus (tartar), and stains from the teeth. This may seem like what you do at home. But while you can, and do need to, remove plaque with your home hygiene, it is almost impossible to remove it all. And what you don’t/can’t get slowly turns into tartar. Tartar, also called calculus to the chagrin of math teachers the world over, is the light-colored stuff that builds up particularly on the inner bottom teeth. No matter how well you brush, you can’t remove tartar at home. Only our hygienists, with those trusty picks, can chip away at tartar.
But who cares about a little tartar anyway? You do, because once formed, tartar keeps building because brushing doesn’t remove it. Eventually it will begin to expand down under the gumline, causing irritation. This irritation is called gingivitis and is the precursor of gum disease. And you do not want that.
What Gentle Dental cleanings do that you can’t
So, what’s involved in a prophylaxis at Gentle Dental? We start with scaling and polishing to remove normal plaque buildup, calculus, and stains. Scaling is when the hygienist chips away the layer of tartar that has formed in your usual spots in your mouth. Various picks have different characteristics that help the hygienist break the grip of the tartar. Once the tartar loses its grip, it often comes off like a shell.
Next we professionally polish your teeth. We utilize a special paste with more grit than typical toothpaste that helps remove stains and polishes the teeth. By making the tooth surfaces very smooth, it’s harder for plaque to take hold.
Twice each year
People think twice-yearly cleanings are overkill, but those dates aren’t arbitrary — six months is the time it takes for tartar to take hold in your usual build-up locations. And once it builds up it needs to be removed.
Is it time for your cleaning with Gentle Dental. Call us at (732) 549-5660 for an appointment.