It’s easy to think of routine dental cleanings as nothing more than glorified tooth brushing, and then skip your appointments. Truth is, twice-yearly professional cleanings at Gentle Dental are the single most important step you can take, beyond diligent home hygiene.
So, what happens at a routine Gentle Dental cleaning?
The first step is to check your mouth and gums. We measure the gums to make sure they are not receding. We check their color and that they are not pulling away from the teeth (a telltale sign of periodontitis). And we check for any type of mouth cancer.
Our hygienists’ goal with your cleaning is to remove all the plaque and tartar that have built up and formed deposits on your teeth. The sticky substance that coats your teeth is plaque and if left to its own devices it will start the decay process because plaque has bacteria. The calcium in plaque is what turns into tartar on the teeth.
Our hygienists use state-of-the-art ultrasonic instruments to break off larger pieces of tartar. The instrument uses sonic pulses and tickling vibrations to break off the tartar, all the while spraying a mist to wash away the debris and keep the teeth cooler.
After removing the larger pieces, your hygienist then uses fine hand tools called scalers and curettes to break the rest of the tartar off the teeth. Once this is complete, the teeth are polished and fluoride is applied to strengthen the teeth.
Professional dental cleaning operates at a level that is not attainable with home care. For instance, once tartar has strongly adhered to your teeth, it can only be removed professionally. And why twice yearly visits? That is the length of time that most people reform tartar since their last cleaning.