Dental cleanings are procedures involving the removal of dental plaque deposits that have been building up on the teeth over time. Do you know that your teeth are continually bathed in saliva which contains calcium and other substances? Those ingredients actually help strengthen and protect the dentition? Although this is a good thing, it also means that we tend to get a build-up of calcium deposits on the teeth. This chalky substance will sooner or later build up over time, like limescale in a pipe or kettle. Often times, it is tooth colored and can easily be mistaken as part of the dentition, but it also can vary in color – from brown to black, depending on the duration the plaque has been there.
If the scale or calculus is allowed to pile up on the teeth, it will, unfortunately, provide the perfect conditions for these microorganisms to thrive next to the gums. The objective of dental cleanings and polishing is essential to leave the surfaces of the teeth smooth and clean so that dental flora are unable to stick to them and you have a better chance of keeping the pearly whites clean during your regular home care.
You are probably aware that most dentists recommend that you get professional dental cleanings, or prophylaxis, every six months.
The term dental prophylaxis means the “elimination of dental plaque, dental calculus, and stains from the exposed and unexposed surfaces of the teeth via scaling and polishing as a preventive measure for the control of local irritants.”
Some people will still hesitate to attend a professional dental cleaning every 6 months to a year. Whether or not you floss regularly at home, nothing can be better than an expert flossing session! Your dental hygienist can get deep in the gaps between teeth and identify any potential trouble spots where you might experience bleeding at the gums margins.
However, that being said, depending on what your dentist or dental hygienist observes in your mouth, they might do other forms of diagnostics during your visit. For kids, a dentist may recommend molar sealants to help prevent cavities in places that are hard to reach
Regardless of whether you need any additional steps or not, the key is to keep going back to the dentist for your fixed teeth cleanings to prevent problems altogether. By understanding what’s going on in advance, you’ll feel more at ease — and maybe even look forward to these important appointments!