Regular dental cleanings by your dentist or dental hygienist are part of a proper oral hygiene program.Cleanings help fight plaque, the major cause of tooth decay, gingivitis and serious gum disease.
Why do I need regular dental cleanings?
The fight against plaque is a major component of preventative care, and your dentist can be your main ally in this effort.While daily brushing and flossing are your first line of defense against plaque, the professional cleaning from your dentist or dental hygienist is more thorough than the best you can do at home.Even proper brushing alone can’t remove the tartar that accumulates at the gumline.Good hygiene and regular dental cleanings are cost-effective, too.It costs much more to have teeth repaired and replaced than it does to have regular exams and cleanings.
What happens during a regular dental cleaning?
Usually an exam and cleaning are scheduled during the same appointment.Your dental hygienist is an expert at giving teeth this thorough regular cleaning known as a prophylaxis or “prophy”.Stubborn plaque and tartar will be removed with specially designed dental tools.Tartar is the plaque which has hardened at and even below the gumline.Your hygienist can clean tartar below the gumline as well in an intensive cleaning called scaling.Often the last step in the cleaning is polishing.
How often do I need cleanings?
Many adults require cleanings every six months.If your mouth is prone to tooth decay, tartar buildup or gum disease, your dentist will recommend more frequent appointments.