It’s generally recommended that you go in for a teeth cleaning once every six months to a year. After a good cleaning, your teeth just feel fresh and like-new. What is it about a teeth cleaning that sets it apart from just brushing your teeth really, really well?
Keeping Your Teeth Clean
A major concern for the dental hygienist is buildup on the surface of the teeth that simply doesn’t want to budge when brushed with a normal toothbrush. Even if you brush every day, plaque can harden before you know it, leaving buildup on your teeth that you simply can’t get rid of on your own.
How Is It Broken Down?
Dental hygienists use ultrasonic instruments that create intense vibrations that can break up the plaque and tartar that has built up on your teeth. You simply won’t be able to do this at home, even with a vibrating toothbrush. The ultrasonic instruments used by dental hygienists will vibrate at a very high frequency in order to remove the plaque from your teeth without doing any damage to the enamel. The instrument is typically fitted with a mister to spray away the debris that comes loose.
Teeth cleaning aims to address tartar that can build up no matter how persistent you are with brushing and flossing. Much of this tartar can build up under the gums and between the teeth, and it’s simply impossible to prevent this tartar build up at home with only a regular toothbrush and some dental floss.
How Are These Areas Addressed?
The main way in which hygienists address plaque and debris under the gumline is with root planing. This is where those dental scrapers, the little hook shaped devices, come in. They reach under the gumline with the planer so as to scrape plaque away from the roots as deeply as they can go without causing injury. The plaque, having already been broken up with the ultrasonic device, will generally come away rather easily. Combined with gum massage, this part is a lot less uncomfortable than it sounds. It feels a little odd at first, but the process is fairly painless.
Getting between the teeth can be managed with a combination of flossing and planing, chipping away at big bits of plaque and build up and using floss to handle the rest.
From there it’s simply a matter of rinsing and scrubbing whatever remains. This part you could technically do at home, but having a trained professional do it for you makes the process a little more effective, as they can address areas that need a little extra brushing and so on. With the techniques and training that dental hygienists possess, a cleaning is like a deep tissue massage for your mouth.
Immediately following a cleaning, you’ll notice that your whole mouth feels, well, cleaner. You can spit water through your teeth with all of the plaque and debris gone, and food just tastes better. If it’s been awhile since your last cleaning, go ahead and schedule an appointment with us at Mike Cassidy Dental Specialist and get your teeth feeling like new again!