Teeth cleaning, also known as dental cleaning or dental hygiene, is a crucial aspect of maintaining oral health. It involves the removal of dental plaque and tartar (calculus) from the teeth to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues. Here's an overview of the process:
- Preparation: Before the cleaning begins, a dental hygienist will often review your medical history and ask about any dental concerns or problems you may have. This information helps them tailor the cleaning process to your specific needs.
- Physical Examination: The dental hygienist will examine your mouth and teeth, looking for any signs of oral health issues, such as cavities, gum disease, or other abnormalities.
- Scaling: This is the process of removing plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces. The dental hygienist may use specialized dental instruments, such as scalers and curettes, to gently scrape away these deposits. This step helps prevent the progression of gum disease and tooth decay.
- Polishing: After scaling, the dental hygienist will typically use a high-powered toothbrush and a gritty toothpaste to polish your teeth. This step removes surface stains and leaves your teeth feeling smooth and clean.
- Flossing: The hygienist will floss your teeth to remove any remaining plaque or debris from between your teeth and along the gumline.
- Fluoride Treatment (optional): Some dental cleanings include a fluoride treatment. Fluoride helps strengthen your tooth enamel and can protect against tooth decay. It is typically applied as a gel, foam, or varnish.
- Educational Guidance: During or after the cleaning, the dental hygienist may provide you with tips on proper oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing techniques, as well as dietary advice to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
- X-rays (if necessary): In some cases, dental X-rays may be taken to get a more detailed view of your teeth and identify any underlying issues that may not be visible during the physical examination.
Regular teeth cleaning appointments with a dental hygienist, typically recommended every six months, are essential for preventing dental problems and maintaining good oral health. Additionally, practicing good oral hygiene at home by brushing and flossing daily, as well as maintaining a balanced diet, can further contribute to the health of your teeth and gums.