The professional name for dental tooth cleaning is “prophylaxis”. Tooth Cleaning is all about removing plaque buildup and is the initial step in the tooth care process. Tooth cleaning is a part of good oral hygiene and one of the most advantageous things you can do to keep your teeth healthy.
During tooth cleaning, hardened plaque called calculus is removed from your teeth and away from your gumline by the use of special dental hand tools like picks and scalers. Tooth Cleaning reduces your risk for tooth decay and periodontal irritation that can progress to gingivitis or more advanced levels of gum disease.
Tooth cleaning removes plaque whilst tooth polishing aims to prevent it. To effectively polish your teeth a grittier than normal toothpaste is spread around your teeth with a special tool at a moderately high speed before it is rinsed off.
Though tooth polishing can remove surface stains, the primary benefit of tooth polishing is that it makes the surface of your teeth smoother, which makes it more difficult for bacteria (and their biofilm, plaque) to cling to your teeth.
Tooth polishing is not always a part of a regular dental checkup because other dental or periodontal conditions may take greater precedence.
Flossing and Interdental Cleaning
In addition to tooth cleaning, polishing, and routine brushing, cleaning between teeth can help to reduce the build-up of plaque bacteria on the teeth. This may be done with dental floss or interdental brushes. Other special appliances and tools may be used to supplement toothbrushing and interdental cleaning. These include special toothpicks, oral irrigators, and other devices.
Frequency of Tooth Cleaning
The frequency of professional tooth cleaning depends on the overall health of your teeth and gums, for example, healthy children and adults should have their teeth cleaned at least twice a year, whilst if you’re a smoker or tend to get frequent gum infections your visits to your dentist should be more often. It’s best to ask your dentist how often you should visit their office.
Other Reasons for Tooth Cleaning
- Oral Cancer – According to The Oral Cancer Foundation, someone dies from oral cancer, every hour of every day in the United States alone; tooth cleaning can help prevent oral cancer. Oral cancer is highly curable if diagnosed early, when you have your dental cleaning, your dentist is also screening you for oral cancer.
- Gum Disease – With early diagnosis gum disease can be treated and reversed. Gum disease is an infection in the gum tissue and bone that keep your teeth in place and is one of the leading causes of adult tooth loss.
Request an appointment today to have your teeth professionally cleaned and polished by our Dental Hygienist.