A dental cleaning, also known as oral prophylaxis, is the process of removing plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film that builds up on teeth and contains bacteria that eat away at your tooth enamel and cause decay and cavities. Tartar is a hardened plaque that you cannot remove with a toothbrush and requires special equipment.
At Eric A Lim DDS, during deep cleaning, our dental hygienist will use specialized tools to scrape away plaque and tartar deposits above and below the gum line, leaving your mouth feeling clean and refreshed. Regular six-month professional dental cleaning appointments are essential to maintaining good oral health and preventing tooth and gum diseases.
How Often Should You Get Your Teeth Cleaned?
Most dentists recommend patients get their teeth checked and cleaned every six months unless otherwise instructed by their dentist. However, this may vary based on a patient’s dental health or needs. During your cleaning appointment, the dentist will clean the plaque and tartar off your teeth to prevent decay from forming around your gums. They will also remove any minor stains on the surface of your teeth. If you plan on whitening your teeth, you should schedule your appointment before you whiten to ensure that the teeth are completely clean and ready for the procedure.
Why Are Teeth Cleaning Important?
Teeth cleaning is a preventative measure that can keep your teeth healthy. Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine can prevent plaque and tartar buildup from harming your teeth. Plaque builds up on your teeth throughout the day, even when you brush and floss regularly. It can lead to cavities and other dental health issues. Regular teeth cleanings at your dentist’s office will remove hardened plaque you can’t remove yourself at home.
Additionally, having regular teeth cleaning appointments can help prevent gum disease. Bacteria can form around your gums and cause inflammation of the gums, which leads to gingivitis. This can cause permanent damage to your smile. You can avoid oral health issues impacting your quality of life with proper dental care, regularly scheduled teeth cleanings, and exams.
How Are Teeth Cleanings Done?
During your appointment, we’ll examine your teeth and gums to ensure that healthy teeth are cleaned. Then our hygienist will clean your teeth by scraping away plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces above and below the gumline with either a hand tool or an ultrasonic cleaner, depending on the amount of plaque on the teeth. We will then floss the teeth and finish the appointment with a polish and fluoride treatment to protect your teeth and prevent future tooth decay.
Regular visits will also allow you to learn how to properly care for your teeth at home in between office visits to maintain optimal oral health and hygiene. For the best dental care, visit Eric A Lim DDS at 1624 Franklin St #300, Oakland 94612, or call (510) 893-2525.