Gums and teeth benefit from brushing and flossing, but dental plaque and stains build up on tooth surfaces over time, leaving hard deposits that cause decay and that brushing, rinsing, and flossing alone can’t remove. At Porter Dental Health Clinic, our Hot Springs dentist, Dr. Lance Porter, creates dental plans that include teeth cleanings every six months. Professional dental cleanings are one of the simplest preventive measures that can help you maintain and enjoy a lifetime of good oral health.
What Is a Professional Teeth Cleaning?
Having your teeth cleaned regularly helps prevent gingivitis, tooth decay, and loss of enamel from teeth. The type of cleaning you will need depends on the extent of the plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth. If buildup is extensive — which can result in inflammation of the gum tissue and some bone loss — a deep cleaning may be required.
During a professional teeth cleaning, our dental hygienist will use traditional instruments as well as an ultrasonic scaler to remove plaque, tartar, and stains that cannot be removed by brushing and flossing alone. An ultrasonic scaler achieves the desired results more comfortably by using a spray of water to remove the hardened debris, minimizing the scraping affect produced by traditional tools. A deep cleaning takes more time to complete than a traditional cleaning, and can even take up to 1 1/2 hours per side. During this process, the gums may feel sore, and local anesthetic may be applied to minimize any discomfort that may occur.
Services your hygienist will perform during your teeth cleaning include:
- A review of your dental and medical history
- An oral cancer screening
- An evaluation of your overall oral health
- X-rays to detect decay
- A deep cleaning to remove stains, plaque, and tartar
- Fluoride application
- Polishing of all teeth
- At-home oral health education and instruction