by Althea Kling
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What is Teeth Cleaning?

When we mention Teeth Cleaning, it is the Professional Dental Cleaning that we are talking about, not just mere brushing of your teeth. Without professional cleaning a.k.a. Scaling, tartar and plaque could build up over time. This could discolour your teeth, affect your gums and bones, and eventually lead to decay or tooth loss.

To avoid the consequences that are caused by not taking care of your teeth, one should visit the dentist twice a year.

Why do you need Teeth Cleaning?

Our teeth are continually enveloped by saliva which contains calcium and other substances which helps to strengthen and protect the teeth. While this can be good, it also means that we are likely to be prone to build-up calcium deposits over the teeth. Tooth-colored tartar may easily be mistook as part of the teeth, but it also can be discolored and vary from brown to black color. Accumulation of plaque or tartar can create favourable thriving conditions for oral bacteria. The aim of the cleaning and polishing treatment is to leave the surfaces of the teeth clean and smooth so that the bacteria are unable to adhere. This way, one can keep their teeth clean better during your regular home care regime!

Teeth Cleaning Procedure:

  • Physical examination: Initially, a physical examination is performed by the dentist.
  • Removal of plaque and tartar around the gum line: Professional cleaning includes teeth scaling that loosens and removes deposits from the teeth. This may involve the use of either manual scaler or periodontal scaler.
  • Teeth Polishing: Teeth scaling is followed by Teeth Polishing that aims to smoothen the teeth surface to prevent adherence of bacteria.
  • Fluoride Varnish: The dentist might paint fluoride varnish on teeth with a brush. It has sticky consistency but hardens once it comes in contact with saliva. It prevents decay, remineralizes the tooth surface and treats dentine hypersensitivity.
  • Oral Hygiene Instructions: In addition to brushing, cleaning between teeth should be done with the help of floss which may help to prevent the build-up of plaque bacteria on the teeth. This may be done with the assistance of dental floss or interdental brushes.

What are the benefits of teeth cleaning?

  • Gingivitis, periodontal problems and premature loss of teeth can be avoided with Teeth Cleaning.
  • Removal of stains causing discolouration of the teeth.
  • Treats Bad Breath or Halitosis.
  • Promotes periodontal re-attachment.

Who needs teeth cleaning?

Every individual can get this treatment at least once a year. Your dentist would advise having these treatments once every six months. The treatment can be safely taken by anyone irrespective of their age or gender. However, do convey your past and present medical history to the dentist before the teeth cleaning procedure.

What are the after-effects of teeth cleaning?

One may have slight jaw discomfort due to an extended mouth opening period. Patients with sensitivity might experience minor zinging sensation in their teeth whilst the cleansing process is going on. This pain is temporary and disappears after a few hours of the procedure.

What are post-treatment guidelines?

You can return to your normal daily activities post the cleaning treatment. However, you should try to follow the general oral hygiene regime that will be laid by the dentist. Your teeth and their condition can reflect one’s general health. Ensure to clean and floss your teeth at regular intervals.

What could be the alternatives to the teeth cleaning process?

An alternative to this treatment includes do-it-yourself teeth cleaning procedures at home that involve regular brushing, flossing and using mouthwash to maintain good oral hygiene. However, we tend to ignore these most of the times in our present-day lifestyle. Hence, it is advisable to do teeth cleaning procedure regularly.

False conceptions about Scaling:

  1. The false notion about scaling is that teeth become weak and mobile following scaling. Scaling does not weaken the teeth really. The reason one might think so is that teeth were temporarily cemented together with hard calculus buildup. Thus, after the removal of calculus by scaling, mobility might set in. Hence, scaling doesn’t cause mobility of teeth, but it is the calculus buildup over a prolonged period of time that has damaged bone, thus making the teeth loose.
  2. In some patient cases, gaps between teeth may become filled by tooth-coloured tartar. On removal of this tartar buildup, the patient may falsely believe that this gap had been produced due to scaling.
  3. As the calculus is removed after scaling, the concealed part of tooth suddenly gets exposed to the oral environment, thus leading to transient hypersensitivity. However, this sensitivity may vanish in a day or two or can be treated with sensitivity toothpaste.

Please be rest assured that scaling won’t weaken but rather strengthen teeth!

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