Dental Hygiene

Your routine dental hygiene appointment will include Medical history taking, pocket depth measurement, cleaning and polishing of the teeth followed by Fluoride application.

Professional teeth cleaning by a certified dental hygienist is to remove plaque, tarter and stains that have accumulated on the teeth over certain period. Even with routine brushing and flossing of your teeth and gums, tarter can develop. The professional cleaning of teeth is a crucial part of good oral hygiene and is needed routinely to maintain the health of your teeth and gums. Most dentists recommend having your teeth professionally cleaned every 6-12 months to reduce the chances of gum disease progression. In between routine cleanings, good oral hygiene at home is very crucial to prevent tarter build-up and gum disease.

Plaque is the sticky, soft film that contains millions of bacteria. The bacteria found in plaque is what causes gum disease and tooth decay if not removed by daily brushing and flossing, as well as routine trips to the dentist. Tarter, or dental calculus, is a hard calcified deposit that forms on the teeth and can contribute to their decay. Dentists use specialized instruments to gently remove these deposits without causing any harm to the tooth structure. All dental instruments are put through a vigorous cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing procedure to ensure safety and quality control. The first tool that is generally used to clean teeth is an ultrasonic instrument. This device uses mild vibrations to loosen larger pieces of tarter. It also sprays mists of cool water to wash away loose debris. The tips of the ultrasonic instrument are rounded and curved, and kept in constant motion. The settings on the device can be adjusted for the patient’s comfort.

Once larger pieces of tarter are dislodged, the hygienist will switch to finer hand-held instruments. Often referred to as hand scalers, these tools are designed to eliminate smaller deposits on the teeth and smooth the tooth surfaces.

Each tooth must be scaled individually to ensure that all tarter is removed. Once the surfaces of the teeth are smooth, the hygienist will polish the teeth. Using a slow-speed handpiece containing a soft rubber cup, the polishing device spins at the tip to smooth teeth. Prophylaxis paste, a gritty toothpaste-like solution, is put into the rubber cup. Available in a variety of flavors, fluoride is applied over the teeth. Fluoride is used to strengthen teeth and protect them from cavities.

The majority of dental patients find routine teeth cleaning to be painless. The cooling mist of water, mild vibrations, and the pressure felt during “scraping” does not generally caused discomfort. It’s important to let your hygienist know if the cleaning is beginning to cause pain, so that they can recommend alterative options to make your teeth cleaning more enjoyable. Most dental cleanings last between 30 minutes to an hour on average, and are performed in a lying position in a comfortable dental chair. After a professional teeth cleaning, you may notice that your teeth feel fresher and look brighter. Teeth cleaning procedures are designed for more than just appearances. Professional teeth cleaning treatments are the primary means of preventing and treating periodontal disease and maintaining tooth health.