Dental cleaning, also known as dental prophylaxis, is a preventative dentistry procedure performed at the dentist's office. The dental hygienist removes plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth during routine cleaning. Plaque is a soft, sticky substance made up of bacteria that eats away tooth enamel. Tartar is a hard, calcified substance that builds up when plaque isn't regularly removed.
Advantages of Dental Cleaning
- During a cleaning, a dentist will thoroughly clean a patient's teeth to remove plaque buildup.
- The bacteria that cause bad breath can be removed with regular cleanings.
- Professional dental cleanings can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease and help brighten the smile.
Dental Cleaning Procedure
After a complete dental examination, the dentist initiates the dental cleaning procedure. It includes two procedures which are scaling and root planing. The dental hygienist will use an ultrasonic scaler to remove plaque, tartar and stains from between the teeth. Water is continuously sprayed to remove debris from the teeth. The dental hygienist will move the ultrasonic scaler around each tooth and between the teeth.
The dentist will floss between the teeth to remove any remaining debris and rinse the teeth with water. They will polish the teeth as a final step which will result in bright and radiant teeth.
Dentists recommend not brushing right after a cleaning session. The polishing paste the dentist applies can stick to the toothbrush and leave a residue. This can irritate the gum tissue.
Ideally, the patient should wait at least 30 minutes before brushing.
After a dental cleaning session, patients should follow these reminders:
1. Make sure that your oral hygiene routine is up to par.
Your dental cleaning session, no matter how thorough, will not eliminate the need for you to practice good oral hygiene habits. Make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss and rinse with mouthwash from the next day.
2. Avoid eating foods that may harm your teeth.
Your dental cleaning session cannot undo all the damage that eating the wrong kind of food may have done to your teeth. Avoid eating foods that are hard, crunchy or sticky. These foods can get stuck in your teeth, damage your dental enamel, or increase your risk of gum disease.
Please reach out to our dental practice in Mission Viejo, CA, to have a consultation with our dentist, Dr. Lee. Please call us at (949) 380-0315 or schedule an online consultation, and we'll guide you further.