Today’s post focuses on professional dental cleanings. You might wonder if you need a professional dental cleaning if you already practice dental hygiene daily at home.
The answer is that both processes are important because they work in tandem to maintain oral health.
Dr. Peter Young encourages patients to practice preventative dentistry by:
- Healthy diet – fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts
- Regular dental cleanings
- Regular checkups
Dental cleanings increase the effectiveness of your daily oral care by removing the plaque and tarter that can accumulate regardless of daily brushing and flossing. In fact, when plaque hardens, it can only be removed with the special tools used by a hygienist.
A hygienist will first use a vibrating ultrasonic tool to dislodge the largest pieces of tartar. This process may tickle a bit. The hygienist will then use tools with finer attachments to remove the smaller pieces of calculus. When all plaque and tartar is gone, polishing is the final step in the cleaning process.
The goal is to make your tooth surfaces as smooth as possible, to prohibit food particles from lodging in little spaces that are difficult to clean. If you are having an exam during the same visit, your technician may take dental x-rays. X-rays can reveal cavities while they are small and can be easily filled.
Let your hygienist know if your teeth are sensitive so he/she can make your cleaning as comfortable as possible. After the cleaning, a fluoride treatment may be given to help strengthen your teeth.
Before your hygienist leaves, you may want to ask if there are areas you can improve. Your hygienist can tell you which tooth surfaces had the most build-up. If the back teeth are presenting a problem, you can talk to Dr. Young about sealants.
If you have braces, you may want more frequent dental cleanings because food can easily lodge between the wires.