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The Scoop About Teeth Cleaning!

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Dental cleanings involve removing plaque (a soft, sticky, bacteria infested film) and tartar (calculus) deposits that have built up on your teeth over time. Even though you brush and floss regularly your teeth are continually bathed in saliva that contains calcium and other substances which help strengthen and protect the teeth. While this is a good thing, it also means that we tend to get a build-up of calcium deposits on our teeth. This chalky substance eventually builds up over time, like limescale in a kettle. Usually it is tooth coloured and can easily be mistaken as part of the teeth, but it also can vary from brown to black in colour.

If the scale, or calculus, is allowed to accumulate on your teeth it will provide the right conditions for bacteria to thrive next to the gums. Then it’s “Hello gum disease” and “Goodbye optimum health”.

The purpose of the cleaning and polishing done by your dental hygienist is to leave the surfaces of your teeth clean and smooth so that bacteria are unable to stick to them. This means you have a better chance of keeping them clean with your regular flossing and brushing between cleanings.

Your dental hygienist uses specialized instruments to gently remove these deposits without harming your teeth. They may use an ultrasonic instrument to knock away larger pieces of tartar then move to finer hand tools like scalers to remove smaller deposits and smooth the tooth surfaces.

You know you are almost done when your dental hygienist polishes your teeth with a special gritty, toothpaste-like material to make them shiny and smooth. Top the whole thing off with an application of fluoride if required (to strengthen the teeth) and your teeth are ready to go home with you for another 6 months of home care.

Most people find that a professional teeth cleaning is painless and find the sensations of tickling vibrations, the cooling mist of water and the feeling of pressure during “scraping” don’t cause discomfort. A lot of people even report that they enjoy cleanings and the lovely smooth feel of their teeth afterwards! Talk to your dental hygienist if you have any fears about having your teeth cleaned or if you experience any discomfort. Your issues can be addressed and you too can enjoy wonderfully smooth, shiny, squeaky clean teeth.

Contact Dogwood Dental today and take that step toward clean, healthy teeth! If you have any concerns about having your teeth cleaned Dr. Lathangue or one of the knowledgeable staff would be happy to discuss strategies with you.