Regular dental check ups and cleaning are essential for having healthy teeth and gums. A visit to the dentist consists of dental check ups and cleaning as required. Understanding the process of dental checkups and the dental cleaning procedure can help patients feel less intimidated by the prospect of a visit to the dentist.
Dental Check Ups
Dental check ups are performed to check for any signs of tooth decay such as the presence of cavities, plaque, and tartar. Plaque is the deposition of a sticky bacterial layer on the teeth. If not removed, plaque deposits harden to form tartar which causes oral diseases. Tartar deposits cannot be removed by brushing and flossing and require proper dental cleaning to be removed.
Gums are also thoroughly checked as part of the routine dental check ups. Spaces between adjacent gums are an indication of the state of gum health. Deeper spaces indicate unhealthy gums and need to be treated accordingly.
Your tongue, throat and inner cheeks are also checked for any signs of infection.
Based on the findings of the check up, a dental cleaning procedure is done by the dentist. Dental cleaning is done using specialized instruments which gently clean plaque, tartar and other deposits without harming your teeth.
Tooth and gum cleaning is done using various different cleaning techniques such as:
1. Ultrasonic cleaning
Ultrasonic cleaning is done using a special ultrasonic instrument which uses gentle vibrations to cause disintegration of the tough tartar. This device also sprays a mist of cool water to ensure the temperature remains low to prevent any damage to the teeth. You may feel a ticklish sensation when your dentist performs ultrasonic tooth and gum cleaning. It also makes a humming sound but that should not be the cause for concern as it is a painless dental cleaning procedure.
Scaling is the method of removing the finer particles of tartar which are missed by the ultrasonic cleaning device. It consists of a tool called a scaler, which is shaped like the tooth and is used to gently scrape off the remaining pieces of tartar from the teeth. Scaling also smoothens the surface of the teeth.
Once the smoothening is complete, the dentist will polish your teeth using a slow moving rotating device with a soft rubber cup at the end. This cup is filled with gritty toothpaste-like material which acts as an abrasive to make your teeth smooth and shiny.
Fluoride treatment is the final step in tooth and gum cleaning processes. Fluoride strengthens the teeth and reverses the damage done by the bacterial plaque and tartar. It is applied as a gel and is also available in different flavors. It is recommended that you do not swallow the fluoride and eating and drinking should be avoided for up to 30 minutes after fluoride treatment.
If you wish to take care of your teeth and prevent dental problems like a tooth decay from occurring, regular dental checkups can help you. Dental check ups should be done once in every 6 months to detect any signs of tooth decay in the early stages. At Heritage Oak Dental, we make sure your teeth get the best care, stay clean and give you a whitening smile. Reach out to us to book your next dental check up.