At our dentist office a dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist. Dental hygienists traditionally perform scaling by hand. However, new and advanced technology has lead to more modern methods such as ultrasonic scalers. Ultrasonic cleaning is a thorough and gentle way of removing tartar and plaque above and below the gum line. With this new technology, there is little need for the scraping, tugging and nipping of the gums that many patients have experienced when hand instruments are used. This mechanical device vibrates a small water-cooled metal tip that gently removes the unwanted deposits that buildup on your teeth. This method is generally more comfortable, and faster, so more can be accomplished in an appointment. Most dental cleanings take only between 25 and 30 minutes. Hand instruments are often used to supplement to follow-up an ultrasonic cleaning, but are no longer as heavily relied upon to accomplish the major process of removing the unwanted deposits.

Cleanings should be performed every six months to prevent excessive plaque buildup on a healthy individuals. Some patients require more frequent cleanings to due to bone loss from gum disease or maintenance after gum disease treatments. Plaque left untreated can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay.

If it has been a long time between dental visits or if you suffer from periodontal disease, a non-surgical more advanced form of dental cleaning therapy called Scaling and Root Planing may be necessary usually require two separate appointments. This is the process of removing plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces above and below the gumline in a variety of methods, depending on the amount of plaque and tartar.

Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral health is important to your overall well-being.

Hygiene Care: Oral hygiene daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop.

In between regular visits to the dentist, there are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. These include:

• Brush thoroughly twice a day and floss daily,
• Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks between meals,
• Use dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste,
• Rinse with a fluoride mouth rinse if your dentist advises you to,
• Make sure that your children under 12 drink fluoridated water or take a fluoride supplement
  if they live in a non-fluoridated area.

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