You may have often heard that we must brush and floss our teeth regularly to prevent tooth cavities and gum diseases. But, no matter how well you brush and floss your teeth, you need to get professional dental cleaning done at your dentist’s clinic to help remove stains, and tartar, other dental problems apart from other deposits between your teeth and gums, to get good oral hygiene.
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What is Teeth Cleaning?
A dentist is a specialist who works on your gums, gum line, gum tissues, teeth and oral cavity to keep them in the best of health and make sure that there is no tooth decay. Healthy teeth and gums are essential for a healthy body as they form the entry point for all the nutrients that you eat in food. When most people think of a dentist, there is an inherent ‘fear’ of the dentist’s drilling machine, isn’t it? But, did you know, dentists also perform maintenance and preventive treatments that are more like servicing your vehicle or you appliances to keep them healthy and prevent any damage? One such procedure is scaling, also called teeth cleaning. It is a very routine procedure that is performed by every dentist in their office. The main purpose of it is to remove tartar and calculus built-up on your gums and teeth, as these contain bacteria that can lead to dental cavities and gum disease.
Importance of Teeth Cleaning
If you have ever visited a dentist, you may have been advised to undergo teeth cleaning. The reason for this is that all develop tartar and calculus on our teeth and gums due to the saliva in our mouth and the food we eat that forms a thin layer on these surfaces. All these, on a regular basis, form incremental layers giving rise to tartar. When this tartar gets calcified due to the calcium ions in our saliva, it is called calculus. Calculus is hard and brittle and does not get dislodged with routine brushing and flossing once formed. It is for this that you must visit your dentist at regular intervals so that he/she can remove the calculus and restore normalcy around the tissues in your mouth. Here are 5 reasons why you must get professional cleansing done by your dentist:
- Teeth cleaning prevents formation of cavities by reducing the pH of your teeth and gums
- Prevents bad breath
- Removes cavity-causing bacteria
- It removes deposits that are not visible to you while brushing and flossing or inaccessible using these routine procedures
- Prevents gum diseases which can otherwise lead to tooth mobility and tooth loss
What Happens During the Procedure?
If you are assuming a dental drill is used to remove the calculus around your teeth and gums, you can breathe a sigh of relief as your dentist does not use a dental drill for this procedure. A dental scaler is used and is a non-invasive dental instrument. But, what happens during the procedure?
- Oral evaluation – The first thing your dentist will do is evaluate your teeth and gums to check for pockets in your gums, areas with maximum deposits, and nooks and corners of your mouth that tend to accumulate more dirt. This helps your dentist determine the type of cleaning that you need– a superficial one or a deep one. In some cases, when the calculus pushes your gums below and exposes your teeth roots, there is tartar and calculus deposits on them as well. This might require a process called as ‘root planning’.
- Remove plaque and tartar using the scaler – After evaluation, a treatment plan is devised for you that involves determining the number of sittings you will require. Your dentist uses an ultrasonic scaler to dislodge the deposits around your teeth and gums. The machine has a fine tip that scrapes the deposits from around your tissues. You might hear squeaking or scraping noises but there is nothing to worry about.
- Polishing of Teeth – Once all the tartar and deposits have been scrapped off from your teeth and gums, your dentist will apply a gritty toothpaste on your teeth and brush with a motor-powered brush. This paste is usually sweet and you will hear a rough grinding noise during this step of teeth cleaning. This step is called polishing and is done to make sure there is no more tartar left on your teeth.
- Flossing – While flossing is something you are expected to do every single day, after the teeth polishing is done, your dentist will floss between all your teeth to ensure no calculus or hard deposits are left in between them.
- Rinsing – You will now be given a mouth wash to rinse your mouth of all remnant debris. This will feel extremely refreshing and clean.
- Application of Fluoride Gel – Once you have rinsed your mouth properly, your dentist will apply a fluoride gel on the surface of your teeth. The fluoride acts as a protectant and protects them from decay.
How Many Sittings Does it Need?
If done regularly, cleaning requires one visit. However, some people might need 2-4 visits, depending upon the problem you have.
How Often Should You Get Your Teeth Cleaned?
In order to keep your teeth and gums in the best health, you must get a professional dental check done atleast twice a year. In some people, who tend to accumulate more calculus, the dentist might advise getting more frequent cleaning sessions in order to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
What Happens If You Avoid Routine Teeth Cleaning?
It is not uncommon to see people skip their appointments. However, have you ever wondered what happens when you do so? Missing an oral appointment means increased accumulation of calculus and plaque, and setting a vicious cycle for the same. Since calculus is calcified and rough, it acts as a scaffold for more food debris and deposits to get accumulated on the existing deposits. This rough calculus is the breeding ground for millions of bacteria who get to access your teeth and create cavities. The calculus itself irritates your gums due to which they move away from it and thereby, expose your roots. As a result, you will more likely develop cavities, gum disease and even teeth sensitivity.
Does Teeth Cleaning Hurt?
It is a non-invasive procedure and does not hurt. However, in people who have excessive deposits around their teeth and gums, or have receded gums and exposed root surfaces tend to complain of sensitivity of varying degrees. The flow of water under pressure on these sensitive parts of the tooth can make one jump on the chair due to extreme sensitivity. However, none of this is pain.
Is Teeth Cleaning Expensive?
It is one of the most basic and routine procedures performed in a dental clinic. This procedure is affordable and one can easily undergo two cleaning procedures in a year.
Are There Any Side Effects of Teeth Cleaning?
There are no side effects of this procedure. However, if you delay your teeth cleaning, after the procedure you may notice the following:
- Teeth sensitivity
- Bleeding gums
- Soreness in the gums
- Gap between teeth
- Teeth mobility
While it is common to feel teeth sensitivity, bleeding and soreness in the gums, teeth mobility needs further treatment. The gap between teeth, if too minor, requires only maintenance whereas, a large gap needs further treatment. However, these are just the after effects of teeth cleaning but cannot be termed as side effects as sensitivity, bleeding and soreness resolve by itself in a few hours after the procedure. Teeth cleaning is routinely done at all Sabka Dentist clinics. Our dentists are trained in accurate diagnosis and treatment planning. They understand the importance of it and would always advise you to visit them for your routine cleaning sessions. In cases where deep cleaning is recommended or in advanced gum disease cases, our gum specialists will take over the case to restore the health of your gums and teeth.
- Dr. Priyanka Shingore Dental director of Sabka dentist says “Teeth cleaning is like servicing your teeth and gums twice a year to prevent diseases.”
- Dr. Reena Waghela BDS, Dental Director for Clinical Operations at Sabka Dentist says “Getting your teeth cleaned regularly prevent stains, and formation of plaque and calculus on your pearly whites.”
- Dr. Jena Shah Dental Director of Sabka dentist says “Even with your routine oral hygiene procedures at home, professional teeth cleaning is essential required to remove all deposits and reduce bacteria around your teeth and gums.”