Professional and meticulous dental cleanings offer many health benefits in addition to restoring the natural beauty of your teeth.
Bacteria accumulate on the teeth and below the gum line on a constant basis. Some of these bacteria are very harmful and can cause gum disease, cavities, and are also a major contributor to bad breath.
These bacteria have protective mechanisms that allow them to hide in the hard to reach spaces between the teeth, and especially below the gum line.
The purpose of a professional dental cleaning appointment is to remove the bacteria from these hard to reach spaces, and restore the health of the gums and the teeth.
Numerous studies have shown that patients who have experienced gum disease should have their teeth cleaned every three months to prevent recurrence or continuation of the disease. Intervals longer than three months do not seem effective enough for controlling gum disease.
It is now also recommended that pregnant patients and those at risk of cardiovascular disease (high cholesterol, high blood pressure or history of heart disease) should also have their teeth cleaned every three months. Gum disease seems to be a significant risk factor for having pre-term babies, and cardio-vascular events.
But not all cleanings are the same. Cleaning done in some offices are a quick “stain removal” polishing of the teeth that does not really offer any therapeutic benefits. In some other offices the cleanings are mostly focused on removing the bacteria on the teeth surfaces only and not much attention is given to the very harmful bacteria that hide below the gum line.
A therapeutic cleaning should be very meticulous, it should remove all bacterial accumulations from above and below the gum line, and should gently remove all of the stains on the teeth.
What is included with dental cleanings at our office? The cleaning appointment is scheduled for one hour and includes the following:
- Review of health status, and medications
- Oral cancer screening exam – There are more that 10,000 cases of oral cancer diagnosed every year in the US, and a screening exam should be a part of every cleaning appointment.
- Periodontal exam and cavity check
- very thorough and meticulous cleaning of the teeth and the areas below the gums with the gentle use of hand instruments and ultrasonic scalers. An anti-septic medication is sometimes gently irrigated below the gum line to remove any of the free floating harmful bacteria.
- Stain removal and polish.
- Oral hygiene instructions if needed
- Free tooth brush