Periodontal health is essential for the well-being and integrity of your smile. Biannual professional teeth cleanings can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy. Periodontists Dr. David Weinstock and Dr. Jonathan Waasdorp provide thorough professional dental cleanings and fluoride applications as part of our thorough preventative dental care.
Professional teeth cleanings help remove plaque and tartar build up that regular brushing and flossing can not. Teeth cleanings utilize state of the art tools to thoroughly clean all surfaces and crevices of your teeth and soft tissues to help reduce the development of complex oral health concerns such as decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Twice yearly dental cleanings can also help keep your teeth whiter and your breath fresher.
What is plaque and tartar?
Plaque is a sticky film that accumulates on your teeth from food. Because it is loaded with millions of bacteria, it must be removed every day and this is the main reason you should brush your teeth a few times a day. The bacteria found in plaque causes gum disease and tooth decay. Tartar is hard calcified deposits that develop when plaque and bacteria are not regularly removed from your teeth. Tartar buildup must be removed at regular cleaning visits. If left untreated, this buildup of tartar on your teeth will lead to tooth decay.
WHAT TO EXPECT
At each biannual visit, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned by one of our registered dental hygienists. Before the cleaning, the hygienist will use a tiny mirror to visually check your teeth and gums, looking for signs of decay and gum disease. If any issues are present, they will take note of it to share with Dr. Weinstock or Dr. Waasdorp.
Next the hygienist will use the tiny mirror and a tool called a scaler to remove the plaque and tartar buildup from in between your teeth and your gum line. Each tooth will be scaled to ensure all tartar is removed. The more plaque and tartar present in your mouth, the longer and more uncomfortable this part may be.
Using a handheld electric brush, the hygienist will polish your teeth with a gritty, toothpaste-like solution. At the tip of the polishing device is a soft rubber cup that holds the solution. Afterwards, you are left with smooth, shiny, and clean teeth. And more important, you are plaque and tartar free with less risk of developing gum disease or tooth decay.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that prevents tooth decay systemically when ingested during tooth development and topically when applied to erupted teeth. Systemic fluorides are those that are ingested into the body and become incorporated into newly forming teeth.
Systemic fluorides taken regularly during the time when teeth are developing (6 months to 16+ years of age) are deposited throughout the entire tooth surface and provide longer-lasting protection than those applied topically.
Sources of systemic fluorides include water, dietary fluoride supplements in the form of tablets, drops or lozenges, and fluoride present in food and beverages. Topical fluorides strengthen teeth already present in the mouth. In this method of delivery, fluoride is absorbed into the surface of the teeth, making them more decay-resistant.
Topical fluorides include toothpaste, mouth rinses and professionally applied fluoride gels, foams and rinses.
Researchers have observed fluoride’s decay-preventive effects in three specific ways:
- Fluoride makes tooth enamel harder and more resistant to the acid that causes tooth decay.
- It reduces the ability of dental plaque organisms to produce acid.
- Fluoride promotes the remineralization (repair) of tooth enamel in the early stages of tooth decay.