Professional Teeth Cleaning 101

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professional teeth cleaning 101

By now, you know it by rote… we hope. Brush your teeth twice a day. Floss daily. Mouthwash regularly. Attend dental check ups twice a year, and commit to dental treatment as recommended. Those are the five keys to a lifetime of healthy teeth. Every word of it is true, but even that is not enough to keep your teeth as clean and free of tooth decay as possible.

Even the most fervent adherents to those five core principles of oral hygiene may experience accumulations of plaque, stains, and tartar. But fear not. Those dastardly stains and their ilk can be removed from your teeth by one more step — annual professional teeth cleaning in Toronto.

Why should you have your teeth cleaned, and exactly what is involved?

What is plaque and tartar?

Plaque is a bacterial film that grows in your mouth and accumulates on and between teeth, on the front and back of teeth, on the chewing surfaces of your teeth, and even along and below your gum line. Plaque allowed to remain on and around your teeth can cause tooth decay, gingivitis, and periodontitis.

Tartar is formed from the combination of chemicals in your saliva and plaque accumulations. Tartar traps stains and discolors your teeth in crusty deposits. Where tartar has started to build up, removing new plaque and bacteria is more difficult.

What is the process of professional teeth cleaning?

Hygienists use sterilized instruments — including dental mirrors and an ultrasonic tool with rounded tips that are constantly in motion — to carefully remove tartar deposits without damaging your teeth. Mild vibrations produced by the ultrasonic tool loosen tartar to be washed away by water.

After the largest pieces of tartar have been removed, the hygienist will switch to more precise hand-held instruments called curettes or scalers. Those precise tools will remove smaller deposits from your teeth one at a time and smoothen the surface of the teeth.

Once your teeth are plaque-free, tartar-free, and smooth, they’ll be polished with a gritty paste called prophylaxis paste. Finally, you’ll receive fluoride in one of many flavors. The fluoride will be in a tray that is placed over your teeth for 30 seconds. That fluoride protects your teeth from plaque and tartar buildup.

Will professional teeth cleanings hurt?

Most people find professional teeth cleaning wholly painless, though some people describe the vibrations and other sensations as a little disconcerting until they get accustomed to them. Don’t hesitate to tell your dentist’s staff about any discomfort or concern that you’re experiencing or feeling. They’ll be glad to have the chance to accommodate your concerns to ensure you get the best results as comfortably as possible. Professional cleaning typically takes between 30 and 60 minutes to complete. During that whole time, you’ll be seated in a comfortable dental chair adjusted for your body and your dental hygienist’s work.

How often should you get dental cleaning in Toronto?

Dentists generally recommend that you have your teeth professionally cleaned at least once every year. Professional cleaning is not an alternative to good daily oral hygiene habits, and it’s important that you keep brushing, flossing, and rinsing between appointments.

You should also remember that professional cleaning removes plaque, tartar and stains from your teeth to reveal their cleanest and true colour, but it does not whiten them per se. If you’re dissatisfied with the whiteness or brightness of your clean teeth, let your dentist in Toronto know. They’ll be able to recommend cosmetic whitening options.

Are you ready to have your teeth professionally cleaned and protected from periodontal disease? Contact a dental clinic in Toronto to take the next step to cleaner, whiter, and shinier teeth.