Dental Cleaning

Dental Cleaning means the professional cleaning you can only receive from a dentist or dental hygienist. A dental cleaning includes scaling, polishing and fluoride treatment. These three important steps are outlined in detail below.

Scaling

This is the removal of plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces with different types of scaling being used in relation to the amount of plaque and tartar. With larger deposits that have hardened on, it can take some time to remove these, just like trying to remove baked-on grime on a stove that has been left over a long time. The amount of times you will need to return to your dentist depends on how widespread your case of periodontis or gum disease is. Localized cases can be treated in a single scaling session. Cases spread throughout the mouth however are often treated one quarter of the mouth at a time. Such cases then require four visits to your dentist.

Polishing

Polishing is done using a slow speed handpiece with a soft rubber cup that spins on the end. Prophylaxis (short for prophy) paste - a special gritty toothpaste-like material - is scooped up like ice cream into the cup and spun around on the teeth to make them shiny smooth.

The purpose of the scaling and polishing is basically to leave the surfaces of the teeth clean and smooth so that bacteria are unable to stick to them and you have a better chance of keeping the teeth clean during your regular home care. Also it leaves your teeth feeling lovely, smooth and clean, which is nice when you run your tongue around them.

Fluoride Treatment

This is the final part of dental cleaning. The fluoride helps to strengthen the teeth since the acids from bacteria in dental tartar and plaque will have weakened the surfaces. It is best not to eat, drink or rinse for 30 minutes after the fluoride has been applied.

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