“The first thing people notice about you is your smile.”
How Important Is A Teeth Cleaning?
It’s not just important to keep your teeth clean and cavity-free, but it can profoundly impact your overall health. This often surprises many people, but many serious health issues are linked to poor oral hygiene. There is a correlation between oral health issues and illnesses such as bone loss, cancer, strokes, and other heart-related conditions. Flossing and brushing your teeth is essential, but you should also schedule regular dental cleanings and check-ups to ensure maximum oral health and overall health.
A teeth cleaning can solve the following problems:
- Comprehensive oral health examinations are performed to catch any dental issues such as broken teeth, cavities, or other problems that can be easily seen and fixed.
- Gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss, can be prevented by regular dental cleanings.
- By cleaning the teeth, stains are removed, making the smile whiter and brighter.
- Approximately 81% of people with oral cancer survive it if detected early. Therefore, professional cleaning includes an oral cancer screening.
- Cardiovascular issues and gum disease are closely related. Getting your teeth cleaned regularly can prevent gum disease, contributing to things like strokes and heart attacks.
What Happens During A Teeth Cleaning?
Dental cleanings help prevent oral problems and various health conditions and enhance the appearance of your smile. When committing to a bi-annual dental cleaning, you reduce the risk of developing gum disease and severe gum disease known as periodontitis.
A bi-yearly check-up will also aid in preventing unwanted cavities, lowering plaque and tartar build-up, and keeping your teeth in a healthy state. Teeth cleanings can seem rather daunting, so it is crucial to understand what to expect before going.
The following is a step-by-step process of a comprehensive dental exam and teeth cleaning.
Teeth Cleaning After Care
Aftercare depends on what happened during the dental cleaning and exam. If you received a fluoride treatment during your cleaning appointment, you should avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes following the treatment. You should spend the rest of the day following fluoride treatment avoiding hot or acidic foods or beverages. If you don’t follow these guidelines, the effectiveness of the fluoride treatment may be severely reduced.
If a fluoride treatment was not given, you could eat or drink almost immediately after your dental cleaning and exam. However, your teeth may feel increased sensitivity or bleeding immediately following the cleaning. Because of this, it is recommended that you avoid hot or cold beverages and foods for a while following the appointment.
What To Eat Following A Dental Cleaning
If you must eat right after your dental cleaning, it may be advisable to stick to soft foods that are easily digested after dental cleanings, such as oatmeal, mashed potatoes, and applesauce.
You should avoid the following foods if you have sensitive teeth following your cleaning:
- Cold/Hot foods and beverages
- Overly spicy
- Too hard to chew
- Foods with high levels of acidity
- Sticky foods like gummy candies
- Any form of surgery, food or beverage
You can resume eating normally after a few hours when the sensitivity subsides. Note that this may not be the case for everyone.
Brush and floss as directed by your dental appointment as a final step. As a result, you will prevent further build-up of plaque and tartar on your teeth, making future dental cleanings easier. In the case that tooth sensitivity continues, contact your dentist immediately.
What Happens During A Teeth Cleaning Procedure?
A dental hygienist’s role in teeth cleaning depends on the state in which they practice. Nonetheless, their primary focus is comprehensive preventative care.
The following are some of the services a dental hygienist will perform:
Listed above are just a few of the procedures a dental hygienist will frequently perform. Hygienists must be licensed in the state in which they practice because different states offer different treatments and services. In order to ensure that the proper steps are taken when hygienists perform certain treatments, they must be under the supervision of their dentist.
What Is A Hygienist’s Method for Removing Calculus from Teeth?
The most important part of a dental hygienist’s job is removing plaque and calculus build-up accumulated since the last dental cleaning.
Plaque is created due to bacteria that grow on the surface of teeth. There are always bacteria in the mouth that will cause tooth decay and plaque build-up, so brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash twice daily is vital to dental health.
If plaque is not removed from the tooth’s surface, it will form into calculus or tartar, which is much more challenging to remove. No one except a dental professional can remove this.
Calculus is often found supragingival, which hardens at the gum line and is usually apparent because of the tannish, yellow color. Calculus is also found subgingival, which means it has hardened below the gum line making it nearly impossible to see with the naked eye.
Keeping the oral environment healthy and disease-free is crucial to preventing tooth loss, bone loss, and gum disease. If calculus is not properly treated, then the risks of these things are much more significant. Not only will gum disease cause issues for oral health, but periodontitis or severe gum disease is linked to many other health problems like cardiovascular disease, cancer, strokes, diabetes, cognitive impairment, and more.
Removing calculus from the tooth is also known as debridement and cannot be done by anyone other than a dental professional. Ultrasonic technology and other dental tools commonly used by hygienists can remove both subgingival and supragingival calculus. The use of ultrasonic technology is to help tear down the hardened substance with high-frequency vibrations. Once removed, the surface of the teeth will be polished, so the chances of more calculus and plaque growth are minor.
Once the hygienist has completed the exam and dental cleaning, they will consult with the dentist on any issues they found or any concerns you, as the patient, may have had. This ensures that the proper steps are taken to maximize your dental treatment plan. Depending on the severity of your dental cleaning, it may be appropriate to discuss setting up another appointment to receive a deep cleaning.
The Relationship Between Oral Health and Overall Health
Oral health is often overlooked as a problem on its own, but it can have profound effects on one’s overall health. Microorganisms thrive in the mouth. Illness is often associated with these bacteria. Since the mouth is one of the main entry points into the body, it is extremely important to keep it healthy.
Studies have shown that bacteria and inflammation associated with gum disease or periodontitis may contribute to the disease process.
Listed below are some conditions associated with oral health.
- Various cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke
- Endocarditis occurs when bacteria from the mouth spread through the blood to the heart lining.
- As a result of bacteria in the mouth transferring to the lungs, pneumonia and other respiratory diseases can occur.
- Cancer is also associated with poor oral health
- There is a link between oral health and birth rates and prematurity issues in pregnancy
Neglecting your oral health can negatively impact your overall health. You could avoid more serious issues later on by maintaining routine dental health. By brushing and flossing, you can remove plaque, which is the first step. If you are not brushing and flossing regularly, then calculus or tartar will form, and professional teeth cleaning will be necessary to avoid any severe consequences.
What is Plaque? How is Plaque Harmful?
Plaque is a major cause of oral health issues. Often referred to as the gateway to many years of dental struggles.
The plaque that forms on the teeth throughout the day is sticky and colorless, so it is nearly impossible to see with the naked eye. Plaque builds up on the teeth on a regular basis. This is why brushing and flossing twice a day is essential to ensure that plaque is removed.
Several foods contribute to plaque formation, such as sugary soft drinks, candy, and starches. These things encourage bacteria growth in the mouth.
Plaque hardens on enamel if not treated in a timely manner, leading to tooth decay. Plaque will form at the roots of the teeth and underneath the gums in severe cases, resulting in tooth loss and bone loss.
Without proper care, plaque can harden and build up in gums, roots, and the surface of teeth. The increased build-up will eventually lead to gingivitis, which is the beginning stage of periodontitis.
Following are the signs of gingivitis:
- Swollen gums
- An excessive amount of bleeding in the gum pockets not caused by flossing
- Gum soreness
Gingivitis can progress to periodontal disease, a condition that can lead to bone loss. A weakened bone structure will result in teeth falling out of the mouth, because they won’t fit correctly in the mouth.
Why is it Important to Get A Routine Teeth Cleaning?
Plaque removal is one of the most significant aspects of teeth cleaning. There are a number of health consequences associated with plaque that affect the jaw bone, tooth roots, and gums. Plaque, aside from its association with oral health, is also linked to premature births, dementia, and other cognitive disorders, heart attacks and strokes, arthritis, and other problems.
Plaque begins to grow back 48 hours after a professional dental cleaning. At-home dental cleaning aids in slowing down the process and removing plaque from day to day, but routine dental cleanings twice a year are critical to removing all plaque. There are some people who require multiple cleanings a year, while others will do fine with one or two. Regardless, one’s goal is to prevent plaque from hardening into tartar or calculus.
Besides plaque, tartar, and calculus buildup, routine cleaning can also uncover serious illnesses like oral cancer in its early stages. During the screening, the entire mouth and jaw are examined to see if any of the following are present:
- A lump or any other abnormality in the mouth
- The appearance of red and white patches
- The presence of open sores
In the event that your dentist or hygienist finds anything, they will inform you, and your dentist will likely refer you to a cancer specialist for further examination.
4 Types of Dental Cleaning
Your dentist should clean your teeth at least once or twice a year, and there are several types of cleanings. It is important to make sure you are aware and knowledgeable of what you are receiving. It may seem that all dental cleanings are the same, but your dentist and dental hygienist will perform a dental cleaning that is tailored to meet your oral health needs.
There are four types of cleanings that a dentist may need to perform on you.
Having an understanding of the different types of dental cleanings will help you choose the right one for you. You and your dentist will decide what kind of cleaning you need.
Your dentist can answer any major questions you may have regarding your dental cleaning.
Deep Dental Cleaning vs. Regular Teeth Cleaning
To maintain overall health, it is imperative to maintain a healthy oral environment. The prevention of problems such as bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay is a direct result of preventative care. These are direct problems that, if left untreated, can cause more serious issues like bone loss and tooth loss.
However, the health issues that bacteria in the mouth can create in the body are more difficult to see. Taking dental care seriously is important for many reasons, including respiratory problems, cardiovascular problems, and cancers.
It is recommended by the American Dental Association and most dental professionals to visit a dental office at least every six months for cleanings and examinations. In this way, you will be able to stay on top of any oral health concerns and engage in preventative procedures to keep your mouth healthy. Ideally, you should visit your dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. The type of dental cleaning you may need will fall into two broad categories: Regular Teeth Cleaning or Deep Dental Cleaning.
Your first step should be an initial dental examination to understand your overall dental health. Various levels of deep cleaning are available. To create an optimal oral health plan for you, the dentist will examine your situation and recommend the level of cleaning necessary.
Disadvantages of Deep Teeth Cleaning
Maintaining optimal dental health requires routine dental check-ups. The benefits of these preventive appointments extend not only to your oral health but also to your overall health. For example, it is normal for your dentist to recommend a deep dental cleaning if it has been determined that you have plaque buildup below the gum line. To prevent tooth loss in a patient, a dentist must remove plaque to avoid damage to the roots.
A deep teeth cleaning has many benefits, but there are also some drawbacks. Following are some disadvantages to a deep teeth cleaning
Advantages of Deep Teeth Cleaning
Deep Teeth Cleaning Aftercare
It is crucial to undergo a deep dental cleaning for people who have early signs of gum disease. These early signs include receding gum line, inflamed gum tissue, red gums, or bleeding gums. Deep teeth cleanings prevent gum disease sufferers from developing periodontitis.
Your gum health will improve after a deep teeth cleaning, which includes smoother feeling teeth and fresher breath, as well as reduced redness and bleeding.
To ensure proper healing after your deep cleaning appointment, you will need to take care of your oral health. Here are some tips for caring for yourself after a deep cleaning:
In the event anesthesia has been used, you may feel numbness in your teeth, lips, and tongue after your appointment, which lasts for several hours. It is best not to chew anything until the numbness has subsided. You may cause damage to your lips, cheeks, or tongue by doing so.
During the recovery period, the mouth may experience swelling, pain, and discomfort. In order to alleviate the discomfort, you may take over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen. Be sure to follow the instructions on the pain medication bottle and do not exceed the recommended dosage. Additionally, you can:
How Can I Improve My Oral Health in Between Teeth Cleanings?
The link between oral health and overall health has been well documented. Maintaining good oral health goes far beyond fresh breath. Several different diseases have been linked to poor oral hygiene, including diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and cancer. The importance of routine dental visits cannot be overstated when it comes to maintaining and monitoring dental health.
You should also take care of your teeth and gums in between teeth cleanings. Here are some things you can do every day to maintain your oral health:
As a final recommendation, schedule regular dental appointments. It is recommended by most dentists and dental professionals that people visit their dentist every six months. These appointments will consist of a routine dental exam and a teeth cleaning.
Your dentist will help you determine how often you should visit the dentist. Regular dental checkups, coupled with proper at-home care, will ensure excellent oral health and improve your overall health.
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