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Removing the microbes in the mouth regularly is crucial in maintaining optimum oral hygiene. Although brushing and flossing the teeth helps to eliminate a majority of the bacteria from the mouth, the plaque and tartar adhered to the teeth and tooth roots would be hard to get rid of. Hence, you would require regular visits to the dentist’s practice for dental cleaning sessions.
What Does Dental Cleaning Involve?
Professional oral cleaning involves two distinct procedures, namely scaling and root planing.
Scaling: This procedure involves an ultrasonic scaling appliance. It has a metal tip that vibrates at ultrasonic frequencies, allowing the dentist to dislodge the adhered tartar deposits from the teeth effectively. The removed microbes will be washed away using a jet of water.
Root planing: Patients who suffer from gum diseases would usually have deeper gum pockets. This is a result of the receding gum line, which allows the microbes to get deposited in the gum pockets. Due to this, tartar deposits tend to accumulate on the root surfaces as well. They will be removed by a procedure called root planing. The dentist will insert the scaling tip between the gums and tooth roots, and the tartar will be scraped off. Since the procedure could be painful, we may administer local anesthesia to numb the tissues.
Importance of Routine Dental Cleaning
The microbes get deposited on the teeth and form a transparent layer on them after combining with the saliva. This layer is called plaque. When plaque is allowed to stay on the teeth for a long time, it forms tartar – dark patches on the teeth that are quite difficult to get rid of through brushing and flossing. Tartar is the leading cause of cavities as the toxins released by it erode the enamel and decay the underlying tissues. Also, when tartar forms near the gum line, it could lead to gum diseases, such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Hence, visiting the dentist at least once every six months for oral cleaning is essential as a preventive measure.