Maintain Optimal Oral and Physical Health with Regular Dental Cleanings
While many see the mouth as disconnected from the rest of the body, problems in your mouth can cause disease—from dementia to heart disease—in other parts of your body.
Dental cleanings help prevent oral cancer, gum disease and tooth loss. They can help maintain good physical health, including possibly reducing heart attacks and strokes. Cleanings remove tobacco, coffee and tea stains for a bright, white smile. They also freshen your breath by eliminating plaque and tartar buildup. Cleanings are the first step to treating preexisting or developing dental conditions.
Professional cleanings, in short, reinforce your own oral health regimen and give your dentist an opportunity to locate areas that need attention.
What to Expect From a Dental Cleaning
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, a professional dental cleaning at least twice a year can improve your oral health.
During your cleaning, you’ll receive diagnostic and preventive services from your dentist and necessary education to care for your teeth and gums. This may include:
- Removing tartar (mineralized plaque) and smoothing tooth surfaces using ultrasonic treatments or fine hand tools. Even with routine brushing and flossing, tarter can develop in hard-to-reach places. Due to its hardened nature, tartar can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist.
- Polishing your teeth using a slow-speed hand-piece with a soft rubber cup that spins on the end. We use this in combination with a special gritty paste to make your teeth shiny and smooth.
- Applying fluoride. Your dentist may use a foam or gel fluoride placed into small, flexible foam trays. These are placed over the teeth for 30 seconds to help strengthen your teeth.
- Assessing the existence of gingivitis and more advanced forms of periodontal (gum) disease. We do this by measuring the depth of your gum pockets, checking for bleeding sites and assessing bone loss through digital x-rays and/or observation.
- Checking biting, chewing and swallowing patterns.
- Conducting an oral cancer examination and screening.
- Reviewing and updating your medical history (including medications), which may have an impact on your oral health.
- Determining whether you’ll need an antibiotic for persistent gum infections or bacteria.
- Performing site-specific antibiotic therapy by placing antibiotics directly into gum pockets to minimize future growth of bacteria.
- Cleaning and adjusting dentures and partial dentures.
- Showing you best practices of tooth brushing and flossing.
- Counseling on diet, nutrition and tobacco use.
- Recommendations for future or additional treatment, including when to return for another cleaning and periodontal (gum) concerns or restorative options.
Advanced dental cleaning services:
- If your teeth haven’t been professionally cleaned in more than a year, your dentist or dental hygienist can perform a full-mouth debridement.
- If you have gingivitis or periodontal disease, your dentist or dental hygienist can specifically target bacteria with laser light and other methods.
Patients who practice consistent good oral hygiene at home, including proper brushing and flossing techniques, do not usually experience discomfort during cleanings. Those who have neglected oral hygiene, on the other hand, may experience discomfort or sensitivity during dental cleanings. If you or your dentist suspect you’ll be uncomfortable, your dentist can use a topical anesthetic before cleaning.
Most cleanings last between 30 minutes to an hour and are performed while you’re lying down in a dental chair.
Schedule Your Dental Cleaning Today
Professional teeth cleaning treatments are the primary means of preventing and treating periodontal disease, maintaining tooth health and cultivating a bright, white smile. To learn more about our dental cleanings or schedule an appointment, call our Fort Collins office today at (970) 223-8425. You can also send a contact request or make an appointment online using the form below.