Regular dental cleanings are the key to a healthy mouth, which is one reason it’s recommended to visit a dentist twice a year for a professional dental cleaning. Every dentist in Orlando, FL, at Thornton Park Dental Arts is committed to providing a comprehensive cleaning for each patient. Prophylaxis is essential to preventing gum disease, cavities, and even tooth decay. To schedule a dental cleaning appointment or learn more about our other dental services, contact us today!
Prophylaxis is the medical term for a professional dental cleaning and involves scraping plaque off the teeth to help prevent additional dental treatments such as tooth fillings. Only those with healthy mouths experience this type of dental cleaning, which means there’s no sign of periodontal disease or heavy bleeding when a dentist does the initial exam.
Teeth cleanings get a lot of flack — 62 percent of American adults are afraid to visit the dentist. But for most, they are quick and painless. Knowing exactly what happens during these cleanings can put your mind at ease.
The initial part of a dental cleaning is performed by a dental hygienist. Using a small mirror, the hygienist will check your teeth and gums for signs of gingivitis (inflamed gums). If gingivitis or other oral health problems are detected, a dentist may be consulted to determine whether to move forward with dental prophylaxis.
During this step, the dental hygienist uses a scaler to remove tartar and plaque around the gums and in between teeth. Tartar is formed when plaque hardens on the teeth and can only be removed at a dentist’s office. Patients will hear a scraping sound, but it’s painless. Oral health is a chain reaction — the less a patient brushes and flosses, the more tartar and plaque buildup he or she will need to have removed.
Once the tartar is removed, the dentist will polish the teeth using a gritty toothpaste and a high-powered electric toothbrush. The special comes in a variety of flavors, much to the delight of children. However, because this brushing method is harsh on enamel, it’s recommended to only get it done twice a year — and brush teeth gently at home.
Regardless of whether you’re a regular flosser or not, there’s nothing better than a professional getting deep between each tooth and locating trouble spots where gum bleeding could occur. Having a hygienist floss your pearly whites also removes leftover tartar and plaque left behind from the plaque scraping or brushing.
The dental hygienist rinses your mouth (usually with a liquid fluoride) to remove debris left from the dental cleaning.
The final step of a professional dental cleaning is a comprehensive fluoride treatment used to protect against cavities for months at a time. A dental hygienist squishes a foamy gel into a mouthpiece that’s left on the teeth for one minute. They also coat the teeth with a fluoride varnish. Saliva hardens this varnish, so patients can eat or drink right after treatment.
Professional dental cleanings don’t just make your teeth whiter and brighter; they also have health benefits that last well beyond a 30-minute appointment. Some of these benefits include whitening your smile, preventing cavities, stopping tooth erosion, freshening your breath and even boosting your overall health. Studies have demonstrated a strong connection between oral health and overall health, finding that regular dental cleanings may help lower your risk for various diseases such as strokes or heart problems. Some illnesses can even be detected in the early stages during a routine oral checkup.
No two mouths are exactly the same. Orlando dentists at Thornton Park Dental Arts offer different types of cleanings depending on the amount of plaque buildup on the teeth as well as other factors specific to each patient.
For patients with gingivitis or periodontal disease, gross debridement is a type of cleaning consisting of a general removal of plaque and tartar to allow for better visibility and access to teeth and gums so that a diagnosis can be made. This procedure also gives a patient’s gum inflammation time to calm before further treatment options are explored.
Watch Video About Debridement
Root planing, or deep cleaning, is a treatment for patients with advanced localized periodontal disease or a moderate case spread across the mouth. Antibiotic gels are paired with root planing to treat periodontal disease.
Scale and polish are a second type of cleaning for patients with more severe plaque buildup. It’s usually performed directly after a gross debridement on patients with moderate to severe gingivitis or those exhibiting signs of early periodontal disease. Scale and polish are performed to ensure tartar buildup underneath the gums is removed.
This is the treatment given to patients with all severities of periodontal disease every three months to prevent bone loss. A dentist will determine if this is the right treatment after X-rays and an exam.
Watch Video About The Consequences of Bone Loss
There’s nothing better than a beautiful and bright smile to make your day better. The dentists at Thornton Park Dental Arts are dedicated to providing patients with personalized and painless dental cleanings. Contact us today to schedule your next cleaning!