A dental cleaning, also called prophylaxis, is a thorough dental cleaning. The dentist or dental hygienist removes plaque from the surfaces of your teeth and in between the teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance that builds up from food and bacteria. When left untreated, plaque hardens into tartar, which can’t be removed by brushing alone.
Cleanings are recommended if patients do not do a thorough job of brushing and flossing. Plaque and tartar buildup is most common in between teeth, along the gum line and around the roots of teeth. If it is not removed, the patient can suffer from various dental diseases like periodontal diseases, making it important to undergo dental cleaning.
Most patients do not need a dental cleaning every time they visit their dentist, which is why they typically only get one when they visit for a checkup. However, some patients do require more frequent cleanings, such as those who have gum disease.
Dental cleanings are the first essential step in maintaining optimal oral health. Although dental cleanings primarily serve to remove plaque, which is a sticky biofilm that accumulates on teeth, there are additional benefits.
Dental cleanings provide an opportunity to detect any potential problems. Some oral health issues, such as cavities, are not visible to the naked eye. Through an oral exam, your dentist can spot cavities and other concerns in their earliest stages and treat them before they become more serious.
A dental cleaning can be performed by a dentist or a dental hygienist. The hygienist will use specialized tools to remove plaque and tartar buildup. These may include electric scalers, ultrasonic scalers, air polishers and hand-held scalers. Some dentists use manual tools to remove plaque from the teeth and gum line.
Dental cleanings are recommended twice a year to keep teeth healthy, prevent cavities, and check for any signs of oral cancer. Some patients may need frequent cleanings if they have conditions such as gum disease or poor oral hygiene. Patients who struggle with gum disease may need to have cleanings more than twice a year.
To find out more about the dental services offered at Madison Park Dental, call (208) 356-5601 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 345 N. 2ND E., Suite 2, Rexburg, ID 83440.