Dental cleaning can be defined as a process in which the teeth and gums are cleaned to clear up debris, food and diet particles. If applied properly, dental cleaning can also remove spots and stains present on your teeth.
How often should you get your teeth cleaned? In otherwise normal teeth and gums, with no existing health problem, the recommended frequency for dental cleaning is at least once a year. However, in case of any presenting complaints such as gingivitis, bad breath or other problems, you may need to get your teeth cleaned even more frequently.
Conventionally, the standard dental cleaning can be done in a dentist’s office. The dentist offers you a choice of different toothpaste flavors and then thoroughly brushes and polishes your teeth by using a special electric toothbrush. The process of dental cleaning is almost painless and usually lasts for between 30 and 60 minutes. In people with sensitive tooth or bleeding / tender gums, the dentist may use a local anesthetic gel to reduce any feelings of pain.
Sometimes, cleaning is also accompanied by a thorough visual exam and the use of a metal dental instrument with a pick on the end that helps the dentist clear out obstructions formed between the teeth.
If needed and / or if the standard dental cleaning methods do not work, more advanced dental cleaning process may be considered. One of such modern methods is known as “deep dental cleaning” (also called as dental planing or root planing) which is mostly done to correct or prevent gingivitis or gum disease.
In deep dental cleaning, the dentist uses a specifically designed clinical instrument with a wick-like ending which plucks out deposits of plaque and tartar. This type of cleaning is mostly performed under anesthesia to avoid patient discomfort. The cleaning procedure is then followed by dental polishing. In one of the more recent methods of modern dental cleaning, dental laser is used laser to uproot substances that are not visible on the surface of the gums, but that are usually stuck deep into the gum line. Like deep dental cleaning, this procedure is also done under anesthesia. The laser used can effectively destroy and eliminate the deposits of tartar, which are later flushed out.
Various dental cleaning tools or kits mostly comprise of the following tools:
In addition to the above-mentioned conventional dental cleaning instruments, ultrasound dental units and autoclaves are also frequently used to sterilize (disinfect) dental cleaning apparatus used in various teeth cleaning procedures.
All in all, standard dental care and cleaning is an essential part of dental hygiene and oral health. Proper and regular dental cleaning by a skilled and qualified dentist can surely help prevent various gum and teeth related diseases and infections. It should, however, be noted that no dental cleaning guarantees permanent results and regular, recommended dental and oral care such as brushing and flossing should be performed as advised.