Dental cleanings remove plaque (soft, sticky, bacteria infested film) and tartar (calculus) deposits that have built up on your teeth since your last cleaning. Your teeth are continually bathed in saliva which contains calcium and other substances which help strengthen and protect the teeth. While this is a good thing, it also means that we tend to get a build-up of calcium deposits on our teeth. This chalky substance will eventually build up over time, like hard water stains on a nice white sink. Usually it is tooth coloured and blends in with your teeth, but it also can vary from brown to black in colour, especially if you are a smoker or heavy coffee-drinker.
If the tartar is allowed to accumulate on your teeth it unfortunately provides the right conditions for bacteria to grow next to the gums, contributing to gum disease and reducing the lifespan of your natural teeth. The purpose of the cleaning and polishing is basically to leave the surfaces of the teeth clean and smooth so that bacteria are unable to stick to them and you have a better chance of keeping your teeth clean during your regular home care.
The professional cleaning of teeth is sometimes referred to as prophylaxis (or prophy for short). It’s a Greek word which means “to prevent beforehand” – in this case, it helps prevent gum disease.
Your hygienist will use state-of-the-art equipment including ultrasonic equipment that vibrates and sprays a mist of water to knock loose larger pieces of tartar, fine hand tools to reach between your teeth, and a polisher with a round rubber head that spins against your teeth, polishing them to a shine with our special toothpaste.
We offer a new toothbrush with every visit to help remind you that dental care starts at home. Regular professional cleanings are not a replacement for good brushing and flossing habits. Ask us if you’ve got questions about proper brushing and flossing at home.
Call now for an appointment with one of our hygiene staff at (807) 345-3666.