Plaque control is the key to maintaining a healthy oral environment, as well as the prevention and control of dental caries, gingivitis, and periodontitis.
Unfortunately, there are some harmful bacteria growing in your oral area that cannot be removed by regular brushing and flossing at home. Professional dental cleanings help to prevent the bacteria from accumulating in your mouth, which in turn helps to manage gum disease and associated illnesses including diabetes and heart disease.
What happens when harmful bacteria grown in your mouth?
The warm, moist oral environment is conducive for the growth of harmful bacteria that cause:
- Plaque – a layer of bacteria that coats your tooth enamel and produces an acid that destroys both the teeth and gums.
- Tartar or calculus – failure to remove the plaque bio-film properly causes it to calcify and mineralize into a hard substance on your tooth that attracts more bacteria.
- Gingivitis – failure to properly manage plaque causes it to reach a destructive stage where it infects the gums and causes swelling and inflammation. This condition must be aggressively treated to keep it from advancing to periodontal disease, which is associated with bone loss and loose teeth that may eventually fall out.
Adding regular dental cleanings to your home care routine is the best way to prevent these and other oral health issues. A dental cleaning typically includes:
- Cleaning – Also called “a prophylaxis”, a dental cleaning involves scaling to clean off plaque, tartar, and stains from the frontal areas of your teeth. Dental professionals recommend teeth cleaning at least twice a year – every 6 months.
- Full mouth debridement – The heavy calculus buildup - from slipping professional cleanings for more than one year - can only be removed through a full mouth debridement.
- Gingival bacterial reduction – An additional service where the dentist uses a laser on infected gum pockets to destroy the bacteria.
- Polishing – Dental professionals use a dental device and polishing material to finish off cleaning. It is best for children cleaning or as the final stage of professional cleaning.
New research suggests that dental cleaning should be performed every 8 to 12 weeks for best oral and overall health.