Everyone knows the most effective ways to maintain healthy teeth and gums are to maintain a daily routine of teeth cleaning and to visit your dentist for a periodic dental examination. At Glow Dental, it doesn’t just involve examining your teeth for signs of decay or potential problems, important though that is. One of the reasons it is so important to visit the dentist regularly is for professional teeth cleaning by the dentist or hygienist.
Plaque and Tartar
Even if you follow the perfect dental hygiene routine at home, plaque, tartar, and staining can still build up on your teeth over a few months. Plaque is a soft, sticky bacterial deposit that accumulates on your teeth, usually along the gumline. Brushing and flossing your teeth carefully and thoroughly twice a day reduces the build-up, but cannot eliminate it.
Over time, the plaque hardens into tartar, an unsightly yellow deposit. The tartar bonds tightly to the tooth, and its acid content can eat away at the enamel and also damage the gums. Once tartar has formed, you cannot remove it by brushing, which is why professional dental cleaning with specialist tools is so important.
Dentist teeth cleaning is quite different from what you do every day at home. It is not painful; most patients enjoy the clean, fresh feeling it provides. The dentist or hygienist uses a range of tools to remove all the plaque and tartar. He or she will then polish the teeth to remove any staining and leave them looking clean and white.
The dental descaling is performed using a polishing paste that is applied to the tooth with a small rubber cup. Different types of paste are more or less abrasive, and the dentist will select the most appropriate one for you. An electric descaler is used to break up the tartar along the gumline and get rid of every last trace of tartar.
With all the tartar removed, the final step is to give your teeth a polish to remove any remaining stains and to leave your teeth smooth and white. If you smoke or are a heavy coffee drinker, it is likely that your teeth turn a distinctly yellow shade over time. A regular clean and polish keep the staining at bay without the need for full whitening.
Polishing is performed using either a special toothpaste and a rotating brush or a device that sprays a jet of water and air mixed with a cleaning agent. Either method is highly effective. You will walk away feeling clean and fresh, and with a smile, you won’t want to hide!
It will depend on several factors including how well you look after your teeth at home, your lifestyle, your diet and your overall susceptibility to plaque and tartar. Your dentist will advise you on this, but most commonly, patients are advised to have their teeth descaled and polished every six months.
This is a very common question! The good news is that getting your teeth cleaned and descaled should not be painful. Sometimes the part where the dentist descales along the gumline feels somewhat uncomfortable, and if you have sensitive teeth, it might put them on edge a little. Still, this type of discomfort only lasts for a matter of seconds and is nothing to worry about. As with any procedure at Glow Dental, if you do feel pain at any time, tell the dentist immediately, as it is probably indicative of some other problem that needs to be carefully examined.
Again, this depends on your individual circumstances, but on average, the process takes around 20 minutes. If you have severe staining or tartar build-up, or an underlying condition like gingivitis, it could take longer.
In general, you can eat or drink as soon as you like after having your teeth professionally cleaned and polished. In cases where the airflow method has been used, your dentist might advise you to wait 30 minutes, as the teeth can be more porous and susceptible to staining for a short period after the treatment.