If you’re exploring professional teeth cleaning in Columbia, Maryland, you may have wondered the following: how frequently should you get teeth cleanings?
Every person has thousands of naturally-occurring bacteria within their mouth which lives on the surface of teeth. After brushing and flossing, there can still be bacteria and plaque left behind. This can be taken care of during routinely scheduled dental cleaning appointments. Searching for professional teeth cleaning in Columbia, Maryland? Reach out to Columbia Smiles today. You can call 410.690.4855 or contact our team online.
What Is Professional Teeth Cleaning?
Before you worry about how often dental cleanings are needed, you should understand exactly what happens during one. Sometimes called a professional teeth cleaning, a dental cleaning is a preventative procedure that’s performed by dental hygienists or dentists to achieve or maintain optimum oral health.
In a procedure like this, the dental hygienist or dentist removes the dental plaque and tartar accumulated on the teeth. This removal protects teeth from cavities or dental caries, as well as other gum and tooth problems. While some teeth cleaning can be done at home using dental floss, a toothbrush, and toothpaste, a professional cleaning takes care of hard-to-reach places. A professional teeth cleaning is deeper and more thorough—and it’s something that only a dental hygienist or dentist can provide. Regular brushing and flossing can’t completely remove plaque and tartar that stick to the teeth’s surface.
What Are the Four Types of Dental Cleaning?
Depending on the amount of plaque and tartar stuck on the teeth of a patient, the dental hygienist or dentist can perform one of the following four types of dental cleanings:
- Prophylaxis: This term comes from a Greek word that means “to prevent beforehand”— and this type of dental cleaning is mainly used to clean a patient’s healthy teeth to prevent them from developing gum disease or tooth decay. Prophylaxis dental cleanings remove plaque and tartar from the teeth using a dental scaler or water stream. Most patients only require a prophylaxis dental cleaning, especially if they keep up with dental appointments and have good oral health habits.
- Scaling and root planing: Also called deep dental cleanings, this type uses scaling and root planing on both the gum pockets and the teeth to treat gingivitis and periodontitis. Deep dental cleanings for gingivitis are usually completed in one dental appointment. However, deep dental cleanings for periodontitis may require multiple appointments and even local anesthetics. Scaling is the process that removes plaque and tartar from the teeth’s surface and in the gum pockets below the gum line—plaque and tartar in this area form as a result of gum disease. Not only does scaling remove bacteria, but it also can help to reduce gum inflammation. Root planing is the process of smoothing the roots of teeth, which can help the gums reattach to the teeth and eliminate gum pockets.
- Periodontal maintenance cleaning: This type of dental cleaning is designed to treat gum disease. Like scaling and root planing, periodontal maintenance cleaning removes excess plaque and tartar from the surface of the tooth surface and in gum pockets. What sets periodontal maintenance cleanings apart is that they are typically recommended and performed more often than other types of dental cleanings.
- Gross debridement cleaning: This type of dental cleaning is the most heavy-duty and is designed to clean teeth with a lot of plaque and tartar stuck to them. Cases that need gross debridement cleaning are generally patients who have avoided the dentist for a significant amount of time or patients who struggle to maintain an oral care routine. An electrical tool is used to loosen tartar during gross debridement cleanings. After the excess plaque and tartar have been removed, a prophylaxis cleaning is typically performed to clean the teeth further.
How Frequently Should You Get Teeth Cleanings?
If you’re still wondering how often you should get dental cleanings, the general recommendation is to schedule one every six months for preventative maintenance. However, if you have existing oral health disorders or problems, dental cleanings should be done more frequently. You can talk to your trusted dentist about a dental cleaning schedule that’s right for your case.
Plaque is a soft and sticky film comprised of bacteria. The long-term accumulation of plaque can easily lead to cavities and tooth decay. Tartar is a hard calcium deposit that builds up over time on the surface of teeth. If tartar is not removed, the condition of the teeth becomes ripe for the growth of bacteria. Professional teeth cleaning can help to do the following:
- Maintain good oral health
- Prevent cavities
- Prevent periodontal disease
- Remove surface stains
- Prevent tartar from building up
Ready To Learn More About the Professional Teeth Cleaning Services of Columbia Smiles?
If you’re looking for professional teeth cleaning in Columbia, Maryland, contact Dr. Michael Hsu at Columbia Smiles today. You can call 410.690.4855 or reach out to our team online.