No matter how good a patient’s intentions and technique, there are areas in the mouth that are hard to reach or see. People who have teeth set close together may find it difficult to floss. The elderly or those with arthritis may not have the strength or dexterity to brush completely, and of course, children don’t always see the need or have the skill. Regular brushing, no matter how faithfully performed, can’t remove tartar deposits. Periodic professional cleaning is a good idea for all of those reasons.
Tartar is most easily removed with an ultrasonic device; the combination of vibrations and cool water spray wash away the material. The hygienist then cleans each tooth individually with special tools that scrape away any plaque or tartar that remains. Next, the teeth are polished with a mild abrasive and flossed. The hygienist may also apply fluoride to provide extra protection.
Plaque and tartar are breeding grounds for bacteria and create a sticky surface (and eventually a hard coating) over the teeth. Regular brushing can’t remove tartar, as it is actually hardened calcium, and it’s only partially effective in removing plaque. It’s particularly difficult to remove plaque in areas between teeth or near the gum line. Removing plaque and tartar decreases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, which is the most important reason for professional cleaning.
The most that a patient is likely to feel during a professional cleaning is a scraping sensation; professional tooth cleaning is nearly always painless. If the procedure takes a while, the jaw may become stiff or tired. However, if the pain does occur, it’s important to the hygienist know immediately.
At Nay Dental, we accept most major insurance plans. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.
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