A routine cleaning is recommended every 6 months in order to maintain healthy gums and prevent gum disease. A routine cleaning is a professional cleaning done by the hygienist with scalars and cavitron machines. Scalars are tools, which are used for plaque and tarter removal. A cavitron machine is an ultrasonic scalar. It is like a regular, manual scalar that vibrates at a high frequency. A routine cleaning involves removal of all plaque and tartar on the coronal portion of the tooth. The coronal portion is the visible portion of the tooth. A routine, regular cleaning does not entail any form of sub-gingival cleaning or cleaning below the gum line. pain, call Dr. Steve Kim DDS today! We offer same day emergency dental appointments to help relieve your pain and fix the problem before it turns into something worse.
A routine, regular cleaning is the type of cleaning recommended for patients who do not have periodontal/gum disease, bone loss, or any type of gum infection. Generally, these patients do not have any type of bleeding, receding gum lines, or movement of their teeth.
A routine cleaning prevents gum disease by removing hard calculus that is built up along the gum line. Calculus that needs to be removed below the gum line require a different type of cleaning depending on the level of buildup and depth of buildup. Hard calculus cannot be removed at home with a toothbrush, it must be done professionally. At home hygiene care is still very important. 80% of hygiene care is done at home with proper flossing and brushing; however, over time 20% that is missed gets built up and needs to be taken care of at the dental office.
It is a known fact that patients who come in regularly for their routine cleaning keep their teeth longer. Along with the fact that on the day of a routine cleaning we detect small cavities or other small treatments necessary, gum disease is prevented. The general cause of patients who lose their teeth is due to gum disease. Preventing gum disease prevents loss of teeth.
A routine cleaning in the office should take at least 45 minutes. Children’s cleaning take 30 minutes, because they have smaller, less teeth. A cleaning that is offered in dental offices that takes less that 45 minutes means that the patient’s teeth were not done properly. A cleaning should always involve use of scalars. After the patient’s teeth are cleaned and free of all calculus and tartar buildup, a polishing is done.
Polishing of the teeth is done with a dental instrument that has a rotating rubber cup. Inside the cup, the hygienist fills it with a polishing agent that has the consistency of fine sand. Polishing of the teeth removes any stains and plaque remaining and leaves the teeth nice and shiny. Flossing by the hygienist is also done at this time. If the patient has braces, bridges, or connected crowns, a special floss threader is used to floss underneath the connected prosthetic or braces. Flossing is very important step for hygiene care. Flossing is cleaning of the teeth on the surfaces adjacent to other teeth. Missing this step means the patient is cleaning only 60% of their teeth. There are five surfaces of the teeth: top, front, back, right-side, left-side. Not flossing means the right and left side of the teeth are not being cleaned. If you are unsure about how to floss properly, ask the hygienist to show you and they will be more than happy to give you an educational demonstration. Other types of flossing devices can be purchased to help you reach hard-to-reach spots.
We suggest using a soft bristle brush. We will give you a toothbrush kit at your 6 months recall and show you how to brush the right way if you are unsure how this is done. Just ask us at your next visit.
Remember: A routine cleaning is not an option, it is mandatory if you want to keep your teeth!
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