The American Dental Association and many dental and medical website stress the importance of cleaning your teeth. Although it may seem self-explanatory that a healthy mouth begins with clean teeth, the medical benefits associated with a clean mouth are not so obvious.
There are a number of reasons why maintaining good oral health, including teeth cleaning helps keep your total body in good health:
- Mouths are full of harmless bacteria. Cleaning, flossing and the body’s natural defense system keep the bacteria under control. Infrequent cleaning may cause bacteria to grow out of control, contributing to gum disease or tooth decay.
- Research indicates that cardiovascular disease is tied to infection and inflammation caused by oral bacteria.
- Endocarditis is a condition that occurs when the lining of the heart is infected by bacteria from your mouth (or other areas).
- Diabetes, HIV and Alzheimer’s can be aggravated by poor oral health.
Here at Greenbriar Dental Care we recommend that you brush and floss daily as well as coming in two times a year for a professional tooth cleaning.
What are cavities? According to the Mayo Clinic, cavities are decayed places on your teeth that develop holes or tiny openings. There are three types of cavities, and all can be prevented with proper oral care including teeth cleaning. The three types are smooth surface, pit and fissure, and root cavities. All are a result of improper cleaning.
Teeth Cleaning Procedures
The purpose of the cleaning is to remove tartar and plaque from the surface of teeth. Plaque is a sticky bacteria film over the teeth. Tartar is the result of calcium deposits in your mouth. Both are removed when the dentist or hygienist clean your teeth. In all likelihood, your dental professional will use ultrasonic equipment to shake tarter loose from your teeth. The equipment emits a high-pitched sound to shake big pieces of tartar.
After the larger pieces are removed, the hygienist or dentist will use a tool known as a scaler to get food deposits off the surface of your teeth. These curved instruments scrape your teeth smooth and clean.
The next step is known as polishing. A handheld tool with a rubber cup is used with Prophylaxis paste. This paste is a gritty toothpaste-type substance that is applied by the polisher. The final step is the application of fluoride. Your dentist or hygienist may apply fluoride in small soft tray that is placed over the teeth for about 30 seconds.