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The cleaning is probably the first treatment that will be proposed by your dentist.
The procedure is usually executed by the dental hygienist and consists of tartar removal and polish.
Tartar removal is accomplished using ultrasonic scalers and conventional curettes. Tartar is a layer of hard, calcified plaque and cannot be removed without these specialized instruments. This is a primary step in the maintenance of good oral health. Tartar and plaque, if left unremoved from tooth surfaces, provoke inflammation, gum bleeding and contribute to the rise and development of gum diseases. Gum disease such as periodontitis is painless in most cases and is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults.
Polishing done using an abrasive paste or a jet containing air, water and baking soda allows stain and plaque removal that may have resisted during tartar removal.
The goal of polishing is to render tooth surfaces as ultra-smooth as possible in order to slow down as well as prevent eventual plaque and tartar accumulation.
Plaque, if not removed using a toothbrush and dental floss, builds up in less than 24 hours and begins to mineralize (calcify) as early as the first few days following its formation.
In young adults and children below the age of 16, polishing permits to optimize fluoride application. The role of fluoride is to reinforce developing tooth enamel and prevent dental decay (cavities).
The dental cleaning is usually combined with the dental exam. Once teeth are nice and clean, your dentist can proceed to perform a thorough and precise examination of your mouth and render a good diagnosis. Thus, the dentist will be able to propose an adequate treatment.
Once a year, twice or even more often, the frequency of cleanings is determined in accord with your dentist depending on the quantity of tartar and the degree of inflammation of your gums.
Returning to basic rules such as good tooth brushing twice daily as well as daily use of dental floss are your greatest allies to combat tartar and plaque.
Your dentist as well as your dental hygienist will come to your rescue to win this battle!!!