Teeth cleaning is a key component in oral hygiene and helps to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems. Brushing and flossing are good, but sometimes extra help is needed to eliminate bacteria that can’t be removed with toothbrushes and floss. A professional cleaning can do this.
Brushing is the first step in teeth cleaning. Using a toothbrush and toothpaste with the ADA Seal, a person brushes their teeth a couple of times each day, focusing on the surfaces of their front and chewing teeth and the area where they meet the gums. Brushing effectively can remove food debris and plaque, which can prevent tooth decay and help reverse early signs of gum disease known as gingivitis.
A toothbrush is a hand-held tool with bristles, wires, or filaments attached to a handle and used for cleaning, grooming, painting, or other purposes such as applying makeup or brushing the teeth. Many different brushing techniques best depend on the tooth position and condition of your gums. For example, brushing gently in a circular or elliptical motion is recommended rather than pushing the brush up and down. This kind of motion wears away the tooth surface and can also expose the root of a tooth, leaving it susceptible to decay.
A routine dental cleaning removes the most common causes of tooth decay and gum disease. In addition to removing tartar buildup, the cleaning can identify any problems and allow the dentist or dental hygienist to treat them early, reducing the likelihood of more severe complications.
Once larger pieces of tartar have been dislodged; the hygienist will switch to finer hand-held instruments called curettes or scalers that eliminate smaller deposits and smooth the tooth surfaces. They will also polish the teeth using a slow-speed handpiece with a rubber cup that spins to smooth the tooth surface and leave it shiny.
In addition to teeth, the mouth is home to the tongue, which is covered in bacteria and often a source of bad breath. Brushing the tongue daily can remove trapped bacteria and freshen your breath. The hygienist may also recommend using an oral irrigator or mouthwash, which can further prevent cavities and help control gum disease.
Good oral hygiene is the foundation of health. A person should brush their teeth a couple of times a day, floss once daily, and use a mouthwash containing fluoride at least once a day to protect the tooth surface. See the dentist for a routine dental cleaning every six months, which is also important.
Flossing is the best way to clean between teeth and along the gum line that a toothbrush can’t reach. It is an important part of your oral hygiene routine and is associated with a lower frequency of tooth decay, gum disease, and missing teeth.
When it comes to flossing, many people need to learn how to do it properly and end up skipping it. This is a big mistake. Even if you only floss once a day, it can significantly impact your dental health. Flossing is not just about how often you do it but how well you do it.
The most important thing to remember about flossing is that it removes bacteria and food particles that a toothbrush cannot reach. If you are not removing these substances, your mouth will become progressively more infected as the bacteria and food particles build up. This can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and other serious oral health issues.
It would help to floss at least once daily, preferably in the evening, before sleep. This is because you have less saliva at night, which means that bacteria are more concentrated and can cause more damage.
Many different types of floss are available, so you can choose the type that is most comfortable for you. However, the technique is the same no matter which type you use. To start:
- Take about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around the middle finger of one hand.
- Leave an inch or two of floss to take up later if needed.
- Move the floss between each tooth, forming a “C” shape around each tooth and removing any stuck food particles or plaque.
- Be sure also to scrape the bottom of each tooth and along the gumline.
It is normal for your gums to bleed when you first start flossing. This is because the gums are irritated by the bacteria and food particles that have built up. This will subside as you continue to floss regularly. You should visit your dentist if your gums bleed more than once or if you don’t stop bleeding after a few days.
In addition to brushing and flossing, a high-quality dental cleaning is important for keeping your teeth healthy. To clean those hard-to-reach spaces, a dentist uses a special water device called an oral irrigator that sprays water in the mouth. This stream removes food particles and other debris that a toothbrush or dental floss might miss. It can also help remove teeth stains that can make them look dull or discolored.
This type of tooth cleaning is a non-invasive and painless dental cleaning since no scraping is involved. Besides being less invasive, it is also faster than manual scraping and cleaning. The dentist may numb the area in the mouth where it is being cleaned to prevent discomfort or pain. The numbing process lasts for about 30 minutes.
The dentist also uses a water syringe to rinse the mouth during and after the teeth cleaning. This helps remove any remaining debris and bacteria in the mouth, making it easier to keep the teeth clean. A water syringe can also be used at home to clean between teeth, especially when someone has braces or other dental appliances that can trap food particles and make flossing more difficult.
Another tool the dentist might use for teeth cleaning is a laser. This is a very powerful tool that can break down plaque, bacteria, and tartar. It can also treat gum disease by removing the bacterial colonies that cause the condition. The dentist may perform a laser treatment in conjunction with other dental cleaning procedures or on its own.
Suppose you are considering getting a water flosser to replace traditional dental floss. In that case, talking to your dentist about the benefits and drawbacks of using this interdental cleaning tool is important. A good dentist will be able to answer all of your questions and concerns about dental flossers. They can also help you decide which type of interdental cleaning is best for you based on your needs and lifestyle.
When babies begin teething, they should be cleaned daily using a clean washcloth or rubber/silicone finger brush. No toothpaste is used. It is important to remove bacteria from the grooves and folds of their gum line and soothe teething discomfort.
During a dental cleaning, the dental hygienist will use a specialized instrument called a curette to remove any buildup between teeth that is hard to reach with a toothbrush. A curette is a curved tool with a sharp hook-like tip that allows the hygienist to scrape under the gum line and remove plaque and tartar. It is very important that individuals not attempt to use a dental tool such as a curette at home because this can cause micro scratches in the enamel, which will attract more plaque.
Another useful tool is a saliva ejector. A saliva ejector is a disposable tube that looks like a straw that goes into the mouth, and it connects to a longer tube that evacuates liquids and particulates. This helps the hygienist keep the mouth free of food debris, and it also helps prevent a dry mouth, which can cause bad breath.
In addition to these tools, the hygienist may use a mouth mirror to look in detail at your teeth and gums. Some mouth mirrors have a handle that is easier to hold, while others are lightweight and disposable for reduced wrist fatigue. Some are also sterile for enhanced hygiene. While brushing and flossing are very effective for removing surface plaque, it is important to visit the dentist regularly for a thorough, deep clean. Like cleaning a cluttered desk, this will help maintain a healthy mouth and reduce the likelihood of developing cavities and other oral problems.