At Elite Dental of Natick, we believe preventive treatments are the best way to achieve and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. Professional cleanings, along with routine checkup examinations, are the two main pillars of preventive dentistry. If you want to protect your oral health, regularly scheduled cleanings are a must!
The Importance of Preventive Dentistry
As our understanding of oral health has deepened, the focus of professional dentistry has shifted from correcting problems to preventing them. Thanks to advancements in technology and techniques, dental problems that were once common are much easier to avoid. To prevent these issues, the American Dental Association recommends scheduling a routine checkup and cleaning twice a year, about every six months.
Tooth decay and gum disease, the two most common dental problems, are both caused by the harmful bacteria found in plaque. Plaque is the sticky biofilm that forms on and around our teeth. The bacteria in plaque feed off the simple carbohydrates (usually sugars and starches) that we consume on a daily basis.
As the bacteria feed, they produce acids that destroy the outermost layer of the tooth, the enamel. If tooth decay remains untreated, large cavities will form. At the same time, our immune system produces toxins in response to the buildup of plaque, tartar (calcified plaque), and bacteria. Eventually, these toxins cause an infection in the periodontal tissues, which we refer to as gum disease.
Unfortunately, a strong at-home hygiene routine is simply not enough to maintain pristine oral health. A professional cleaning is designed to reduce or eliminate your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Without preventive measures, such as checkups and cleanings, the health and appearance of your smile may suffer.
What Happens During a Professional Cleaning
During a cleaning, Dr. Bethany Polnar or our dental hygienist will use a special hand tool, known as an ultrasonic scaler, to remove plaque, tartar, and bacterial growth from the surface of your teeth. The ultrasonic scaler utilizes high-frequency vibrations and a liquid spray to produce microscopic bubbles. These bubbles implode on the teeth, breaking up plaque and tartar deposits while bursting the cell walls of bacteria.
Unlike conventional hand tools, ultrasonic scalers do not pose a risk of damaging the enamel. Once your teeth have been thoroughly scaled, both above and below the gumline, we will remove any remaining bacteria and food debris using floss. Most cleanings are complete after we polish the teeth to improve the sheen of your smile. Cleanings for kids often include fluoride treatment as well.
Daily Oral Hygiene
Along with routine visits to our office, daily oral hygiene is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile. As a general rule of thumb, you should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day, preferably after meals and before bed. Be sure to floss in between your teeth at least once a day, as well.
Dr. Bethany Polnar is happy to answer questions and address concerns during your appointments. Patient education is the cornerstone of excellent oral health. We may also review proper brushing and flossing techniques to ensure you implement the best possible hygiene routine.
Schedule an Appointment
If you or a loved one needs a professional cleaning, we can help! Call (508) 319-9339 to schedule an appointment today!