Here are some sobering facts: nearly one in two of all adult Americans have some degree of periodontal disease. Furthermore, another 178 million of us are missing at least one permanent tooth, and of this group, 40 million of them are missing all of their teeth. These are extremely high numbers, but the good news is, both periodontal disease and tooth loss can be prevented. There are two major ways you can keep these complications at bay. You can start by introducing a good oral hygiene regimen at home and, secondly, making sure you keep regular dental appointments with cleanings with us here at Harmony Dental.
What Happens During a Dental Cleaning?
Keeping your teeth clean is one of the best things you can do for your oral health. It seems so simple, but that is because it is. Bacteria are your teeth’s worst enemy, and if they are allowed to remain on your teeth and gums, they can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. By taking care of your teeth at home and allowing us to assist with your hygiene here, we can work together to prevent unwanted decay and loss of your teeth.
Dental cleaning begins at home with you. Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time, using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use a pea-sized drop of toothpaste (and make sure it has fluoride in it to help keep your teeth strong!) and brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. Also, make sure you set aside enough time each day to floss.
Proper flossing includes starting with an 18-inch section of dental floss (either waxed or unwaxed is fine) and taking care to work it carefully between each tooth and up under your gum line to remove any trapped food or plaque (that sticky residue that forms on your teeth).
We can also help keep your teeth clean. We offer two types of cleaning, basic dental cleaning, and deep cleaning. Basic dental cleaning includes using our scaler to remove all hardened plaque (also known as tartar or calculus) from your teeth. We may use either a manual scaler or an ultrasonic scaler to remove all of this buildup.
During this cleaning, we will use our small handheld mirror and our suction device to remove saliva and debris from your mouth. We may also use a gritty paste to help polish your teeth. During your cleaning, we will also floss your teeth. If you experience any bleeding, that is a clue to us that you are maybe not flossing enough at home!
What A Deep Cleaning Is
Deep cleaning is different and includes a procedure known as scaling and root planing. This is for patients with more advanced gum disease. This includes scaling which, again, removes all of the plaque and calculus from your teeth. The root planing involves cleaning deep under your gumline and into your gum pockets. The deeper your gum pockets, the more seriously advanced your periodontal disease is. We will remove all calculus, then buff your teeth down to make them smooth. This makes it harder for bacteria to reform on your teeth and helps your receding gums reattach to your tooth roots.
If it has been longer than six months since your last dental checkup and cleaning, please give us here a call today here at Harmony Dental at (541) 246-3250 to set your next appointment up now!