Deep Cleaning Your Teeth: When to Do It

dentist doing a teeth cleaning to her patient

Deep teeth cleaning, might sound like a dental procedure that will be needed after that late Saturday afternoon braai just before or after the last soccer game. A procedure your dentist will recommend after a spree of unhealthy eating, lack of brushing and flossing or midnight feasting without proper care and teeth cleaning. If your answer consisted of the removal of plaque and tartar or the prevention of gum and periodontal diseases you are spot on. Deep cleaning of your teeth is performed by your local dental hygienist whom you should visit every six months, this includes the retired community as well, according to the South African Dental Association (SADA).

The Need for Deep Cleaning

The dental hygienist will use their instrument, the probe, to ensure that your teeth and gum tissue stay healthy. The probe is also used to measure the space between the teeth and the gums. If the space is more than 3mm, the space, that is called a pocket, can be the cause of gum and periodontal disease. The Dental hygienist will use the probe to scrape away the plaque and tarter off the enamel and up under the gum, not just along the gum as with regular brushing and cleaning. They also reach up along your roots to smooth the softer cementum on the surface to prevent plaque from forming in uneven or open spaces. Going to visit the dental hygienist twice annually, is a very good routine to adopt, as stated by Netcare.

Deep Cleaning Process

Deep cleaning can be performed on one or two quadrants of the mouth, or the entire mouth can be treated in one visit. It is also known as scaling and root planing and the dentist will do the recommendation of the treatment. The dental hygienist will numb the area to be treated. Scaling is the first procedure and involves removing plaque and tartar from the teeth and from the pocket areas between the teeth and gums and under the gum line, if necessary.

The second half of the process involves the root planing using either electiceor ultrasonic instruments or manual scaling tools. The dental hygienist shape or plane the root of the tooth, to remove places where bacteria can hide. Root planing procedures require a minimum of two visits, and a follow up visit might be necessary to ensure that teeth are healthy and that there is no pocket depth.

Care after Scaling and Root Planing Appointments

Gum disease can be treated and is curable with regular visits to the dentist and dental hygiene, cleaning your teeth regularly. It is a good idea to monitor the status of your teeth, gums and bone. You need to make sure it healed and that the bacteria did not return. Individuals predisposed to having gum disease may need to return for regular periodontal maintenance cleanings while others may be able to return to regular hygiene routine and 6-month dental checkup visits.

Colgate Total Toothpaste, recommended by dentist worldwide, provides antibacterial protection, more plaque and gingivitis reduction than regular fluoride toothpaste, ADA Seal of Acceptance and effective prevention against caries, gingivitis, plaque, caculus build up and malodor. Just for a bit more protection it is also a good idea to use Colgate Total 12 Clean Mint Alcohol Free Mouthwash that also promotes mouth hygiene, healthy teeth and gums and protection against plaque and germs.

In the event that the periodontal disease persist or re-occur, individuals can ask their dentist to be referred to a Periodontist which will be able to recommend the best treatment and the way forward to perfect oral hygiene and health.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

More Articles You May Like

What To Expect During a DENTAL VISIT

On your first visit, your dentist will take a full health history. On follow-up visits, if your health status has changed, make sure to tell your dentist. Here’s what you can expect during most trips to the dentist.

  • A Thorough Ceaning – a dental hygienist or dentist will scrape along and below the gum line to remove built-up plaque and tartar that can cause gum disease, cavities, bad breath and other problems. Then he or she will polish and floss your teeth.

  • A Full Dental Examination – your dentist will perform a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and mouth, looking for signs of disease or other problems.

  • X-Rays – X-rays can diagnose problems otherwise unnoticed, such as damage to jawbones, impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts or tumors, and decay between the teeth.