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If you brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes, and you floss regularly, do you really need to have your teeth professionally cleaned? The answer is yes, especially if you want to protect your dental health and avoid developing tooth decay.
At Santa Monica Dental in Santa Monica, California, our patients look forward to their regular teeth cleaning appointments. You walk out with cleaner teeth and have the opportunity to ask questions about your dental health. Our team of hygienists and support staff can guide you through your appointment, and our dentists are there to answer questions and offer advice. Here’s what you can expect during a professional teeth cleaning.
At home, you have some dental hygiene tools: a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, maybe a water pick. Those are important and effective tools. But, comparing them with the tools available in our office is like comparing a screwdriver to a drill.
Your hygienist uses a set of special tools to inspect your teeth, and then to remove plaque that you can’t see or reach with your at-home tools in many cases. Plaque is a sticky substance that clings to your teeth. Eventually it forms tartar, and tartar leads to tooth decay and gum disease. You don’t want tartar!
There are areas between your teeth and just under your gums that are especially difficult or even impossible to clean with a toothbrush and floss. In those areas, you’re especially susceptible to developing a layer of tartar.
Your hygienist uses a tool called a scaler to scrape away the plaque and tartar that may have accumulated in your mouth. Once that’s done, we use a special toothbrush and gritty toothpaste to polish your teeth, and then you get a professional flossing. After that, you use a rinse to get rid of any debris from the cleaning, and we treat your teeth with fluoride.
All of those tools available in our office deliver benefits for your teeth. For example, the gritty toothpaste, which would be too harsh for daily use at home, gives your teeth an extra shine and polish. The rinse we give you contains fluoride to protect your teeth.
Additionally, when you get a thorough, professional cleaning, it means we’re looking at your teeth very closely. We check for numerous potential problems, such as evidence that you’ve been grinding your teeth in your sleep, which can be a symptom of sleep apnea, as well as any problems with your gums.
We recommend that you have a professional cleaning twice per year, unless you have a specific problem such as periodontitis. You may need more frequent regular visits to deal with some issues. If it’s time for your professional teeth cleaning, schedule today!