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Teeth Cleaning

Santa Monica Bay Dental

Dentists located in Santa Monica, CA

Though you brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once daily, even the highest-tech electric brushes and water pics can’t match the thoroughness of a professional teeth cleaning. Teeth cleaning is part of the services included in your biannual exam at Santa Monica Bay Dental in Santa Monica, California. The expert dental team uses the latest technology to remove plaque and tartar so that your teeth, gums, and body stay healthy. To book a teeth cleaning or a biannual exam in the Los Angeles-area, contact Santa Monica Bay Dental by phone or using the online form.

Teeth Cleaning Q & A

What is professional teeth cleaning?

Professional teeth cleaning goes beyond the reach of toothbrushes and dental floss. Your dentist uses special tools that remove invisible, sticky plaque and hard, crusty tartar from between your teeth and underneath your gums. When you get a teeth cleaning twice a year, your dentist also has the opportunity to evaluate your oral health and answer any questions you have about your teeth.

Why are professional teeth cleanings so important?

Plaque is a sticky, invisible film that adheres to your teeth after you eat. Plaque is filled with bacteria that can cause cavities.

Though brushing removes some plaque, toothbrush bristles and dental floss can’t completely reach all of the plaque between your teeth and just under your gum line. The plaque you can’t remove hardens into an unattractive brown crust called tartar or calculus. 

You can’t remove most tartar with brushing or flossing. Your dentist uses specialized tools to chip away tartar without harming your teeth. 

If you let plaque and tartar accumulate on your teeth for months at a time, it can irritate your gums, leading to an infection that could spread throughout your entire body. The bacteria can even spread to your blood vessels and heart, causing clots and heart disease. Women and men who don’t get twice-yearly dental cleanings are 86% more likely to develop bacterial pneumonia. 

What happens during teeth cleaning?

At Santa Monica Bay Dental, the expert dentists and hygienists thoroughly remove plaque and tartar from all areas of your teeth and gums. Your dentist may take low-radiation dental X-rays to be sure you don’t have cavities or other structural problems with your teeth. 

Using observation and an advanced intraoral camera, your dentist also evaluates all angles of your mouth and teeth for signs of:

  • Sensitivity
  • Gum erosion
  • Bruxism (tooth grinding)
  • Oral cancer
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder

If your dentist notices any problems with your teeth, gums, or bone, they make recommendations for treatment. Your hygienist then polishes your teeth and flosses them, too. Your teeth look and feel clean and smooth.

How often should I get a teeth cleaning?

Most children and adults need dental cleanings just twice a year. If you have periodontitis (i.e., gum infection) or other dental issues, you may need to come in more often. 

To book a dental cleaning, contact Santa Monica Bay Dental by phone or online form.