Dental cleanings are an important step in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. While daily brushing and flossing keeps plaque and tartar from building up on the surfaces of the teeth, professional cleanings remove buildup from places that toothbrushes simply cannot reach, as well as polishes the teeth to mitigate stains and future buildup. If it’s been longer than a year since your last cleaning, then it’s time to make an appointment!
Your toothbrush is a powerful tool for combating tooth decay and gum disease, but professional dental cleanings are key to removing plaque and tartar buildup, preventing gum disease and detecting oral health problems.
Bacteria from the foods that you eat causes plaque, the white film that sits atop the surfaces of the teeth. Brushing and flossing daily is a great way to remove plaque from teeth, but a professional dental cleaning scrapes away plaque buildup that you may not see with the naked eye.
If not removed from the teeth, plaque hardens into dental calculus (also called tartar). Calculus builds up between teeth and between your teeth and gums, and can cause gums to become inflamed or infected. This in turn can lead to gum disease, which has been linked to a host of other medical issues, including diabetes, dementia and heart disease.
Though regular flossing and brushing can get rid of plaque, once it solidifies into calculus, the material is too tough to be scraped off with floss or a toothbrush. During a professional deep cleaning, your hygienist first scales your teeth, scraping the calculus off. Once your teeth are calculus-free, your hygienist polishes them with a handheld tool and an abrasive paste that removes minor stains and smooths the surface of your teeth so that plaque won’t adhere to them as easily.
While basic cleanings remove light plaque buildup and surface stains, if it has been some time since you’ve visited the dentist, if you smoke or use tobacco, or if you have poor oral hygiene then the dentist might recommend a deep dental cleaning to remove tartar. Deep cleaning removes calculus from above and below your gum line.
This additional buildup or tartar may be caused by age, hereditary factors, or poor oral hygiene (which includes skipping regular cleanings). If your dentist recommends a deep cleaning, it’s very important to follow through, as you may have the beginnings of gum disease. Deep cleaning will remove calculus from above and below your gum line, and get rid of rough places where bacteria collects.
Basic dental cleanings are covered 100% by many private insurance plans as well as government plans. Deep cleanings are often covered between 50-80% by many insurance plans. Check your benefits for full details. For those without insurance our Exclusive Sonrisa Dental Savings Plan can help you save on basic or deep cleanings.
We provide high-quality dental care in state-of-the-art facilities, which feature a modern look, coffee bar, and special play and treatment rooms for kids.
Our doctors and dental team provide a thorough professional exam, every time, taking special care to: