Professional Dental Cleanings
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) strongly recommends that a dentist or hygienist perform a dental cleaning, or prophylaxis, every six months to maintain optimal dental health. Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:
- Removal of Dental Plaque: Plaque is a biofilm of bacteria that naturally grows on surfaces within the mouth. If not removed by regular brushing and flossing, plaque can build up and progress into oral problems, such as demineralisation of the teeth, hardening into calculus, development of dental caries, and periodontal disease.
- Removal of Calculus (tartar): Calculus is a form of hardened dental plaque, caused by the precipitation of salivary minerals and gingival fluid. It may form both above and below the gumline, leading to bad breath, receding gums, and gigival inflammation. Once plaque has hardened into calculus, it can no longer be removed with a toothbrush and requires the use of special dental instruments.
- Fluoride Application: Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral compound found in water and soil. It helps prevent tooth decay by making the entire tooth surface more resistant to acid attacks from the bacteria that live in the plaque on your teeth.
- Sealants (for children): Dental sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities. They are a plastic material usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often.