Professional Teeth Cleaning
Professional teeth cleaning is being given an increasingly large role in dentist offices that focus on preventative measures. The goal of professional teeth cleaning is to maintain the health of teeth and the periodontium. The main causes of cavities and periodontitis are persistent bacterial plaque, which even the most diligent oral hygiene is not always effective in countering. That is why there is professional teeth cleaning, which is performed in the dentist’s office by qualified, specially trained staff.
Following the examination, the hard deposits on the surface of the teeth, between teeth and in gum pockets are removed. Discolorations caused by coffee, tea or cigarette smoke disappear after equipment such as an air abrasion tool is used. In order to then remove the soft deposits (plaque), a number of different hand instruments, small brushes and dental floss are used. This is followed by polishing, where the teeth are smoothened to prevent bacteria from accumulating on rough surface areas. Fluoride is then applied to the teeth. Professional teeth cleaning also includes advice on how to care for teeth at home.
How often should teeth be professionally cleaned?
Scientific studies have shown that having teeth cleaned professionally every six months is appropriate for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. However, other frequencies are advisable depending on an individual’s particular risk of disease.
For whom is it essential to have teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis?
Generally, anyone who wishes to maintain a healthy set of teeth or have existing diseases effectively treated should have their teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Certain patients, however, face a higher risk of developing cavities and periodontitis:
- Pregnant Women
- Patients who already have cavities
- Patients with fixed orthodontic appliances (braces)
- Patients with restorations
- Periodontitis patients
- Older patients
Patients who are pregnant often tend to alter their eating and nutrition habits. This disrupts the physiological balance in the biotope that is the mouth. Another aim is to counteract the transmittal of the main decay-causing bacterium Streptococcus mutans from the mother to the child. The nausea (early morning sickness) that is experienced mostly in the early stages of the pregnancy makes it difficult for the patient to maintain thorough oral hygiene. Here, the dentist’s office can provide helpful support.
Patients who already habe cavities
Patients with cavities require particularly intensive care from the office team. These patients should also have the areas with accumulated deposits extensively treated. Since the areas between the teeth are especially susceptible to plaque build-up, they must be given particular attention during the professional cleaning.
Patients with fixed orthodontic appliances (braces)
Patients who wear multiband appliances have a particular responsibility to their hygiene measures, since the brackets are pre-destined for plaque deposits. For these patients, it is essential that professional teeth cleaning be continuously repeated in order to prevent inflammation of the gums and decalcification.
Patients with restorations
Patients with extensive, fixed restorations (crowns, implants, bridges) should have professional teeth cleaning performed on a regular basis, since every crown margin, regardless of how well it was designed, represents a risk factor. The cleaning program should also be attended by patients with telescope crown work or brackets.
It is essential for patients with gum diseases to have plaque and tartar thoroughly removed in the visible area as part of the pre-treatment. Following periodontitis treatment, professional teeth cleaning is advisable as support for the patient in maintaining the results achieved through the therapy as long as possible.
This group of patients will become increasingly significant in offices, as the population continues to grow increasingly older and its members have more of their own teeth compared with similarly aged people several years ago. The goal here is to maintain these teeth. And here, too, professional teeth cleaning can also be of help, since it is precisely older patients who sometimes have hygiene deficiencies due, for example, to physical limitations, eye disease and impaired vision. Exposed root surfaces can also pose a particular cavity risk. Numerous patients take medication that reduces salivation that is already weaker at advanced ages, so that there is no longer an adequate remineralization process.