Smile Care | September 7, 2020
Do I Need To Get Professional Teeth Cleaning?
We often hear patients say – “Do I need to get professional teeth cleaning?” We get it – you might be thinking, why make a visit to the dentist just for a cleaning …when I brush properly at home! But dental cleaning, or Scaling, performed by the dentist isn’t just for keeping your smile bright. Regular professional deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth can have a significant impact on your overall health.
Read on to learn about why professional teeth cleaning is required, and how it can protect your teeth and help you avoid serious health issues.
What is plaque?
Your saliva combined with the food and fluids you consume leads to bacterial deposits on your teeth and gums. Plaque is a sticky, colourless or pale yellow, deposit of biofilm that contains millions of bacteria. When you eat, the bacteria in the plaque use the sugars in the food to produce acids that erode the enamel – the hard, outer surface that protects your teeth. These bacterial acids can cause the enamel to break down, eventually resulting in cavities.
Over time, if plaque isn’t properly removed from the teeth, the minerals from your saliva are deposited on the plaque biofilm, hardening within 24 to 72 hours. This yellow or brown coloured deposit that forms when plaque hardens on your teeth is called tartar or dental calculus. It is much harder to remove, and very bad for your oral health.
How plaque and tartar affect your health
Think of tartar like a hard, defensive shield by the bacteria, so they can continue to live and grow in your mouth and wreak havoc! Left unchecked, the bacteria carry on the warfare on your teeth – leading to cavities, tooth decay, gum disease and other serious health issues. Tooth decay and bleeding, inflamed gums are a common condition for those with tartar build-up. But they affect more than your dental health.
There is growing research that suggests that bacteria and inflammation in your mouth may jeopardize your overall health. Gum disease, (also called periodontal disease), has been linked to other health issues, including heart attacks, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and dementia. Experts believe that oral bacteria can escape into the bloodstream and injure major organs. So, it is extremely important that you take care to clean your teeth regularly and properly!
Scaling or Professional teeth cleaning
There is no way to avoid plaque entirely; but a good brushing routine and oral hygiene can keep it from accumulating. Plaque can hide between teeth and under the gum line. So even with the best of your efforts, over time you will have some plaque and tartar build-up, which will require professional intervention.
That is why we recommend regular dental check-ups to keep your teeth and gums healthy. During a regular dental visit, our dentists will do an overall examination of your teeth - checking for cavities, plaque or tartar build up and any other issues. She will also perform ‘scaling’ – professional teeth cleaning that uses specialised instruments to get rid of tartar. You should get a regular scaling and dental check-up every six months or as recommended by your dentist.
Who should be getting regular teeth cleaning?
Everyone! Whether you are an adult or a child, regular dental check-ups, including teeth cleaning are a vital part of your overall health and wellness. People who get regular scaling treatments done are much less like to develop plaque- and tartar-related dental health issues.
Those with diabetes and other chronic health issues should never miss their regular dental appointments – at least every six months, or as advised by their doctor. Diabetes, in particular, impairs your body’s ability to heal itself and fight infections. So, it is very important to maintain good oral health and prevent any infections.
To learn more, or book an appointment with our dentists, contact the Skin ‘n Smiles clinic using the numbers or email listed below.