Did you know that you should receive a regular cleaning by a professional dentist or dental hygienist once every 6 months, in order to prevent the unwanted build-up of plaque? When teeth go neglected, the excessive plaque becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, which irritates the gums and leads to increased sensitivity and possible bleeding. When left untreated, the excessive plaque can easily lead to serious and sometimes painful issues such as tooth decay and gum disease (periodontal disease).
To prevent these issues, one should come in for regular deep cleanings. These cleanings should include scaling, root planing, and polishing.
Scaling & Root Planing
A routine deep cleaning should first include scaling and root planing. These two procedures are different from one another, though oftentimes they are performed simultaneously during a regular cleaning and therefore may seem to blend together. Scaling, however, refers to the basic process in which dental tartar is removed (either by hand or with an electric scaling device) from the surface of the teeth, while root planing involves smoothening out the root surfaces and removing any tooth structure that may have become infected.
Polishing is the last step to a thorough dental cleaning. The translucent liquid is applied to the teeth in order to make their surfaces smooth and also to limit future plaque build-up.