You may feel as if you take excellent care of your teeth. After all, all your teeth really need are to be brushed and flossed regularly right? Not so. No matter how diligently you think you brush and floss, in most cases your teeth will still need professional cleaning. Even if you miss the slightest bit of plaque, it can harden into tartar and once that happens it can only be removed by your hygienist. Dental exams and cleanings are preventive dentistry, and the goal is to keep your teeth healthy for a lifetime.
What a Professional Cleaning Does
It may seem, especially to a child, that a dental cleaning is just a thorough brushing. In some ways it is, but it is more than that. It is a way to keep periodontal disease at bay. Periodontal disease is the major reason for tooth loss and poor oral hygiene is the major reason for periodontal disease. A professional cleaning does the following:
Removes plaque: Plaque is the sticky, invisible layer of oral bacteria and food debris that clings to your teeth. In most cases you brush it off when brushing your teeth, but plaque continues to form and if left untreated it turns into a cement-like material called tartar.
Removes tartar: Tartar is calcified plaque, also called calculus, that forms above and below the gumline and can only be removed via a professional dental cleaning. It is removed using a traditional dental scaler or an ultrasonic scaler.
Polishes: After removing plaque and tartar, your hygienist will polish your teeth to remove stains and smooth the surfaces of your teeth. The smooth surfaces make it harder for plaque to stick.
Flossing: Your hygienist will remove plaque and food debris from between your teeth with a final flossing.
Fluoride treatment: The final step is usually a fluoride treatment to help strengthen your enamel and protect your teeth from decay. In most cases the patient bites down into a tray filled with fluoride gel and holds it in their mouth for several minutes. To gain the full effect, you cannot eat or drink for 30 minutes after a fluoride treatment.
About Your Reno Dentists
Dr. William Wager, Dr. Brian Evans, and our highly experienced team at Wager Evans Dental are devoted to our patients and their families, and dedicated to providing first-rate dental care in a comfortable, inviting environment. Located in Reno, we proudly welcome residents from Spanish Springs, Sparks, Incline Village, Dayton, Fernley, and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation or your next dental appointment, visit our office, or contact us today by calling (775) 829-7700.