What is dental hygiene: Dental hygiene is a service that includes thoroughly cleaning the teeth to remove tartar, stains, and plaque, taking x-rays, checking for decay and other problems in the mouth, gums, and teeth, and educating patients about proper oral hygiene techniques.
Benefits of good dental hygiene: Even if you have no cavities, dental hygiene is excellent preventative dental care as it identifies problems before they become major issues. Your teeth cleaning will help to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Since germs in the mouth can lead to infections in the gums and elsewhere in the body, trigger heart disease and dementia, and complicate diabetes, timely tartar removal is crucial for your health.
Ideal candidates: Beginning at age 3, you should see a dentist for a cleaning every six months. However, if your teeth build up plaque or you develop frequent cavities, are diabetic, have current gum disease, have a weak immune response, bacterial infection, are a smoker or are pregnant, you may need to see the dentist more often.
Techniques: A dental hygienist will examine your teeth and gums, and clean and polish your teeth with hand and ultrasonic tools. Using an X-ray machine, he or she will take pictures of your mouth and jaw. Once a cleaning is complete, Dr. Anderson will check your x-rays, examine your mouth, review the findings of the hygienist, and answer any questions. If the hygienist visual inspection or the x-rays have revealed decay or other problems, the hygienist will set up a follow-up appointment.
Pre and Post Op Care: Most patients need no preparation for teeth cleaning, but if you find dental cleanings painful, you might want to take Advil before and after cleaning to reduce the effective inflammation. After the procedure, your teeth and gums may be sensitive, so make sure to brush gently with a toothpaste for sensitive teeth. To maintain the effects of the cleaning, you should practice a good dental hygiene routine that includes brushing, flossing, and rinsing your mouth out with mouthwash.
How often should you have your teeth cleaned?
Every six months is the recommended interval unless the dentist suggests you come more or less often.
Why is cleaning important?
A buildup of plaque and tartar in your mouth can lead to gum disease, other health problems, and inflammation of your immune system.
Who cleans your teeth?
A trained dental hygienist performs the cleaning, although the dentist will evaluate the results of your check up.