Are Routine Cleanings Necessary?

If your teeth and gums are healthy, you should maintain your routine cleanings and exams twice a year, generally every 6 months.  In this time, the accumulation of plaque and calculus can build up on the teeth and gums, and if left untreated can lead to gingivitis, periodontitis and eventually tooth loss.

Along with a number of services that can enhance the appearance of your smile, your Cosmetic Dentist in Walnut Creek also offers routine cleanings and other periodontal procedures that can improve the health of your smile.

Plaque is a soft deposit that forms on your teeth throughout the day and is made up of food particles, the saliva in your mouth, and bacteria.  At home, brushing and flossing at least twice a day will remove the plaque from your teeth. There may be areas that you find more difficult to access.  Your hygienist will help you with techniques and tools to aid in keeping these areas cleaner.

It only takes about 48 hours for plaque to harden onto your teeth into a tough substance called calculus (tarter).  These hard deposits create rough surfaces on the teeth, which attract more bacteria-laden plaque.  Once calculus forms on the teeth, it cannot be removed with brushing and flossing, but must skillfully be removed by a hygienist with special tools.  If this is not removed, the bacteria eventually lead to gum disease.

Depending on the degree of gum disease present, a special type of cleaning often referred to as a “deep cleaning” or “scaling and root planing” may be necessary to help reverse the effects of this disease.  Following this type of cleaning, to maintain oral health, it will be necessary to keep a more frequent pattern of cleaning visits, usually every 3 to 4 months.

At your cleaning visit, your hygienist will remove these deposits of plaque and calculus and your dentist will also check for any cavities that may have formed in that time as well as perform routine oral cancer screenings.  Early detection of cavities can save a tooth and early detection of oral cancer can save a life.

If it has been more than six months since your last cleaning, schedule your visit today with your Walnut Creek dentist.