Dental hygiene is the practice of keeping your teeth clean and free of diseases such as gingivitis or periodontitis.
Without proper dental hygiene, you risk bone loss and eventually tooth loss. The risk for tooth decay or cavities also significantly increases.
A dental cleaning typically involves the use of hand scalers to smooth the teeth and remove any dental calculus, flossing, and polishing to ensure the teeth are perfectly smooth, making it difficult for plaque to adhere to them. Regular checkups and cleanings every six months are recommended.
Dental hygienists typically use tools called scalers, which are sharp blades that can scrape off the teeth. They also use ultrasonic scalers, which emit a cavitation of water and send shockwaves of bubbles to clean the teeth.
A typical dental cleaning is usually scheduled for about an hour. However, the duration can vary depending on special accommodations or the condition of your oral hygiene.
A deep cleaning is necessary if a long time has passed without a cleaning being done, or if there's a large amount of buildup in between the teeth. This can be determined through x-rays or a periodontal exam. During a deep cleaning procedure, an anesthetic is often applied for the patient's comfort.
After a dental cleaning, it's essential to maintain your at-home hygiene routine, which should include brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing once a day. It's also crucial to return for your six-month checkup to ensure your teeth remain clean and healthy. Some individuals may experience sensitivity after a dental cleaning, which usually subsides within two to three days.
You can schedule a dental hygiene appointment by contacting your dentist. If you have any questions, feel free to call us at DentArt Chicago.