- Address: 3335 Yonge Street, Suite 302, Toronto, ON, M4N2M1
Dental cleanings are important to maintain healthy gingiva and gums, which is the foundation for all teeth. With normal daily eating and drinking habits, sugars and food particles enter the oral cavity. When it lingers on teeth and mixes with saliva, a biofilm forms which adheres to teeth. If left undisturbed, this bacterial biofilm releases acid, which is the source of dental decay and gum disease. Calcified plaque also known as calculus/tartar, cannot be removed with a normal toothbrush or floss, and must be removed by a dental professional. Our family dentist at Yonge and Lawrence discusses further!
An initial periodontal examination must be performed to determine the depth of periodontal pockets, which are normally forming pockets around each tooth. Pocket depth measurements between 1-3mm is considered healthy, where 4+mm pocket depths are signs of possible gum disease. Once pocket depths and gum bleeding spots are recorded, the type of dental cleaning with the proper dental instruments can then be properly prescribed.
What instruments are used to clean teeth? Different dental instruments are used to remove plaque and calculus. Oral debridement is first performed using an ultrasonic scaler. This instrument has a vibrating/oscillating movement which helps to quickly and comfortably remove plaque and tartar buildup. Scalers and curettes are then used to remove the remaining buildup since they adapt to the tooth surface more precisely. They are also great for deep cleaning, or for calculus found under the gum level. Polishers are then used remove any remaining superficial stains on the teeth. If gum disease and inflammation is severe, periodontal surgery may be needed, performed under local anesthesia, to remove and clean the infected areas to promote healthy healing.
How often should I get dental cleanings? The frequency of dental cleanings is determined by a combination of factors, including the current status of periodontal health, and if any predisposing risk factors to gum disease exist (such as diabetes or smoking). Patients who have conditions causing severe gingivitis or periodontitis require more frequent cleanings to keep the infection and inflammation under control. For patients who have good oral hygiene and home care habits, we recommend cleanings at six month intervals.
What can I do at home to ensure clean teeth? Development of good oral hygiene habits is important early on. Daily brushing and flossing is a minimum to prevent gum disease from forming. For hard to reach areas of the mouth, an electric toothbrush (e.g. Philips Sonicare or Oral-B electric brushes) may prove to be useful. Dietary counseling is also recommended to limit sugary and sticky foods and drinks that cause gum disease. and tooth decay Lifestyle changes may also be suggested, including limiting smoking and alcohol consumption.
In our practice at Yonge and Lawrence in midtown Toronto, serving the Greater Toronto Area, Avenue and Lawrence, Yonge and Eglinton, Yonge and Sheppard, Lawrence Park, and North Toronto, our dentists aim to promote preventative solutions to ensure long term healthy gum tissue! Family Dentist Yonge and Lawrence.