Professional Dental Hygiene Therapy
Dental hygiene therapy, commonly referred to as a dental cleaning, is a crucial part of your overall medical and preventative health strategy. This therapy is an excellent way to monitor and control the impact of oral disease on your general health. Oral disease presents as inflammation and bleeding in your gums, but is rarely associated with pain. In its early stages it is referred to as gingivitis, but it can evolve into periodontal disease as it progresses. Periodontal disease is recognized to elevate the risk of systemic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. This is why it is so important to manage it early on and manage it well. The frequency of dental cleanings is determined by your state of oral health. If you present with greater severity of periodontal disease it is more likely that you will require more frequent dental hygiene therapy.
About Your Dental Hygiene Appointment
When you come to Lewis Estates Dental Centre, you can expect evidence-based dental treatment customized to your dental needs.
The initial part of dental hygiene therapy involves the diagnosis of disease in your mouth. Our dental hygienist will ask you questions about any changes in your medical health, discuss your current oral homecare routine, and ask about any dental concerns you may have. Then they will examine your teeth and gums – including measuring pocket depths around your teeth, and may also take x-rays of your teeth and jaws, if they are warranted. Together, this information determines the optimal care you require to support your oral health.
The next step in the process is the removal of plaque and hard deposits from the teeth by scaling. Sometimes an ultrasonic scaler that uses water can be used as well to break up tartar, doing this is beneficial to your teeth and gums and does not harm your teeth. Removal of tartar is an important part of your dental hygiene therapy due to the toxins and aggressive bacteria that are present within the tartar itself. If you have sensitivity or tenderness that makes you uncomfortable, discuss it with your dental hygienist, who is equipped to provide you with options that can increase your comfort during this very important procedure.
The next aspect of your dental hygiene therapy involves polishing your teeth to remove residual stain and plaque. A mildly abrasive paste is used to gently remove stains. Your hygienist will also floss your teeth after polishing. Most importantly, your hygienist will review the effectiveness of your homecare routine and will help you understand which areas of your mouth need more attention, and how to approach it.
The last step of your dental cleaning is the application of fluoride. Topical fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel of your teeth against damage from acid and plaque.
The team at Lewis Estates Dental Centre takes preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus seriously. As medical practitioners, we have stringent cleaning and sanitation procedures in place, but to protect our patients we have guidelines that go above and beyond our regular measures to conform to or exceed public health recommendations.
Preventing Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease prevention is extremely important as the Canadian Dental Association asserts that 7 in 10 Canadians will develop this condition in their lives. Ensuring that you are one of the 3 in 10 that does not develop gum disease comes down to a solid and consistent at-home oral homecare routine.
- Ensure that you brush your teeth 2-3 times daily.
- Floss once per day.
- Use non-alcohol containing mouthwash in your oral cleaning routine each day.
- Avoid smoking, vaping, and smokeless tobacco. Also, avoid recreational drug use.
- Maintain regular dental hygiene appointments as recommended by your dentist and dental hygienist. Individual frequencies will vary depending on your oral health situation and lifestyle.
Teeth Cleaning FAQs
How often should you have your teeth cleaned by a dentist?
You should book an appointment for a complete dental examination and dental hygiene therapy so that your condition can be evaluated, and an evidence-based recommendation for your care can be provided to you. Then you should be sure to maintain that recommendation to support good oral health.
Can dental cleaning damage teeth?
Teeth cleaning procedures are performed by highly-trained dental hygienists and do not damage teeth, but are intended to remove the hard deposit that has accumulated on the surface of the tooth/root to promote healing of your tissues.
What does a dental cleaning do?
A dental cleaning is intended to monitor your oral health, remove plaque and tartar, and polish the teeth for a bright and refreshed appearance. By doing so, it allows your gums to heal from inflammation caused by these irritants.
How long do the results of dental cleanings last?
Depending on your oral homecare routine, your ideal hygiene recare schedule may change. If you have a solid routine where you brush 2-3 times and floss every day, and you also don’t use any form of tobacco or other recreational drugs, you might be able to see us every 6 months. If you have current oral health issues, or your oral health routine hasn’t been adequate, you might need to see us for periodontal care every 3-4 months until your gums show evidence of adequate healing.
Are dental teeth cleanings necessary?
Yes, dental cleanings are an absolutely essential part of maintaining overall health. Serious systemic health problems are enhanced by the changes that cause inflammation and breakdown in the mouth.
Does insurance cover teeth cleaning?
Yes, dental hygiene therapy is typically covered under basic care in dental benefits plans. You should contact your benefits provider to obtain the specific coverage details of your plan.
How long does a teeth cleaning take?
We will begin by diagnosing your oral disease, and present that to you while also discussing areas that require additional attention. We will address your questions and concerns regarding your current dental condition so that you are able to fully comprehend your needs. As a result, the length of your appointment will depend on the severity of your oral condition, and the amount of plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth. If you have highly effective and frequent daily brushing and flossing habits, you may see your hygienist for little more than one hour.