Over time, tartar (calculus) and dental plaque (a soft, sticky, bacteria infested film) gather on your teeth as a result of eating and drinking. Regular dental cleanings remove this build up and are necessary to prevent problems like cavities, gum disease, and gingivitis. Leaving these issues without the proper care and treatment can cause tooth and jaw pain, as well as deterioration of the tooth to the point where it, and others around it, may need to be extracted. A simple appointment for cleaning and polishing your teeth at least every year, or more frequently as recommended by your Peoria dentist, leaves the surfaces of your teeth not only clean, but smooth enough that bacteria is unable to stick to them.
The dental hygienist or dentist at Aesthetic Dentistry of Arrowhead that performs your dental cleaning will remove these hardened deposits with specialized instruments designed to not harm your teeth. To begin, an ultrasonic tooth scaler device may be used to knock larger pieces of tartar loose using the vibrations from the ultrasound and a mist of water that washes away loosened debris and keeps the temperature at a comfortable level. After the larger bits of contaminants and debris have been removed, hand tools such as curettes and scalers are used to scrape away smaller deposits of tartar manually and smooth the surfaces of the teeth. These tools are specially shaped to match the curves of the shape of your teeth and can reach the tiniest spaces without scratching or damaging your teeth. Once all plaque and tartar has been removed, a device with a soft rubber cup may be used to polish your teeth with a gritty prophylaxis paste to shine and smooth them. As a last step, an application of fluoride is used to strengthen the enamel of your teeth, to reduce the damage done after the acidic conditions produced by the bacteria in dental plaque and calculus weaken the tooth surfaces.
Most people find that their dental cleaning appointments are completely painless. You may feel the vibrations of the tools, pressure from the scraping removal of debris, and the light spray of the water, but if you find yourself becoming uncomfortable with the sensations, be sure to inform your attending dentist or dental hygienist. This discomfort can be a sign of an underlying issue such as exposed dentine or sore gum tissues.