When you come into our office, we will perform a thorough examination of your oral cavity. At home, it can be difficult to completely prevent plaque from building up, even when you brush twice a day, for two minutes. This is nothing to be ashamed of, as it is expected, and we can help remove the plaque from building up through a cleaning. Robert J. Malone DDS recommends you have two cleanings a year, to support your oral health.
Routine cleanings are the most common and basic forms of cleaning, and they happen to all patients, but there are other types of cleanings if there are further complications in the mouth.
What to Expect From a Routine Cleaning
Often, the only type of cleaning a patient ever experiences is a routine cleaning, properly known as prophylaxis. Plaque can build up anywhere on the enamel, which includes places difficult to reach, like the back of the teeth and the gaps in between. When plaque buildup advances into tartar, normal toothbrushes can no longer remove them. That is why routine cleanings are so important to your oral health.
We will investigate your mouth and locate all plaque build-up. Then, using a small mirror and a scaler, we will thoroughly remove the plaque and tartar. To ensure that all build-up have been removed, we will then use a high-powered electric toothbrush. This acts as a deeper clean to the scaler and is a more powerful version of the toothbrush you have at home. The reason we do not recommend using a toothbrush like this at home, is because continuous use can damage the enamel. Do not worry, it is perfectly healthy to have the deep clean done twice year, and we encourage it.
The final part of the routine cleaning is a flossing performed by one of our dentists. This is a thorough cleaning of the spaces between the teeth that can be tricky to properly remove plaque from. At this stage, our dentists may advise you on some good flossing techniques to properly remove plaque when at home.
A fluoride treatment is then performed which signals the end of the procedure. The treatment helps protect the enamel until your next cleaning. This may seem very comprehensive, but we want to ensure the best for your oral health. Cleaning usually take 30-60 minutes. You can expect to have cleanings done before surgeries or procedures, to prepare the mouth.
Are There Other Types of Cleanings?
There are other cleanings that clean the mouth more intensely, if you are having particular issues, or have neglected your oral health. Gross debridement, for example, is very similar to routine cleaning, but takes place when the plaque has hardened as is more difficult to remove. This is usually performed on patients who have not been to the dentist for a long period of time.
Scaling and root planning is the most comprehensive form of cleaning we administer, and it is performed on patients who have serious complications with their oral health. This is often due to gum disease, periodontitis, in which the removal of plaque and tartar prevents the worsening of their condition.
Robert J. Malone DDS wants to accommodate your next cleaning. We offer thorough cleanings to keep your mouth in top condition. Been a while since you visited us? Don’t worry, book an appointment now by calling us at (760) 546-5557 today.