Brushing vs. Dentist Cleaning: Dental Cleaning

It may have been a while since you last had a teeth cleaning by your dentist. You are considering whether or not it’s time to go back for another dental cleaning. But you know that a cleaning always comes with X-rays, exam and who knows what other surprises. Could you actually be cleaning your teeth well enough where you don’t require a professional dental cleaning? Or is there some things your dentist can do for you that you just can’t do on your own?

Pros of Getting a Dentist Cleaning

1. Only the dentist can remove tartar and calculus from your teeth surfaces. To understand the importance of this you must understand how gum disease works.

  • Food particles accumulate underneath your gums and form a buildup called plaque. Plaque is soft and contains harmful bacteria.
  • If plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing, it will harden and calcify after several days and forms what is known as tartar or calculus.
  • Tartar or calculus remain on teeth surfaces and gather harmful bacteria which produce acids that destroys the gums and supporting bone.

So accumulation of tartar and calculus is what leads to gum disease. Unfortunately, once tartar and calculus build up you can not remove them by yourself any longer. No amount of flossing or brushing can exert enough force to dislodge the tartar and calculus from your teeth. Only a dentist or hygienist who is equipped with the proper tools can remove tartar and calculus to stop the progression of your gum disease and get your gum health back under control.

2. Simple cleanings are easy and affordable. If you present to your dentist in good shape you should only require a simple cleaning. These are the conditions for which you should only require a simple cleaning.

  • Healthy gums that don’t bleed
  • No tartar or calculus buildup as viewed visually or on the X-rays
  • No substantial bone loss as measured by probing/ examining your gums or visible on the X-rays

A simple cleaning, also known as a prophy, will most likely be completed within one session usually the same time as your checkup appointment. You should be in and out in no time and with little to no pain. On the other hand, postponing your cleanings can lead up to the buildup of tartar and calculus. If you present to your dentist with tartar buildup, bleeding gums or bone loss then you should expect that you will require a deep cleaning. Deep cleanings are not fun, they usually require multiple visits, cost a lot and can hurt a good deal as well. You would be wise to try and avoid deep cleanings by regularly getting your cleanings on a timely fashion!

3. Once you lose your supporting bone tissue it can not be regenerated. In other words once your teeth get loose you can’t just tighten them back up. The bone tissue surrounding your teeth is what holds and supports your teeth in the mouth. This supporting bone is the equivalent of the foundation which is required to support a house and keep it in place. If you lose this bone tissue your teeth will become loose and you are risk losing them. And there is really no way of growing this bone back once you have lost it. So if you have active gum disease and are neglecting your cleaning appointments, realize that you are continually losing this precious supporting bone and may be risking losing your teeth.

NEXT >> Cleaning Your Teeth Yourself

Brushing vs. Dentist Cleaning: How to Decide