Routine dental cleanings (prophylaxis) are performed by Registered Dental Hygienists. The recommended interval between cleaning appointment visits will vary between patients based on individual needs and diagnosis, not necessarily the six months that seems to be the assumed prescribed time frame. During your routine dental cleaning, your hygienist will:
- Remove any calculus or tartar that has accumulated on your teeth using a combination of hand instruments and an ultrasonic cleaner. Calculus is plaque that has not been entirely removed from the teeth and has hardened and attached to the surface of the tooth, sometimes below the gum line.
- Take pictures of your teeth and mouth using the intra-oral camera.
- Remove the plaque from your teeth. Plaque is the sticky ‘film’ found on your teeth that is full of bacteria and possibly food debris. The toxins that are produced by the bacteria will cause inflammation of the gums and, if not removed, it will lead to periodontal disease.
- Polish your teeth after calculus and plaque are removed to remove any stain that you cannot remove with home care and routine brushing.