Why Is Teeth Cleaning Important?
Think about it: Every day our mouths are full of sugary, sticky food. Bacteria from that food causes a biofilm called plaque.
If not removed from the teeth, plaque hardens into dental calculus (also called tartar). Calculus builds up between teeth and between your teeth and gums, and can cause gums to become inflamed or infected. This in turn can lead to gum disease, which has been linked to a host of other medical issues, including diabetes, dementia, and heart disease.
Though regular flossing and brushing can get rid of plaque, once it solidifies into calculus, the material is too tough to be scraped off with floss or a toothbrush—that’s where your dental hygienist comes to the rescue. During a professional cleaning, your hygienist first scales your teeth, scraping the calculus off them with a tool. Once your teeth are calculus-free, your hygienist polishes them with a handheld tool and an abrasive paste that removes minor stains and smooths the surface of your teeth so that plaque won’t adhere to them as easily.
Why Would I Need Deep Cleaning?
While most people need regular cleanings, some have so much calculus built up that they need extra care. This additional buildup may be caused by age, hereditary factors, or poor oral hygiene (which includes skipping regular cleanings). If your dentist recommends deep cleaning, it’s very important to follow through, as you likely have the beginnings of gum disease. Deep cleaning will remove calculus from above and below your gum line, and get rid of rough places where bacteria collects.