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Even if you just drop by for a check up, your dentist is likely to want to do professional clean. But why? If you brush and floss twice a day, why do you need it? In a nutshell, there’s simply things that can’t be done with a consumer-grade toothbrush and some minty dental floss. A professional clean is actually two procedures technically referred to as tooth polishing, and scaling and root planning. It’s goal is to remove accumulated dental plaque and tartar. Read on to find out more.
How does a professional clean work?
Think of it like a spring clean. You might vacuum the carpets and mop the kitchen every week, but that doesn’t get 100 per cent of the dirt and grime that’s accumulated in seven days. It’s only when you do that regular deep clean – pulling out the refrigerator, scrubbing out the grouting, flushing the sinks with drain cleaner – that you get it all.
A professional teeth cleaning works the same way. Care Family Dental Toorak dentist says, getting in the dentist’s chair gives the technician the opportunity to remove as much plaque and tartar as possible. The first procedure will be scaling and root planing – this reaches down into the gaps between teeth, removing dug-in plaque and tartar from those spaces that even a thorough flossing can’t get to. This involves the use of periodontal scalers and curettes – two pointed instruments that require careful use so as not to cause trauma to the gingiva (the gums).
Afterwards, the technician will perform a tooth polishing, removing dental plaque from the flat exposed surfaces of the teeth. This involves the use of a device similar in appearance to an electric toothbrush, referred to as a prophy cup – a rubber cup mounted on a rotating head. This is smeared with an abrasive paste called prophylactic paste that provides a more thorough clean to the surface than consumer-grade toothpaste. The grit of the paste used will depended on the amount of plaque on your teeth.
What are the benefits?
The two biggest benefits to a professional clean are a brighter, whiter smile now that the discolouration from the plaque is gone, and enhanced protection against gum disease and tooth decay. Plaque is a major cause of mouth disease, so physically removing it helps stop it before it starts.