Regular dental cleanings by Dr. Westmoreland or your dental hygienist are part of a proper oral hygiene program. Cleanings help fight plaque, the major cause of tooth decay, gingivitis, and serious gum disease.
Why do I need regular dental cleanings?
The fight against plaque is a major component of preventative care, and we can be your main ally in this effort. While daily brushing and flossing are your first line of defense against plaque, the professional cleaning from your dentist or a dental hygienist is more thorough than the best you can do at home. Even proper brushing alone can’t remove the tartar that accumulates at the gumline. Good hygiene and regular dental cleanings are cost-effective, too. It costs much more to have teeth repaired and replaced than it does to have regular exams and cleanings.
What happens during a regular dental cleaning?
Usually, an exam and cleaning are scheduled during the same appointment. Your dental hygienist is an expert at giving teeth this thorough regular cleaning known as a prophylaxis or “prophy”. Stubborn plaque and tartar will be removed with specially designed dental tools. Tartar is the plaque that has hardened at and even below the gumline. Our hygienist can clean tartar below the gumline as well in an intensive cleaning called scaling. Often the last step in the cleaning is polishing.
How often do I need cleanings?
Many adults require cleanings every six months. If your mouth is prone to tooth decay, tartar buildup, or gum disease, we will recommend more frequent appointments.