A professional teeth cleaning will remove any plaque and calculus that has clung to your teeth, leaving you with a healthier smile. Regular teeth cleanings are essential to healthy gums because they allow your dentist to remove any hard-to-reach deposits, preventing the development of periodontal disease.

What is Calculus?

Calculus, or tartar, is a hardened, calcified form of plaque that is difficult to remove when brushing or flossing. Calculus adheres to your teeth, building up beneath your gums. With professional teeth cleaning, Dr. Foote or one of our licensed dental hygienists will remove calculus and hard to reach plaque, preventing the development of gum disease.

Why Do I Need a Professional Teeth Cleaning?

Even if you brush and floss your teeth often, plaque still can stick to your teeth, harden into calculus and lead to gum disease or tooth loss. This is why it’s important to see a dentist on a regular basis to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Professional teeth cleaning can:

  • Treat and prevent gum disease – Gingivitis can lead to periodontitis. By making an appointment for a teeth cleaning, Dr. Foote will perform an examination, remove tartar and decay, and provide you with recommendations for preventing bacterial plaque from adhering to the teeth.
  • Prevent tooth loss – Plaque and calculus buildup can cause tooth infection, an abscessed tooth, severe tooth decay, or pain and discomfort. Regular teeth cleanings remove tooth decay, preventing cavities, infection and other conditions that lead to tooth loss.
  • Prevent disease in other parts of the body – Your doctor may recommend regular teeth cleanings if you are older or have had a disease or other complications in other parts of the body. For example, gum disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and premature or low birth-weight babies, so if you’ve had heart surgery, cardiac problems, or a baby born prematurely, professional teeth cleanings could help protect your overall health.

Teeth Cleaning Procedure: What to Expect

Make an appointment with Dr. Foote to schedule your professional teeth cleaning. This procedure usually involves the following steps:

  1. Dental Exam – Dr. Foote will examine your teeth and gums for any signs of gingivitis, cavities or other issues.
  2. Removal of plaque or tartar – Using special instruments, the hygienist will remove any tartar or plaque that has developed on your teeth. They will check under the gums and around any crowns, fillings or dental bridges. He will also be able to show you where tartar likes to build up, allowing you to pay extra attention to those spaces when brushing or flossing. 
  3. High-powered brushing – After all tartar and plaque have been removed, they will apply a strong, grainy toothpaste to your teeth and clean them using a high-powered toothbrush. This process will polish your teeth, leaving you with a clean and healthy smile. 
  4. Flossing by a professional – Once your teeth have been polished, they will floss your teeth, paying particular attention to the space below the gums and other hard-to-reach areas. 
  5. Other treatment – They will also determine whether you are a candidate for extra treatment, such as irrigation below the gum line with antimicrobial solutions or application of fluoride in order to prevent tooth decay or sensitivity.  

While this procedure will leave you with a healthier smile, it is not designed to whiten your teeth. We also offer professional teeth whitening if you’re wanting to brighten your smile.