The procedure known as dental cleaning means the removal of plaque and tartar. The former is a sticky, bacteria infested layer that covers the enamel while the latter is an accumulation of food deposits that build up around your teeth with time. While your teeth are constantly supplied with saliva, a substance that contains calcium and a variety of other compounds that protect and strengthen your teeth, it’s also the reason for calcium build-up around them. The chalk-like formation usually has a teeth-like color; therefore, it often gets confused with an actual part of the tooth. However, it can also have a rather unappealing brownish or entirely black shade.
What are dental cleanings ("scale & polish") and why have them?
If overlooked or ignored, calculus (or tartar, as dentists usually address it) can create a fertile environment for the accumulation of bacteria which, in turn, can lead to undesirable gum conditions. The aim of dental cleaning and polishing is to make the tooth surface so smooth, that it becomes borderline bacteria-proof, as the no substances are able to stick to it. This will make the task of keeping your teeth clean with traditional oral hygiene much simpler.
Apart from practical advantages, dental cleaning will also make your teeth feeling pleasantly smooth which will be noticeable whenever you’ll run across them with your tongue. You can also think of it this way – there’s hardly a more awkward situation imaginable then your significant other finding food leftovers during a romantic kiss.
Dental cleaning is often categorized as a prophylactic procedure, which, translating the term from its Greek original stands for “to prevent beforehand”. In the case of professional dental cleaning, it’s a great way to take care of potential gum diseases before they even have occurred.
Dr. Sandris Bajars
General Dentistry, Endodontics, Orthodontics
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