Teeth Cleaning – Dental Treatment

Introduction – Teeth Cleaning

For healthy teeth and oral cavity, regular care and cleaning of the teeth is a prerequisite. There are various methods of teeth cleaning which are discussed herewith:

Brushing

Careful and frequent brushing with a soft toothbrush helps to prevent build-up of plaque bacteria on the teeth.Electric toothbrushes were developed initially for people with strength or dexterity problems in their hands, but they have come into widespread general use. The electric toothbrushes are more efficacious than conventional manual toothbrushes at reducing plaque formation and gingivitis.

Flossing and interdental cleaning

In addition to brushing, cleaning between teeth is also important to prevent build-up of plaque bacteria. This may be done with dental floss or interdental brushes.

Most of the cavities occur in the grooves, or pits and fissures, of the chewing surfaces of the teeth.

Special appliances or tools are available to supplement toothbrushing and interdental cleaning. These include special toothpicks, oral irrigators, and other devices.

Scrubbing

Teeth can be cleaned by scrubbing with a twig instead of a toothbrush. Plant sap in the twig takes the place of toothpaste. In many parts of the world teeth cleaning twigs are used since ancient times.

Mouthwashes or rinses- they can reduce the build-up of plaque and tartar when used daily.

Professional teeth cleaning

Regularly scheduled teeth cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can help in keeping the teeth and mouth healthy. These are typically performed twice yearly, but can be scheduled more or less often depending upon the oral health and recommendation by dentist.

The dental hygienist or dentist uses specialized instruments to gently remove food debris and plaque deposits without harming the teeth. Various instruments used by the dentist are as follows:

Ultrasonic instrument

An ultrasonic device uses tickling sound vibrations to knock larger pieces of tartar loose. It also sprays a cooling mist of water while it works to wash away the debris. The water keeps the area at a proper temperature. The device typically emits a humming or high pitched whistling sound. This sound may seem louder than it actually is because the sound may get amplified inside the head.The tips of ultrasonic instrument are curved and rounded and are always kept in motion around the teeth. They are not sharp since their purpose is to knock the tartar loose and not to cut into the teeth. It is best to inform the operator if the sensations are too strong or ticklish so that they can adjust the setting of the device appropriately or modify the pressure applied.

With larger deposits that have become hard, it can take some time to remove them.Therefore, the first cleaning may take longer time than future cleanings.

Fine hand tools

After removing large pieces of tartar by power cleaner, the dentist usually switches to finer hand-held tools (called as scalers and curettes) to remove smaller deposits and smoothen the clean tooth surfaces. These tools are curved and shaped to match the contours of the teeth. Smaller tartar deposits can be removed by carefully scraping them off with a gentle to moderate amount of pressure. The dentist makes the affected areas clean and smooth.

Polishing

Polishing of teeth is done after all the surfaces are smooth. Polishing is done using a slow speed hand piece with a soft rubber cup that spins on the end. A special gritty toothpaste-like material (known as prophylaxis paste is scooped up like ice cream into a cup and spun around on the teeth to make them shiny smooth.

Fluoride

Finally the dentist may also apply fluoride. Fluoride comes in many different flavors such as chocolate, mint, strawberry, cherry, watermelon and can be mixed and matched for a great taste sensation.This in-office fluoride treatment is meant for topical use only on the surfaces of the teeth.This solution is not meant to be ingested as swallowing excessive amounts can cause pain in abdomen.

Regularly scheduled teeth cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can help in keeping the teeth and mouth healthy.
Fluoride foam or gel is placed into small, flexible foam trays and placed over the teeth for 30 seconds. Afterwards the patient is directed to spit as much out as possible into a saliva ejector or basin. The fluoride helps to strengthen the teeth surfaces weakened by the acids from bacteria in dental tartar and plaque. The dentist usually advices to not to eat, drink or rinse for 30 minutes after the fluoride has been applied.

Thus, these cleaning techniques are very efficient and important for maintaining oral hygiene as well as healthy smile.

- Link of interest: Twitter Teeth Cleaning – Dental Treatment.

 

This article is not medical advice nor a substitute to professional health advice. Always consult a doctor.

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