Dental cleanings begin with the removal of bacteria, plaque, and tartar that brushing and flossing have missed. Special instruments are used to reach between and around the teeth that brushing alone cannot reach. Polishing instruments are then used to remove superficial stains and help teeth look their best. As the hygienist cleans the teeth and gums, they will take a visual examination of the teeth and gums to look for any obvious problems and provide helpful guidance for improvement. Once the cleaning is complete, dental X-rays may be taken, and the dentist will perform a checkup to look for signs of tooth decay and screen for oral cancer.
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the U.S. Professional dental cleanings reduce the risk of gum disease by making sure teeth and gums are completely clean and free of tartar and plaque with a thorough cleaning. Routine cleanings every six months also help to remove stains and discoloration on the teeth to help them look clean and maintained. Most routine cleanings take about a half hour to perform.
To help prevent a buildup of plaque and tartar, and to maintain optimal gum and tooth health, it is recommended that most patients have their teeth professionally cleaned every six months. Patients who have mild to moderate gum disease might need to have professional cleanings performed more often. Twice-yearly cleanings are also important to enable the hygienist to look for early signs of gum disease that is already occurring, so treatment can be provided and keep the disease from progressing.
We encourage you to call our dental office for more information about general and family dentistry in San Francisco, California, and to schedule an appointment or consultation with our experienced dentist. Our friendly dental team is always ready and willing to assist you with any questions you may have. We look forward to caring for all of your dental needs.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!