Professional Teeth Cleaning — The First Step Toward Great Dental Health

A sobering statistic: Only 64% of US adults aged 18-64 have visited the dentist within the past year. While brushing twice a day and flossing once a day prevent plaque from building up on your teeth, they still can’t stop all of it from condensing and hardening into a thick plaque called tartar. 

Plaque and tartar are damaging to your teeth. Plaque is a viscous film that forms on your teeth from leftover sugars and starches in foods that you’ve eaten. Plaque contains bacteria that secrete acids onto your teeth, which leads to tooth decay and gingivitis (gum disease).

If plaque is left too long on your teeth it hardens into tartar, which poses an even larger threat to your dental health. Tartar grows in the area right above and right below your gumline. It’s rough and porous in texture and can cause receding gums and gum disease. 

Most of us have plaque and tartar buildup on our teeth; that’s why it’s important to have dental appointments every six months. Tartar is so strong that it can only be removed during a professional dental cleaning

At the office of Nataly Vilderman, DDS, in San Francisco, we’re here to cover all of your dental care needs, from the general and preventive to the cosmetic and reconstructive. So, we’ve compiled this helpful guide on why dental cleanings are the first step in maintaining a healthy smile. 

What to expect from your professional cleaning

A professional dental cleaning is composed of two parts. First, we do a checkup or examination of your teeth. To check for cavities, we take X-rays so we can spot any disparities in the structure of your teeth.

We then continue the exam by checking your teeth for any plaque or tartar buildup. We also check your gums for gingivitis by using a tool to measure how deep the spaces between your teeth and your gums are. When you have healthy gums these spaces are fairly shallow, but if you have gingivitis these pockets are often much deeper. 

The second part of your professional cleaning involves a cleaning, or oral prophylaxis. We’ll start the cleaning with a scaling, where we use special tools to remove the hardened tartar from your teeth. 

Then we usually polish your teeth with a spinning brush and a gritty paste. After the polishing, we floss your teeth, to make sure that the areas in between your teeth are free of plaque and leftover food. 

To learn more about professional teeth cleanings and to schedule your appointment at Nataly Vilderman, DDS, call 415-665-7800, or book an appointment online.

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