We usually hear how important it is to maintain proper oral hygiene. We hear it since we are in school and the dentist repeats it in the dreaded visits to his office. It is not for less: caries is the most common disorder after headache. In addition, proper dental cleaning can help prevent the appearance of feared yellow teeth or gum disease, such as gingivitis.
But maintaining a good oral cleaning is not limited to brushing but requires frequent visits to a specialist to perform a professional dental cleaning. In this guide we explain how these routine treatments are performed, their price, their benefits and the aspects that must be taken into account when carrying them out, even during pregnancy.
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What is a dental cleaning?
Professional dental cleaning or dental prophylaxis consists in removing from the gums, tooth surface and interdental spaces those accumulations of bacterial plaque (tartar) that are not removed during daily oral hygiene. It is not a substitute for daily brushing, but a complementary treatment, which should be done once or twice a year.
Generally, it involves a brief preliminary analysis of oral conditions and ends with a polishing and fluoridation process that provides more shine and resistance to the surface of the teeth.
Types of dental cleaning
Until a few decades ago, dentists only had the traditional stainless-steel instruments to scrape the tartar. However, technical advances have allowed the emergence of other procedures. Today we can distinguish three types of dental cleanings.
1.- Manual dental cleaning
It is the traditional and still the most frequent.
2.- Ultrasonic dental cleaning
Gradually this technique, which consists of releasing the tartar attached to the teeth and gums with ultrasound, gains ground in the clinics. It requires less professional expertise and allows you to shorten the cleaning session.
3.- Dental cleaning with laser
It is a treatment focused almost exclusively to attack the deepest bacterial accumulations and is not part of routine periodic cleaning. Since, despite its effectiveness, its greater aggressiveness requires the use of anaesthesia and implies a greater number of visits to the dentist.
Dental cleaning price
The price of a professional dental cleaning session varies depending on the procedure to which the client wishes to undergo. Manual dental cleaning is significantly cheaper than ultrasound. The latter achieves better results, but requires more expensive technology that increases the cost of the sessions. The average price per treatment ranges around 70 dollars. However, it is possible to access numerous clinics that offer these procedures at lower prices.
Dental diseases: tartar, tooth decay and gingivitis
The mouth is the gateway to the interior of our body. In it an ecosystem of innocuous bacteria coexists almost all the time. But, sometimes, these bacteria accumulate generating tartar, which causes various pathologies in the teeth and gums. We see it step by step:
Tartar: bacteria inside the mouth transform carbohydrates (sugar mainly) into acid. The mixture of these with the saliva and the remains of food give rise to the bacterial plaque. If not removed immediately causes tartar.
Caries: the acids in the bacteria that make up tartar damage tooth enamel and gradually produce holes in its surface. These small holes are commonly known as caries. They are painless in their early stages, but, since the acid does not stop drilling the tooth, they become extremely annoying when they reach the nerve. If left untreated in time they can lead to a dental abscess that involves the destruction of the inside of the tooth.
Gingivitis: tartar or accumulated bacterial plaque also irritates the gums by inflaming them. This disorder, called gingivitis, causes them to bleed easily and generates bad breath. Although it may not seem important at first, it can lead to chronic diseases that culminate with tooth decay.
Dental health and oral hygiene
The plaque bacteria begin to accumulate 20 minutes after each meal. As topical as it may be, the best preventive habits involve reducing the intake of highly sugary foods, such as sweets, and properly cleaning the teeth immediately after each meal.
But what is this correct cleaning? It includes four steps:
1.- Brushing. It should be done from the root of the tooth to its end – from top to bottom in the upper arch and from the bottom to the bottom – in front of a mirror to ensure there are no spaces left without rubbing. It is convenient to use a fluoridated paste.
2.- Mouthwash. Rinse liquids reach the most inaccessible parts of the mouth. It is a good complement, but never a substitute for brushing.
3.- Dental floss. Finally, flossing removes traces of food that last between the teeth.
4.- Interproximal brush. It is an accessory for those who have too separated teeth, since it allows you to brush these holes correctly.
Child oral hygiene
It can be believed that the expiration of milk teeth tolerates a greater neglect of oral hygiene during childhood. On the contrary, monitoring the good health of teeth and gums at this time is crucial to avoid malformations and defects in the final teeth. In addition, parents must control the diet of the little ones and avoid harmful habits, such as soaking the bottle in sugar or sweet substances to make it palatable.
Dental cleaning and pregnancy
During pregnancy it is normal for some oral problems to get worse. On the one hand, in the gestation period it is easy to fall into an abuse of products with high sugar and forget the habit of brushing the teeth correctly after ingesting them. On the other, hormonal change increases inflammatory processes, including gingivitis.
Gum cleaning: curettage
Sometimes it becomes essential to clean more deeply than usual, in order to eradicate bacteria installed deeper in the gums. In these cases, a treatment called oral curettage is used, which is performed under local anaesthesia and lasts for several sessions.
Cleaning and teeth whitening
Dental cleaning removes some superficial stains of the teeth, but is not equivalent to a whitening process. Cleaning pursues a sanitary objective, the elimination of bacterial plaque installed inside the mouth, but, unlike whitening, does not restore the original colour of the tooth when it has been lost.
However, those who want at one stroke that their teeth are healthier and also brighter, can find clinics that offer both treatments together.
Aesthetik is one of the most suitable options in terms of quality service, cost efficiency and professionalism. Contact us today for more information.