Cleaning and Prevention
A cleaning or prophylaxis should be done every 6 months or more frequent as determined by you dental hygienist. At your cleaning appointment the hygienist will clean plaque and tartar that has accumulated above the gum line and slightly below the gum line. This is accomplished by using an ultrasonic scale and hand scaling instruments. The hygienist will also polish your teeth to help remove surface stains with a slow speed hand piece and special paste. The hygienist will also assess the need for fluoride treatments and sealants. Proper home care should be practice daily which includes: brushing at least 2 times each day for 2 minutes each time with a SOFT bristle toothbrush, flossing daily, and using a mouthwash that protects against gingivitis. If you go for a period of time with inadequate home care and without professional cleanings you may put yourself at risk for gingivitis, or worse, gum disease, also referred to as periodontal disease. In the next section periodontal disease and periodontal therapy is discussed.