No matter how careful your parents were with constantly reminding you of the importance of good dental hygiene habits, and no matter how well you were able to follow their advice even to your adulthood, your teeth are still unlikely to be in 100% excellent shape. Brushing and flossing can only do so much, even if you do them religiously — there will always be areas inside your mouth that you will be unable to reach, and these invite bacteria to grow and proliferate.
A mouthful of bacteria
You’ve probably already heard of plaque, which is a type of bio-film that produces acid which can be harmful to the gums and teeth if they remain inside your mouth.
If plaque is not removed properly from your teeth, tartar can begin to form. The colonies of bacteria will then calcify and mineralize into a hard substance, all the while attracting even more bacteria to reside in your mouth.
These same bacteria, in an advanced state, can cause gingivitis or gum disease. It causes the gums to redden, swell and become inflamed due to infection. You can tell that you have this gum disease if there is blood on your toothbrush, or when you rinse after brushing.
If things have gotten more severe, periodontal disease may be the result. This type of bacterial infection attacks your teeth’s very foundation — the bone which keeps your teeth attached to your jaw. The loss of bone will cause your teeth to become loose and eventually fall out.
How professional teeth cleaning can help
Observing a healthy and balanced diet, continuing with regular brushing and flossing, cleaning your tongue with a scraper, and using alcohol-free tonics that kill bacteria can all help to keep your mouth healthy, but it is highly recommended to get expert help as well. Your NY dentist will recommend submitting to professional teeth cleaning once every six months, or more frequently if your specific dental condition requires it.
Here are different types of teeth cleaning services your dentist can perform:
Prophylaxis. This process removes built-up plaque that cannot be addressed by brushing. The teeth will also be polished during this cleaning process. It is ideal for people with no sign of periodontal disease, no gum pockets (spaces between teeth and gum tissue) over 3mm, and no bleeding.
Full mouth debridement. This type of cleaning is done when teeth have not undergone professional cleaning for more than a year. It is recommended for people with signs of tartar buildup in teeth.
Gingival bacterial reduction. This cleaning process is combined with prophylaxis and makes use of laser light to eliminate bacteria in infected gum pockets. It is prescribed to people with gingivitis, who exhibit red and bleeding gums.
Site-specific laser therapy. Laser light is used to attack bacterial colonies in individual infected gum pockets, to prevent the bacteria from further infecting gums and bones that hold the teeth in place. This is ideal for those with slight to severe periodontal disease.
Periodontal maintenance. People who have been treated for the disease will need to undergo this specialized cleaning every eight, 10 or 12 weeks.