Teeth cleaning and dental hygiene visits are an integral part of any good oral health care regimen. At St. Mary’s Dental a dental cleaning involves the removal of plaque (soft, sticky bacteria-infested film) and tartar (also known as calculus) deposits that have built up on the teeth over time.
Dental Hygiene Plaque Removal
Your teeth are continually bathed in saliva, which has calcium and other substances that protect teeth; but it also allows deposits to accumulate on teeth.
This chalky material builds up over time like lime scale in a tea kettle. Usually, it is tooth-colored. Yet, over time the color will turn from brown to black. If this calculus is allowed to remain on your teeth, it causes your body to respond negatively. This eats away the gum and bone support around your teeth—leading to periodontal (or gum) disease.
The purpose of your dental cleanings is to clean and smooth the tooth surfaces so the bacteria are not able to stick to them. A professional cleaning by your dentist or hygienist is called a prophy. Prophylaxis comes from a Greek word, prophylaktikós, which means “to prevent beforehand”—in this case, to prevent gum disease and cavities.
Teeth Cleaning at Home
While the professional dental cleaning Mechanicsville residents need for healthy smiles is always available at St. Mary’s Dental, there’s another important component to your oral hygiene: you. Brushing your teeth twice every day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing your teeth once a day is critical to your overall oral health and the appearance of your smile.
The question is, are you brushing and flossing correctly? To make sure that you are, here are some tips for at-home dental cleaning and oral health care:
Proper Teeth Brushing
- Brush with a soft bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. A hard bristle toothbrush can scratch the enamel on your teeth and harm your gum tissue.
- Use just a little toothpaste. Advertisements usually show a toothbrush spread tip to tip with toothpaste. Actually, you only need a pea-sized amount to do a good job. In fact, too much toothpaste is likely to shorten the time you spend brushing.
- Take your time. A good brushing should last at least 2–3 minutes. So, hum a happy tune, listen to a news segment, do some lunges and squats—whatever helps you spend enough time brushing your teeth.
Dental Flossing Techniques
- Flossing is mandatory, not optional. Brushing is great for removing plaque from the facial, lingual and chewing surfaces of your teeth. However, it does practically nothing to remove plaque from between your teeth. For that you need to floss.
- Don’t be stingy with floss. Tear off about an 18-inch piece of floss, so you can advance the floss as you move from one pair of teeth to the next.
- Floss gently, but thoroughly. Move the floss up and down and back and forth between your teeth. Make sure you floss all the way down to the gum line, but don’t press too hard.
Schedule Your Dental Hygiene Visit Today
To schedule professional teeth cleaning in Mechanicsville, contact St. Mary’s Dental. Dr. McCray, Dr. Demer, and their staff are waiting to give you a fresh and healthy smile! We also serve Leonardtown and Waldorf MD.