Dental cleanings, or hygiene visits, are an integral part of any good oral health care regimen. Dental cleanings involve the removal of plaque (soft, sticky bacteria-infested film) and tartar (calculus) deposits that have built up on the teeth over time. Your teeth are continually bathed in saliva, which has calcium and other substances that protect teeth, but 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 it causes your body to respond negatively, which 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.
Are You Brushing & Flossing Your Teeth Correctly?
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 tooth cleaning Mechanicsville dentists Dr. Gina McCray and Dr. Kara McCray Demer want you to know.
- 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 two or three 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.
- 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 Professional Teeth Cleaning with St. Mary’s Dental
To schedule professional teeth cleaning in Mechanicsville, contact St. Mary’s Dental. Dr. McCray, Dr. Demer, and their staff a waiting to give you a fresh and healthy smile!