Getting your teeth checked and cleaned by a dentist is an important part of your oral hygiene routine. Besides keeping your gums and teeth healthy, your dentist can also detect problems such as gum disease or cavities, and rectify them before they worsen.
As we eat and drink, food and bacteria may accumulate in our teeth, which eventually becomes dental plaque. Over time, the dental plaque may calcify and harden to form tartar. While regular brushing and flossing may remove some plaque, they cannot remove tartar. It will have to be removed by a dentist via a procedure called scaling.
Scaling involves the use of a specialised instrument to loosen and remove plaque and tartar without damaging your gums and teeth.
Usually done after scaling, polishing removes surface stains while making your teeth smooth and shiny. Your dentist will use another instrument, along with a special paste, to polish your teeth.
Depending on your oral health, you may need to get your teeth cleaned every six months. If you are due for your regular cleaning, send us an enquiry or make an appointment.
This depends on the oral health and lifestyle factors that varies with each individual. As a general guideline, we recommend 6 monthly visits unless informed otherwise by the dentist. Some of the reasons that could require more frequent professional cleaning include:
Smoking, Diabetes, Tea/Coffee/Wine staining, History of gum disease or decay, Bad breath
Yes! Even dentists have to get scaling and polishing done regularly.
There are simply too many hard to access crevices that plaque can accumulate in before we can remove them by brushing and flossing. Once plaque hardens to form tartar, brushing and flossing will be ineffective at removing them and scaling will be required.
However, thorough brushing and cleaning habits will allow us to complete the scaling and polishing treatment in a shorter time.
The ultrasonic scaler that we use produces a high-pitched sound that might sound scary to many, but it actually is a very gentle device. It comprises of a rounded tip that is vibrating at a frequency that dislodges tartar without harming the teeth. It also sprays a cooling mist of water to wash away the plaque and tartar.
If done regularly, scaling and polishing is supposed to have minimum discomfort. Most people find it painless.
Sometimes, stubborn and deep tartar, sore gums or exposed sensitive surfaces of the teeth can result in pain. If it does get unbearable, local anesthetic can be requested. Depending on the situation, we may even recommend that the cleaning be done over several visits.
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