What is Cleanings?

This is also called Dental Cleaning. This is recommended for all patients to improve their oral health and patients are advised to visit their dentists at least twice a year.

The dentist or dental hygienist usually performs a dental cleaning every six months. This actually reinforces the personal care that a patient performs like following the oral health regimen that includes brushing and flossing. The dentist during the dental cleaning will give special attention to areas in the mouth that are usually neglected.

What Happens During a Dental Cleaning

During the Dental Cleaning sessions, the dentist will provide diagnostic and preventive services for the patients and also educational sessions with respect to the oral cavity.

Some of the Diagnostic Services provided by the dentist during dental cleanings will include:

  • Review the patient’s medical history and check for any heart issues, pregnancy, diabetes and also the medications used, which can affect the patient’s oral health.
  • Screening and examination of the oral cavity for signs of oral cancer.
  • Patient’s gum tissue will be examined.
  • Biting, Chewing and swallowing patterns are checked and examined.
  • Teeth will be examined or in some cases, X-rayed to detect any decay.
  • If the patient requires specific treatment, dentist will recommend specialists.

Some of the Preventive Services provided by dentists during Dental Cleanings are:

  • Dentist will remove plaque and tartar that are present in the patient’s teeth.
  • Removal of the stains found in patient’s teeth.
  • Application of fluoride for more strength of the teeth.
  • Provide sealants for children.
  • Polishing of the teeth, that also includes dental filling and dental crown placements.
  • Dentures and partial dentures will be cleaned and adjusted.

Some of the Educational Services provided by the dentist during dental cleanings are:

  • Instructions on brushing of teeth and flossing.
  • Counseling in the right nutrition.
  • Dentist might recommend any future treatment that might be required, the time for any follow-up appointments for hygiene treatments, periodontal or gum issues and any options for restorative purposes.
  • To evaluate the self-care effectiveness.
  • Counseling to stop bad habits like smoking or other tobacco uses.

Need For Dental Cleanings

The dental cleanings are usually recommended for the following:

  • Prevent Cavities:
    Plaque is a major cause of tooth decay and it can also eat away the teeth enamel and lead to cavities. Regular cleanings can help detect plaque and prevent cavities.
  • Eradicate Loss of Teeth:
    Most adults lose their teeth due to gum diseases that are in turn caused by the plaque that is built up. Regular dental cleanings can prevent teeth loss by eradicating plaque.
  • Provide a Good Smile:
    Dental cleanings can help remove the stains caused by drinking beverages like tea, coffee, wine and aerated drinks. It will also give a brighter smile.
  • Give a Fresh Breath:
    By maintaining good oral hygiene, the patient can get rid of persistent bad breath that might not go even with regular brushing or flossing.
  • Boosting of Overall health:
    Studies have shown by keeping good oral health, the patient can lower the risk of diseases like heart diseases and stroke. A dentist can detect most of the medical conditions early during an oral exam.
  • Be Economical:
    If these dental cleanings are periodically done with your dentist, the patient can save money on the long run by protecting his/her oral health and avoiding costly procedures in the future.

Authored By Dr Sanjay N - Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopaedics, Bangalore

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