Brushing, flossing and regular dental cleanings keep your teeth strong and healthy. Stonegate Dental offers dental cleanings for kids and adults alike.
As strange as it may sound, teeth are subject to bacteria growth. Bacteria that grows on teeth turns into a thin, colourless film that is called plaque. Everyone will have plaque on their teeth because of food and drinks. Tartar (also known as calculus) is similar to plaque, but is much more visible on teeth and the gum line because it is a mineral build-up with a distinct yellow or brown tone. Bacteria thrive on sugars and carbohydrates that are left on teeth, which produces and acids on the surface of the teeth. If plaque and tartar are not taken care of, they can lead to further oral health problems such as gingivitis (the swelling of the gum line), periodontal (gum) disease or tooth loss. To avoid infection or irritation of the bones and structures supporting your teeth, you need to keep up a good oral hygiene routine at home and schedule two dental cleanings per year.
During a dental cleaning, a dental hygienist will give your teeth the pampering and dental attention they need. Usually a dental hygienist will ask a few questions about how often you are brushing your teeth and flossing to get an idea of what they are working with, and they will ask if there are any oral health problems you may be experiencing.
From here, your hygienist will cleanse your teeth using instruments to remove plaque or tartar. They may also polish and floss your teeth to provide you a thorough dental cleaning. Once your teeth are sparkling, Dr. Wat will examine your teeth, gums and overall mouth structure. The dentist is looking to see if there are any oral health concerns and give you ways to prevent any current problems from developing further. Dr. Wat may recommend a particular treatment or ask for additional X-Rays.
X-Rays and imagery are performed upon an initial oral exam visit, and subsequently every few years after that. Because so much of oral health concerns areas that dentists can’t see with the naked eye, they rely on the use of X-Ray technology to provide the imagery needed to examine and diagnose oral problems. X-Ray machines are advanced and can take a panoramic view of your mouth, including the jaw area. This gives your dentist the best tools to understand the unique teeth shapes and arches in your mouth. At Stonegate Dental, we have X-Ray machines located in our dentist office that provide the best views of the mouth and jaw.
If Dr. Wat or dental hygienist recognizes signs of periodontal disease during your dental cleaning, they may ask you to return for a deep cleaning.
Although a deep cleaning sounds something that you do once a year in your house, it’s actually something you need to do for your teeth as well if you have periodontal disease or at great risk of periodontal disease. A deep cleaning usually happens after a dental cleaning if there are problems that need attention.
During a deep dental cleaning, a dental hygienist will use a probe to check around your teeth—known as dental scaling. The dental hygienist will check for “pocketing” which is an area between the teeth and gum line where bacteria like to grow. Usually, the area between the teeth and the gum line is less than 3mm. If a dental hygienist discovers pockets that are more than 5mm, it is cause for concern. If pockets get any bigger and if periodontal disease progresses, cleaning and maintaining teeth becomes more difficult. As we age, we become more susceptible to periodontal bacteria. Without treatment, teeth lose support, become loose and painful and eventually are lost.
The other part to deep cleaning is dental planing. Dental planing is the process where a dental hygienist will take a scaling instrument and gently scrape off plaque and tartar from the roots of teeth. An ultrasonic vibrating tip is required to loosen the tartar and then flushed away simultaneously with water from the tip.
Sometimes, dental check ups and deep cleanings are not enough to stop periodontal disease or gingivitis. Dr. Wat will examine your dental progress and determine what the next step is. Antibiotics or Antimicrobials (oral rinses) can be recommended by your dentist to help control the growth of bacteria in the mouth and aid the current build up. They will let you know if you need further treatments, such as surgery to help resolve your oral health problems.
To book a Dental Cleaning in our Guelph Dental Office, please don't hesitate! The Stonegate Dental team will help keep your teeth healthy and happy whether you are a child or adult. Please give us a call or fill out a booking form. You may also want to read through some of our news articles to learn how to take the best care of your teeth.