Scale and Clean
One of the most commonly performed and most important procedures carried out by your dentist is the humble 'scale and clean'.
Most people don't really know why it is done, other than it makes their teeth very clean. We highly recommend that a scale and clean is performed by your dentist on a regular basis - it is very different to the cleaning that you do at home.
A scale and clean will remove some of the nasties that accumulate on your teeth that you just can't remove with regular brushing:
Plaque is a soft, sticky substance that is made up of various bacteria, bacterial by-products and other microbial substances. Although plaque can be removed with regular and correct brushing and flossing, if left undisturbed, plaque can release toxins and acid which causes tooth decay. With so many places in your mouth for plaque to hide, it is very hard to do a completely perfect job of daily removal with your regular brushing and flossing, so having a scale and clean will ensure that nothing gets missed.
Tartar is a hard build-up which can't be removed with brushing and flossing. Tartar is basically hardened plaque - if even a small amount of plaque is left on your teeth, eventually the minerals in your saliva will react with the plaque, causing it to become calcified (hardened). Unfortunately, once tartar has built up, it can only be removed by your dentist. This is the ‘scale’ part of a scale and clean. Tartar is very rough and porous, and the perfect place for more plaque to accumulate, so leaving tartar on your teeth causes the same problems as plaque does.
Staining is by and large a cosmetic concern rather than a health issue. Things like tea, coffee, red wine and cigarette smoke can all cause staining to your teeth. Whilst whitening toothpastes can help to reduce the amount of staining you have, only a professional scale and clean will really make your smile sparkle.
How often you need a scale and clean depends on how thoroughly you brush and floss each day, how quickly you accumulate tartar, which is a very individual thing, and how often you partake in stain-producing foods and beverages, and of course, if you are a smoker.
At darling Dental, we like to get to know you, and can tailor the frequency of these cleans to suit your individual needs.