In a professional routine cleaning our dental hygienist will:
- Remove plaque from the teeth — Plaque is a sticky substance that forms in the mouth from food, saliva and bacteria. Plaque sticks to teeth and causes tooth decay and gum disease.
- Remove calculus (tarter) above the gum line — Calculus is plaque that has hardened on the tooth surface and is difficult to remove. (Calculus below the gum line indicates gum disease and requires a different procedure to remove it.)
- Polish and remove stains from teeth.
- Measure the pocket depth of your gums – This is the crevice around a tooth, measured in millimeters. A healthy depth is between 1-3 mm.
- Check lymph nodes – If the lymph nodes along the lower jaw, behind the ears or on the sides of the neck are swollen, it can be sign of inflammation.
- Evaluate cavity risks and signs of decay.
- Take X-rays –X-rays are used to show decay between teeth, bone loss associated with gum disease, decay under fillings, infections at the root, and to examine an area before any procedures such as braces, implants, or tooth removal.
Typically, you should visit your dentist for a routine cleaning every six months to help maintain a healthy mouth.