Keeping the mouth free from microbes is the simplest and most crucial thing we can do to stay away from oral conditions. We can maintain optimum oral hygiene at home by brushing and flossing the teeth regularly. However, the microbes tend to get deposited in the hard-to-reach spots on the teeth, such as near the gum line, at the intersection of two teeth, on the occlusal grooves, etc. These microbial deposits, along with the saliva, form plaque. When plaque is allowed to stay on the teeth for a long duration, it forms dark patches called tartar or calculus.
Tartar is the leading cause of cavities and gum diseases. When the microbes in tartar stay deposited on the teeth for a long duration, the toxins released can erode the enamel and decay the underlying tissues. When tartar forms at the gum line, the toxic substances infect the gum tissues by decaying them. When the condition goes untreated for a while, it could lead to gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis.
Tartar is very difficult to remove with regular brushing and flossing. Hence, visiting the dentist at least once every six months to eliminate the tartar deposits is recommended. Dental cleaning is a preventive measure to keep cavities and gum diseases at bay. The two distinct procedures performed during dental cleaning are scaling and root planing.
Scaling:Scaling is the removal of tartar from the teeth using an ultrasonic scaling device. The dentist places the scaling tip on the tartar deposits, and the ultrasonic sound waves create a vibration that helps to dislodge them. It will be combined with a jet of water that helps to wash off the removed debris. The procedure is minimally invasive and doesn’t cause pain.
Root planing: Individuals with deeper gum pockets tend to have tartar deposits on the tooth roots as well. This is due to the accumulation of microbes and food residues in the gum pockets. Tartar adhered to the tooth roots is the main cause of gum diseases. Hence, a hook-like scaling tip will be inserted between the gums and tooth roots to scrape the tartar. Since the procedure could be painful, we will administer anesthesia before starting the treatment.
Brushing and flossing the teeth regularly removes most microbes from the mouth. Fluoride is an essential mineral that improves the teeth’ resistance to cavities. Choose a fluoride-rich toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the teeth effectively and keep them strong. Flossing is often ignored, which isn’t a good practice. It is recommended to floss every day to eliminate the food residues and tartar deposits from the intersection of the teeth.
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