Types of dental cleanings:
A routine teeth cleaning is done when the gums and bone structure are healthy. Plaque, stains and tartar are removed from the teeth using small ultrasonic and hand tools. The focus is on the inside of the lower-front teeth and on the outside of the upper-back teeth, where tartar builds up first.
When a heavy build-up of plaque, tartar and dead tissue is on your teeth, you’ll need a debridement. Just like with regular cleanings, ultrasonic tools and hand instruments are used, but extra time and skill are required to remove the dense build-up.
If a pocket of debris around your teeth is too deep for a routine cleaning or debridement, or if your teeth are loose because of bone and tissue loss, your dentist may recommend “scaling and root planing”, or deep cleaning your teeth. This procedure may require a local anesthetic, as it involves removing tartar from above and below the gum line, as well as rough spots on the tooth’s root where germs and bacteria collect.
After any type of cleaning is done, the dentist will apply fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in all water sources, including the oceans. Research has shown that fluoride not only reduces cavities in children and adults, but it also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay, even before the decay is visible. Fluoride is the best cavity fighter to help keep the whole family's teeth strong — no matter their ages.
How Does Fluoride Strengthen Your Teeth?
When it reaches your teeth, fluoride is absorbed into the enamel. It helps to repair the enamel by replenishing the lost calcium and phosphorous to keep your teeth hard. This process is called remineralization. When fluoride is present during remineralization, the minerals deposited into the tooth enamel help strengthen your teeth and prevent demineralization, or the breakdown of tooth enamel.. Thus, fluoride helps stop the decay process and prevent tooth decay.