Why do I need a dental cleaning?
No matter how obsessive, meticulous, and patient we are with our oral hygiene, the vast majority of us are powerless against the accumulation of calculus on our teeth.
Calculus, popularly known as tartar, is primarily comprised of calcium and phosphate and tenaciously adheres to the surfaces of our teeth. The most common areas where we find calculus are where our salivary ducts empty into our mouths, such as behind the lower front teeth.
Just like no two individuals are alike, no two mouths are alike. This means that patients form calculus at different rates. This is dependent on how much saliva we produce and the mineral content of that saliva, but research has suggested that diet and tobacco use may also play a role.
In addition to affecting the amount of calculus in our mouths, the foods we eat can also contribute to the color of the calculus. While calculus most commonly appears as a chalky white substance, it is much more easily stained than enamel and is very susceptible to discoloration by dark food and drink such as tea or coffee. Calculus can be tan, yellow, brown, or even black, which can make an otherwise healthy mouth appear unhealthy.
Unlike dental plaque (food particles and bacteria that collect on our teeth), no amount of brushing or flossing will completely remove calculus, so we need regular professional cleanings to clean the areas that we just can’t.
What is a dental cleaning?
Our hygienists are the best. Kelly, Dolores, and Beth are masters of their craft and will give you a comfortable and spotless cleaning. Every single surface of every single tooth in your mouth will be polished, and you will notice a refreshing difference.
In addition to removing all of the plaque and calculus from your teeth, our hygienists will share with you invaluable oral hygiene tips that will empower you to take care of your mouth in between visits. With the extra knowledge and ability to take care of your mouth, you may find that you see a lot less of us.
We’ll miss you!
How do I get a cleaning?
If you are a regular patient who has been with us for years, chances are you already have one scheduled, and we will make sure to let you know when you’re appointment is coming up. If you are new to the area, new to our practice, or just haven’t seen us in a while, call 301-963-0800 to schedule a cleaning today.
For most patients, we recommend cleanings every six months. But depending on the health of your teeth and your gums, and how quickly you accumulate calculus, you may need cleanings more or less frequently than that. At your appointment for your dental exam, your dentist will recommend for you the appropriate cleaning interval period based on your individual needs. But no matter how long it has been since your last cleaning, we will be happy to see you!