Cleanings in Rockville, MD

Healthy smiles are vital to our well-being; for one thing, they help track our general health.

For example, one of the first signs of diabetes is bleeding gums and bone loss. Blood samples taken by Dr. Elizabeth or Thomas Gladnick can help determine if the patient is diabetic or prediabetic. Another example: misaligned teeth can result in jaw pain or headaches; by aligning the teeth, we can relieve our patient’s headaches and help stop enamel erosion and cavities.

At Gladnick Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Rockville, MD, we help our patients and their families succeed by giving them the foundation they need for strong, vital, healthy teeth.

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.

E 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 altogether 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. One of the best feelings in the world is squeaky clean and polished teeth! 

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.

But feel free to come by and say hi anytime you want! We offer many different dental procedures that do more than keep your mouth clean and fresh.

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 dental cleaning today.

For patients who have healthy teeth and gums and have never had tooth decay or gum disease, 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 frequently than that. As we age, the importance of keeping on top of things increases exponentially. It’s easier (and more cost-effective) to nip things in the bud before they become dental procedures or oral surgery.

At your appointment for your dental exam, your dentist will recommend the appropriate cleaning interval period based on your individual needs. But no matter how long it has been since your last cleaning, we are always happy to see you!

If you notice bleeding, swelling, or pain in between your dental cleanings, give us a call immediately! Bleeding can be an indicator of gum disease or other health issues, while dental pain is never a good sign. Oral pain doesn't go away on its own like a migraine or muscle cramp—it's of a symptom a prevailing problem that will only get worse. While there are some body aches and pains that are completely fine with being ignored, we always recommend giving your Rockville dental team a call when you start noticing tooth, jaw, or joint pain. If we catch the problem while it's still small, we can avoid ongoing pain, cost, and more. 

What to Expect during Your Dental Cleaning?

During your dental checkup and exam, your dental hygienist—Kelly, Dolores, or Beth—will go over your oral and general history that we have on file in your patient records. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, dental implants, dental crowns or bridges, or any other past dental procedure, we will be able to follow up on your oral treatment. Any changes will be noted and brought up with your Rockville dentist.

At Gladnick Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, each dental cleaning will include digital x-rays to view your jaw bone, gum, and teeth health. If you are pregnant or have a condition that does not allow you to have x-rays taken, please let our dental team know so we can put it in your medical notes. X-rays are an excellent diagnostic tool that helps us make a comprehensive dental examination. During your Rockville dental exam, we screen for oral cancer and signs for serious health illnesses, including diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and arthritis. We also check for signs of tooth decay, gum infection, and any changes to your gums.

If you feel uncomfortable or anxious, we can administer local anesthesia to help relieve any discomfort. Let us know if you require any sedation dentistry so we can go over your options. We want our patients to enjoy coming to our dental office and maintaining excellent oral health.

This is an excellent time for your hygienist to go over proper techniques for good oral hygiene for you or anyone in your family, including brushing and flossing. Shopping for a new dentist can be taxing, which is why most patients prefer to be treated by the same dentist over the years. It’s easier to go over concerns, health risks, and honest assessments when you recognize and trust your health care advocate. Building a professional rapport also inspires patients to keep their appointments regularly, which means a healthier smile for longer!

Give Us a Call and Schedule Your Dental Cleaning Today

If it’s been two weeks or two years since your last dental cleaning, give us a call either way.

We are here to help guide you through your oral health, not scold you. We know how life gets in the way, what matters is right now, the only time we can really do anything. If you’re experiencing bleeding or pain, call us immediately. If you can’t remember the last time you’ve been by, call us!