The professional cleaning of teeth is sometimes referred to as ‘Prophylaxis’ (or prophy for short). Which means “to prevent beforehand” – in this case, it helps prevent gum disease. Most people refer to the procedure as a “Scale & Polish.”
Dental cleanings involve removing plaque (a soft, sticky layer of bacteria, food & saliva) and hard tartar (calculus) deposits that have built up on the teeth over time. Your teeth are continually bathed in saliva which contains calcium and other substances which help strengthen and protect your teeth. While this is definitely beneficial, it unfortunately means that we tend to get a build-up of calcium deposits on the teeth. This chalky substance will build up over time, almost like the limescale deposits at the base of your kettle. Usually it is tooth coloured and can easily be mistaken as part of the teeth, but it can also vary from brown to black in colour.
If this tartar is allowed to build up on the teeth, it will unfortunately provide the right conditions for bacteria to thrive beside the gums. The purpose of cleaning and polishing is basically to leave the surfaces of the teeth beautifully clean and smooth so that bacteria are unable to stick to them and so provide you a better chance of keeping the teeth clean during your regular daily hygiene regeme.
How are teeth cleaned?
At Ivory dental care Clinic, we use special instruments to gently remove these deposits without harming your teeth or gums.
Scale & Polish -Why?
To prevent decay- Plaque is a naturally occurring substance that exists on the surfaces of the teeth. When plaque builds up it hardens to form calculus or tartar. Bacteria thrive in the crevices formed by the plaque and calculus, and when combined with food debris lead to increased risk of tooth decay.
To prevent or minimise the effects of gum disease- Once formed, plaque and calculus irritate the gums causing them to become inflamed. This is known as gingivitis or gum disease. Your gums and jaw bone are the foundation for your teeth. If your gums are unhealthy, the bone around your teeth can be lost. Your teeth no longer have good foundations and can no longer be held in place, they become loose and eventually fall out or have to be extracted.
If your gums are more seriously infected, a detailed root planing must be carried out.