What is Teeth Cleaning?
Dental teeth cleaning removes plaque and tartar that have built up on your teeth over time. Think of it a little bit like how limescale can build up in a kettle. If the plaque and tartar are not removed, bacteria will multiply next to the gums. This can lead to gum disease and other health problems if the bacteria get into the bloodstream.
Teeth cleaning cleans the surfaces of the teeth so there’s less chance of bacteria sticking to them. It will also make your teeth a nice blank canvas to keep clean with a good oral health routine.
How Does a Dentist Clean Your Teeth?
Your dentist uses special instruments to clean your teeth such as:
- An ultrasonic instrument that loosens big pieces of tartar and washes away any other debris;
- Hand tools that remove smaller bits of tartar and smooth the surfaces of the teeth.
After teeth cleaning, your dentist may polish your teeth and apply a special toothpaste.
Teeth Cleaning Vs Scaling: What Makes Scaling Different?
One of the main things to know about teeth cleaning vs scaling is that teeth cleaning is preventative whereas scaling happens when there are already signs of dental disease.
If you have gum disease or a lot of plaque build-up, your dentist might recommend dental scaling to stop it from getting worse. Think of scaling as a deep clean. Kind of like what you need to do when you haven’t cleaned your oven in six months!
What is Scaling and Why Do I Need It?
Dental scaling is a procedure where your dentist cleans below your gum line to remove plaque build-up. If plaque build-up is excessive, bacteria multiply and this can cause gum disease. Gum disease causes your gum sockets to deepen. The sockets are where the gum tissues attach to the tooth. This is usually around 1-3mm below the tooth. If you have gum disease and your sockets are 4mm or more, this leaves more room for bacteria to grow and multiply. Scaling removes any plaque below the gum line before it turns into a much more serious problem.
How Does a Dentist Do Teeth Scaling?
Scaling is usually done alongside another procedure called root planing.
To scale your teeth and remove plaque from the surface of the tooth and the gumline, your dentist will:
- Use a thin handheld tool to remove plaque from the surface of your teeth and from below the gumline;
- Remove plaque, wash away debris, and clean out anything that’s trapped below the gum line with an ultrasonic scaling tool.
After scaling, your dentist might carry out a procedure call root planing. If you have gum disease and deeper than normal gum sockets, there’ll be a crevice around each tooth. Any plaque build-up will make it’s way down there and it needs to be removed. This is what root planing is. It involves having the roots of your teeth planed smooth, cleaned, scraped, and disinfected.
Is Scaling and Root Planing Painful?
It can be if you have sensitive teeth or other dental issues. After the procedures, your mouth might feel sore and you may notice bleeding when you brush your teeth.
Want to Restore Your Oral Health?
When you think about teeth cleaning vs scaling, there’s definitely one you’d rather have than the other. If you look after your teeth at home, maybe all you’ll need the next time you visit your dentist is a good teeth cleaning!
For more articles on oral health and the products you need for a healthy smile, check out the rest of our blog.