Updated: November 14, 2017
Teeth cleaning is part of oral hygiene and involves the removal of dental plaque from teeth. People should routinely clean their own teeth by brushing and interdental cleaning.
Hardened deposits called tartar which are not removed by routine cleaning can be removed by a dental hygienists. Teeth cleaning is done to prevent cavities (dental caries), gingivitis, and periodontal disease.
Careful and frequent brushing with a toothbrush helps to prevent build-up of plaque bacteria on the teeth. Proper brushing takes at least two minutes. use short, gentle strokes, paying extra attention to the gumline, hard-to-reach back teeth and areas around fillings, crowns or other restoration to properly brush your teeth.
A soft-bristled brush is best for removing plaque and debris from your teeth. Small-headed brushes are also preferable, since they can better reach all areas of the mouth, including hard-to-reach back teeth. A powered toothbrush is a good alternative for those who have difficulty brushing or who have limited manual dexterity.
You should replace your toothbrush every three months or when it begins to show wear. You should also change toothbrushes after you have had a cold, since the bristles can collect germs that can lead to reinfection.
In addition to brushing, cleaning between teeth may help to prevent build-up of plaque bacteria on the teeth. This may be done with dental floss or interdental brushes. Toothpicks, oral irrigators, and other devices can be used to be used to supplement tooth brushing and interdental cleaning.
Teeth can be cleaned by scrubbing with a twig instead of a toothbrush. When scrubbing with a twig, plant sap in the twig takes the place of toothpaste. Miswak or siwak is made from twigs or roots are said to have an antiseptic effect when used for cleaning teeth.
Teeth cleaning is also known as prophylaxis. This is a procedure for the removal of tartar that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, especially in areas that are difficult to reach in routine tooth brushing.
Professional cleaning includes tooth scaling, root planing and tooth polishing and debridement if too much tartar has accumulated. Scaling involves removing plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth and from the pocket area between the teeth and gums. The dental hygienist can perform scaling and root planing using either electric or ultrasonic instruments or manual scaling tools. A scaling instrument can be used to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of the roots of your teeth in root planing.
Scaling and root planing procedure will require a minimum of 2 visits to the dentist and a follow-up visit may be necessary to confirm that your gums and teeth are getting healthier and there is no pocket depth.
After this deep cleaning procedures, the bacteria in the pockets of the teeth will be removed and in the next few weeks the gums should become healthier if the person is doing oral hygiene everyday.
Vigorous or incorrectly performed brushing or flossing may cause injury to the gingiva (gums). This may also cause sore gums, damage to tooth enamel, gingivitis, and bleeding gums.