Periodontal health is essential for the well-being and integrity of your smile. Biannual professional teeth cleanings can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy. Periodontist Dr. David Weinstock provides thorough professional dental cleanings and fluoride applications as part of our thorough preventative dental care.
Professional teeth cleanings help remove plaque and tartar build up that regular brushing and flossing can not. Teeth cleanings utilize state of the art tools to thoroughly clean all surfaces and crevices of your teeth and soft tissues to help reduce the development of complex oral health concerns such as decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Twice yearly dental cleanings can also help keep your teeth whiter and your breath fresher.
What is plaque and tartar?
Plaque is a sticky film that accumulates on your teeth from food. Because it is loaded with millions of bacteria, it must be removed every day and this is the main reason you should brush your teeth a few times a day. The bacteria found in plaque causes gum disease and tooth decay. Tartar is hard calcified deposits that develop when plaque and bacteria are not regularly removed from your teeth. Tartar buildup must be removed at regular cleaning visits. If left untreated, this buildup of tartar on your teeth will lead to tooth decay.
Dr. Weinstock is the most amazingly knowledgeable and talented dentist I have ever come across. I have had many many complex dental issues over the years to the point that some dentists have been at a loss as to how to help me. Dr. Weinstock has not only helped my…Mary F.
Dr. Weinstock and his amazing staff are top shelf! They are friendly, professional, skilled and engaged. Even though his office was usually full, I was always made to feel like the only person in the room. From the time I was 16 years old I hid behind a broken smile,…Lisa M.
Teeth Cleaning What to Expect
At each biannual visit, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned by one of our registered dental hygienists. Before the cleaning, the hygienist will use a tiny mirror to visually check your teeth and gums, looking for signs of decay and gum disease. If any issues are present, they will take note of it to share with Dr. Weinstock.
Next the hygienist will use the tiny mirror and a tool called a scaler to remove the plaque and tartar buildup from in between your teeth and your gum line. Each tooth will be scaled to ensure all tartar is removed. The more plaque and tartar present in your mouth, the longer and more uncomfortable this part may be.
Using a handheld electric brush, the hygienist will polish your teeth with a gritty, toothpaste-like solution. At the tip of the polishing device is a soft rubber cup that holds the solution. Afterwards, you are left with smooth, shiny, and clean teeth. And more important, you are plaque and tartar free with less risk of developing gum disease or tooth decay.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that prevents tooth decay systemically when ingested during tooth development and topically when applied to erupted teeth. Systemic fluorides are those that are ingested into the body and become incorporated into newly forming teeth.
Systemic fluorides taken regularly during the time when teeth are developing (6 months to 16+ years of age) are deposited throughout the entire tooth surface and provide longer-lasting protection than those applied topically.
Sources of systemic fluorides include water, dietary fluoride supplements in the forms of tablets, drops or lozenges, and fluoride present in food and beverages. Topical fluorides strengthen teeth already present in the mouth. In this method of delivery, fluoride is absorbed into the surface of the teeth, making them more decay-resistant.
Topical fluorides include toothpaste, mouth rinses and professionally applied fluoride gels, foams and rinses.
Researchers have observed fluoride’s decay-preventive effects in three specific ways:
Fluoride makes tooth enamel harder and more resistant to the acid that causes tooth decay.
It reduces the ability of dental plaque organisms to produce acid.
Fluoride promotes the remineralization (repair) of tooth enamel in the early stages of tooth decay.
Fluoride benefits people of all ages in two ways. Studies have clearly shown that the presence of topical fluoride in an adult’s mouth during the initial formation of decay can not only stop the decay process, but also make the enamel surface more resistant to future acid attacks. Additionally, the presence of systemic fluoride in saliva provides a reservoir of fluoride ions that can be incorporated into the tooth surface to prevent decay.
Since the 1930s, hundreds of carefully conducted scientific studies have shown that water fluoridation, at the concentrations recommended for decay prevention, has no harmful effects. Fluoridation of community water supplies is a valuable public health measure supported by the American Dental Association, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Public Health Service, the American Medical Association and the American Cancer Society.
The vast majority of bottled waters on the market do not contain optimal levels (0.7-1.2 ppm) of fluoride. Additionally, reverse osmosis home treatment systems remove significant amounts of fluoride from the water supply. Consumers of well water, or who use home water treatment systems, should have their water tested at least annually to establish the fluoride level of the treated water. Testing is available through local and state public health departments. Private laboratories may also offer testing for fluoride levels in water.
Dietary fluoride supplements are available only by prescription. They are available in two forms: drops for infants aged six months and up, and chewable tablets for children and adolescents.
There are a variety of topical fluoride rinses, gels, pastes and foams that are available either as office treatments or by prescription. Dr. Weinstock may recommend a prescription fluoride tooth paste. Many over-the-counter products are useful as well. Your dentist or hygienist will be happy to discuss which of these products may be of benefit to you.