Dental Scaling (Professional Teeth Cleaning)
Gum disease is often caused by the accumulation of bacterial plaque that accumulates daily upon the dental surfaces and the best way to remove it, is daily brushing twice a day (morning and evening time).
However, no matter how often, or how well you clean your teeth, there are always inaccessible areas that are difficult to be cleaned. In those places, bacterial plaque can be accumulated, which gradually turns into a hard substance called ‘’tartar’’, which cannot be removed by brushing. If not removed at least once every six months leads to gum diseases, such as gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and maybe to more severe periodontal diseases such as periodontitis.
Dental scaling can be done only by professionals (dentist) who removes plaque and tartar with an ultrasonic scaling tool and perhaps, if needed, special manual tools for any residues.
The next step is the “polishing” of the teeth, so that the surface becomes really smooth. Polishing removes stains, leaving the teeth shiny and smooth. By smoothing the surface of the teeth, small imperfections and irregularities in the rough texture of the teeth are removed to prevent further accumulation of the plaque (for some time).
Most frequent questions and answers
The golden rule is the correct brushing of teeth two to three times a day (half an hour after every meal). Also, it is important to regularly visit the dentist to control the buildup of plaque in your mouth and treat any problems before they become worse. In combination with daily brushing it is important to use dental floss, or better interdental brushes (they have much better results) to remove plaque that gathers in inaccessible places, such as between the teeth.
A good quality soft toothbrush with small head round and thick hair. Hard toothbrushes harm you more than avail you. Quality electric toothbrushes are a very good alternative solution since they brush the teeth properly without needing any special skills, unlike conventional toothbrushes that need some skill for proper brushing.
Bleeding is usually due to an inflammatory condition of the gums (usually gingivitis or due to a more severe form called periodontitis). Dental plaque is the main reason, although at several rare cases it can be due to a lack of vitamins, or hormonal disorders, that in combination with dental plaque multiply the problem. In any case a visit to the dentist is imposed.
It is important to remember that all teeth have three surfaces:
-The outer surface (buccal), towards the cheeks
-The chewing surface
-The inner surface (towards the palate or tongue).
Noted, that the areas between the teeth (interdental spaces) should be cleaned with the use of dental floss or better with special interdental brushes, as the bristles of the toothbrush cannot reach those surfaces.
Brushing the tongue is also important because accumulates germs that are responsible for bad breath etc.
The correct brushing is done by placing a small amount of toothpaste on thebrush, then place the toothbrush at an angle of about 45 degrees on the surface between gums and teeth and make circular movements in a group of 1-2 teeth. The circular movement must be done in every surface and very meticulously. A proper brushing should last 2-3 minutes, morning and evening time, half an hour after meals (it is even better if is done also after lunch time). Remember that you need to apply light pressure on your toothbrush during brushing, by exerting great force you destroy the enamel of your teeth and you injure the gums.
If the bristles of the toothbrush become irregular and bended they may injure your gums, so discard it and buy a new one. A general rule is to change your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.
Brushing alone removes about 50% of the plaque in your mouth, while using dental floss and interdental brushes in addition to the brushing, can remove up to 70%.
These complementary means reach parts of the mouth that a toothbrush cannot, for example, between the teeth. In addition, removing food residues and plaque from those areas is especially important if you have an orthodontic device, bridges or implants.
The use of dental floss is simple. Take about 20cm of floss and wrap its edges around the middle finger of each hand. Using the thumb and index, grasp a section from both ends and place the intermediate part of the floss between the contact surfaces of the teeth. Gently move the floss between your teeth in a ‘’zigzag’’ and ‘’up and down’’ motion, over every interdental surface of each tooth and below the gum line. Be careful, always gentle movements so that there is no injury to the gums.
The use of the interdental brush is equally simple. Take the appropriate brush size (and not smaller) and bent it a bit. For the upper teeth the bend of the brush should be downwards, so as not to injure the gums, and for the lower teeth should be upwards accordingly. Then simply pass the brush between the teeth with an ‘’In and Out’’ ‘motion. Be careful, gentle movements so as not to injure the gums. You may need more than one size of interdental brushes, since the gaps between the teeth may vary in size.
Noteworthy is the fact that interdental brushes have a much better result in removing plaque than floss.