In our last blog, we covered the value of having your smile examined every six months. But during these visits, we also clean your smile. In today’s blog, your Astoria, NY, dentist explains why having plaque and tartar removed every few months is essential for avoiding the onset of gingivitis and gum disease, and ensuring you enjoy a whole smile for years to come.
The Causes of Plaque Buildup
Over time, bacteria will break down any particles left behind on or between the teeth by the foods and drinks you consume. As they do, this creates a sticky layer of plaque that coats the outside of the teeth. Plaque, which hardens into tartar, is impossible to remove with brushing and flossing alone, and will lead to demineralization and eroded enamel, making tooth decay more likely. The layers also irritate and inflame the gingival tissues in your smile, leading to gingivitis and even gum disease. The buildup is also linked to bad breath and even stained teeth.
Routine Six-Month Cleanings
A cleaning every six months enables our team to use an ultrasonic scaling device and a manual tool to break up and remove all bacterial buildup from the smile, quickly and comfortably. The process takes only a few minutes, and helps improve your overall oral health, keeping serious complications at bay. We suggest this procedure at least once every six months, but if you have high risk factors for gum disease, we may instead suggest one every three to four months. Following the removal of the buildup, we will thoroughly polish your smile.
Scaling and Root Planing
What if you already have gingivitis, or the early stages of gum disease, due to buildup? Then we may suggest a deep cleaning, also known as a scaling and root planing. The procedure involves using the same ultrasonic scaling device to remove plaque, but from the roots as well as the teeth. The process could take one visit, but for patients with severe buildup, it could take up to four separate visits. We then polish your smile, and recommend routine cleanings every few months to control inflammation and prevent the early stages of the disease, which are linked to tooth loss.
Keeping Your Smile Clean at Home
At home, brushing and flossing may not remove buildup that has already formed, but it can help prevent serious buildup from developing. You should brush and floss daily, and try to cut back on sugary foods too.
Do You Have Questions About Our Preventive Treatments?
Our team wants to help you avoid the complications of plaque and tartar, which includes cavities and gum disease. To learn more about removing plaque and tartar, then schedule a consultation by calling Jeffrey Leibowitz, DDS, in Astoria, NY, today at 718-728-8320.