the feeling of freshness
One of the most important treatments we do at macquarieDentists is a scale and clean. This is to remove plaque and tartar build-up from your teeth and below your gum line where your toothbrush can’t reach or you may have missed when flossing, especially the hard to reach back teeth.
let’s examine plaque
Plaque is a soft and sticky film that coats the surface of your teeth and gums and contains various bacteria and substances they thrive on.
Plaque can be removed with correct daily brushing and flossing, but if left undisturbed, the bacteria release toxins which irritate your gums, and produce acid which causes tooth decay. Completely removing plaque through daily brushing and flossing is not as easy as it seems, and inevitably some areas will be missed.
A scale and clean will remove plaque from all those tiny crevices you can’t see.
tartar is the common name for calculus
Tartar (called calculus by dentists) is a hard, calcified build-up that can’t be removed by brushing and flossing. Essentially it’s hardened plaque and needs to be removed by a dental professional with specially designed instruments; this is the ‘scaling’ part of a scale and clean.
Tartar is porous and rough making it the perfect haven for plaque to accumulate. If it is left on the teeth and under the gums and forms more deeply on the roots, it causes infection and leads to loss of the jaw bone holding the teeth in place. This is known as periodontitis. Removal of this deeper tartar can be sensitive and take longer than a simple scale and clean.
Tartar buildup also leads to your teeth becoming stained or discoloured when you have things like tea, coffee, red wine, and cigarettes and other teeth staining products.
Once a scale and clean procedure is complete your teeth will feel smooth, making it easier to remove plaque when you brush and floss. Generally a scale and clean is recommended every six months, as part of an active maintenance programme to maintain a healthy mouth, but depending on your oral health you may be advised to have it done more regularly
If it’s been a while since you’ve had a scale and clean, it’s important that your mouth is examined first to determine if a simple scale and clean, or a deeper clean, is the most appropriate treatment for you. Schedule an examination appointment with one of our friendly dentists to discuss your needs today!