As for at home dental care teeth cleaning and flossing is the most beneficial thing you can do to help your teeth & minimize dental visits. However it is necessary to have your teeth cleaned professionally by a dental hygienist using scalers and polishers in order to remove soft & hard deposits that form on the teeth known as plaque & calculus or collectively as Biofilm. Most dental cleanings take between 30-45 minutes and should be done every 6 months unless otherwise indicated.
When there are deep pockets between the teeth and gums due to bone recession (known as periodontal disease) it is impossible for you to properly clean the gum tissues and a deep cleaning or scaling/root planing is necessary to remove the diseased tissues and debris from the pocket. You will also need to be seen more frequently for these type of cleanings in order to manage the disease.
Finally the teeth are flossed and polished using a paste to create a glass-like finish which makes it more difficult for Biofilm to adhere to the teeth.
Teeth Cleanings are also known to help reduce the risk of many other diseases or conditions in addition to Periodontal Disease including:
1. Heart Disease – Research has shown that people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from Coronary Artery Disease
2. Pregnancy Problems – Pregnant women who have periodontal disease may be more likely to have a baby that is born too early or too small
3. Respiratory Diseases – Bacteria in your mouth can be aspirated into the lungs to cause respiratory diseases such as pneumonia
4. Oral Cancer – The dentist will perform an oral cancer screening at each visit which can aid in the early detection and greatly increase the likelihood of successful treatment
5. Diabetic patients are more likely to develop periodontal disease which in turn can increase blood sugar and diabetic complications
* American Academy of Periodontology
But professional dental care alone is inadequate to prevent periodontal disease. Smoking is responsible for about 50% of periodontal diseases in adults. Abstaining from tobacco use, excellent home care and having your teeth cleaned professionally are the most effective ways to dental and overall wellness.