Did you know that there are naturally-occurring bacteria that live in your mouth, helping you eat your food? Some bacteria are good and others definitely aren’t. Depending on how you eat and manage your oral healthcare there could very well be excess bacteria that needs to be removed through regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings.

To prevent bad bacteria from growing and causing dental issues like tooth decay, gum disease, and pericoronitis, we recommend that individuals visit our dental office in Keller, TX for regular dental cleanings and dental exams twice yearly. Dental exams allow Dr. Pickett to evaluate the health of your gums and teeth, while dental cleanings will remove any plaque and tartar buildup that can lead to more serious dental diseases. By removing dental plaque and tartar, you get rid of many of the bad bacteria that are built up in your mouth.

4 types of dental cleanings

The 4 Types of Dental Cleanings

Depending upon the amount of plaque and tartar as well as your medical history, we’ll provide one of the following four types of dental cleanings:

  1. Prophylaxis Dental Cleaning – Prophylaxis means “to prevent disease”. So, a prophylaxis dental cleaning is used to clean healthy teeth in order to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. During these cleanings we remove plaque and tartar from the front, back, and sides of teeth using a dental scaler or water stream. This is the typical dental cleaning for most of our Keller, TX dental patients.
  2. Scaling and Root Planing Cleaning – The dental deep cleaning. During a scaling and root planing cleaning, we work to clean both the teeth and gum pockets to treat gingivitis and periodontitis. We’re extremely effective, but in serious cases, this may take multiple teeth cleanings to help the gums recover inbetween. Scaling allows us to remove plaque and tartar from both the tooth’s surface in the gum pockets and below the gum line caused by gum disease. This helps reduce gum inflammation as well as the bad bacteria that has built up over time. Root planing involves smoothing the tooth roots to help the gums reattach to teeth and remove the gum pockets entirely.
  3. Periodontal Maintenance Cleaning – These teeth cleanings are specifically targeting the treatment of gum disease. Similar to scaling and root planing, they remove excess plaque and tartar from the hard to reach places they shouldn’t be in. What sets it apart is that this cleaning focuses on gum disease treatment and getting you back into regular maintenance.
  4. Gross Debridement Cleaning – This is the most heavy-duty teeth cleaning designed to deal with extreme amounts of plaque and tartar buildup. This is for patients who struggle to maintain oral care routines or have been away from the dentist for too long. Tartar buildup at this point is extremely excessive and is much harder than plaque. Once this cleaning has been done, a prophylaxis cleaning is performed soon after to further clean the teeth.

What Kind of Dental Cleaning Do You Need?

As you can tell, dental cleanings vary upon need and the amount of plaque and tartar buildup. Be sure to find out if you have gum disease or pericoronitis that could be causing additional problems and necessitate additional dental cleaning steps at your next visit.