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    Prophylaxis (Teeth Cleaning)


    All PPO Insurance Accepted


    Free Dental Exams & X-Rays


    Financing Available

    Maintaining oral health depends significantly on regular teeth cleaning. This procedure, commonly conducted by dental professionals like dentists or dental hygienists, is known as dental prophylaxis. However, this is not a substitute for every day at-home oral hygiene routines. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice daily, floss daily, use a dentist-recommended antiseptic mouthwash and adhere to a balanced diet.

    Regular dental check-ups and cleanings, usually advised every six months, are essential preventive oral care routines. It is during these routine visits that your dentist will clean your teeth. Contact The Lakewood Dentist today to schedule your next appointment.

    Understanding Dental Prophylaxis

    Dental prophylaxis is a preventive dental solution. This procedure entails professional teeth cleaning to eliminate plaque, tartar, and other potential oral health threats. By addressing these issues early on, dentists prevent the development of cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems their patients could be exposed to. Regular sessions of dental prophylaxis contribute to the following:

    Does it mean your at-home dental cleaning procedures are not effective?

    No, it does not. Opting for dental prophylaxis does not mean your at-home dental care routine falls short. Instead, it signals a commitment to overall oral health. Your daily practices serve as the baseline for routine maintenance. They help tackle plaque and preserve gum health. However, despite your efforts, particular areas can be tricky to reach, and plaque could harden into tartar over time.

    Dental prophylaxis goes deeper, addressing accumulated plaque and tartar and minimizing the risk of gum disease and cavities. It is also an opportunity for the early detection of dental issues. This helps in timely intervention.

    Put simply, dental prophylaxis complements your at-home routine by handling aspects that might be challenging alone. It does not question the effectiveness of your daily care. Instead, it is a proactive step toward maintaining optimal oral health.

    Note: Regular check-ups, combining at-home practices and professional cleanings, are a comprehensive strategy for the long-term well-being of your teeth and gums. Your dentist can offer tailored guidance, aligning recommendations with your oral health needs. Integrating both contributes to a holistic approach to a lasting, healthy smile.

    Why Teeth Cleaning is Important in Maintaining Your Oral Health

    As mentioned before, teeth cleaning complements the at-home oral health care routines. These routines cannot sufficiently address the following. These are the compelling reasons you should consider dental prophylaxis:

    Dental Prophylaxis and Teeth Whitening

    Getting your teeth cleaned can make them look brighter and whiter. This is because professional teeth cleaning, or dental prophylaxis, focuses on removing plaque and tartar, which can also eliminate surface stains. While it enhances the natural color of your teeth, it is essential to note that teeth cleaning is not the same as a dedicated teeth-whitening procedure.

    You would need a teeth-whitening treatment for a more significant change in tooth color. This cosmetic procedure involves using bleaching agents to address intrinsic stains beyond the surface. Teeth whitening can be done professionally at a dental office or with over-the-counter products at home. It is a distinct process from routine teeth cleaning.

    So, how often should you get your teeth cleaned?

    It is advisable to have your teeth professionally cleaned every six months to maintain oral health. This routine effectively removes plaque and tartar buildup. When you attend these regular dental check-ups, including professional cleaning, you benefit from removing accumulated dental deposits. The visits also enable your dentist to assess your overall oral health thoroughly.

    This biannual cleaning regimen provides a proactive approach to your oral care. It allows for the early detection of potential issues and the provision of personalized recommendations tailored to your oral health needs. Your dentist could suggest a more tailored approach if you have particular conditions, like gum disease or a history of dental problems. It could involve more frequent cleanings.

    In addition to professional cleanings, you must maintain a good oral hygiene routine at home. This includes:

    These practices contribute to your optimal oral health.

    How Tartar and Plaque Buildup

    Tartar and plaque accumulation stem from ongoing processes involving bacteria, food particles, and saliva in the oral cavity. The buildup occurs over time in the following ways:

    Formation of Plaque

    The oral cavity is home to diverse bacteria. Certain strains contribute positively to oral health, while others pose potential risks. Food rich in carbohydrates and sugars creates a breeding ground for oral bacteria. While the foods are broken down, they produce acids.

    Together with lingering food particles, saliva, and the existing bacterial population, these acids form a cohesive, sticky film recognized as plaque. They adhere to tooth surfaces, with a particular affinity for areas that prove challenging to access through standard oral hygiene practices. This propensity for accumulation in hard-to-reach regions underscores the importance of a comprehensive approach to oral care.

    Mineralization and Formation of Tartar

    Over time, saliva’s minerals, like calcium and phosphate, combine with the plaque on teeth. This process involves the mineralization or calcification of plaque. This leads to its hardening into tartar or dental calculus. Tartar’s result of this hardening firmly attaches to tooth enamel. This causes more resistance to regular brushing and flossing compared to plaque.

    The significant bonding of tartar to enamel underscores the challenges posed by its accumulation. Tartar commonly appears as a yellowish or brownish discoloration on teeth. This discoloration arises from a combination of factors, including:

    The ramifications of tartar and plaque accumulation go beyond cosmetic considerations. It also includes potential dental issues that can compromise oral health. Notably, these buildups create an environment conducive to the development of cavities, a common dental problem stemming from the acidic degradation of tooth enamel. Moreover, tartar and plaque are strongly associated with gingivitis. This inflammation of the gums can progress to the more severe form known as periodontitis. Ultimately, the condition poses an elevated risk of tooth and bone loss.

    Beyond structural concerns, the impact of tartar and plaque on oral health extends to your breath. The bacteria harbored in these accumulations can produce unpleasant odors. This significantly contributes to bad breath or halitosis.

    Additionally, the aesthetic dimension comes into play as tartar attracts and retains stains from various consumables, including food and beverages. This inclination toward staining can lead to noticeable discoloration of the teeth. This impacts your smile’s visual appeal and potentially signals an underlying oral health concern.

    Common Concerns of Dental Prophylaxis

    It is expected that patients will have concerns about the procedure. Below are the common concerns raised by patients when they are advised to undergo dental prophylaxis:

    1. Age Restrictions

    Dental prophylaxis is not subject to age restrictions. Individuals across all age groups can derive benefits from this routine procedure. It is recommended that children, adolescents, adults, and seniors all go for regular teeth cleanings as an integral aspect of a comprehensive oral health care plan.

    For children, initiating regular dental check-ups and cleanings at an early age establishes crucial oral hygiene habits and focuses on preventive care. These sessions emphasize education, cavity prevention, and monitoring permanent teeth development tailored to their specific needs. The ideal time is when the child is one year old or within six months of his/her first teeth eruption.

    Adults with fully permanent teeth are advised to maintain regular teeth cleanings every six months. This routine aids in preventing the buildup of plaque and tartar, minimizing the risk of cavities and gum disease, and facilitating the early detection of potential dental issues.

    Seniors with specific oral health concerns, such as gum disease or tooth sensitivity, also benefit from regular teeth cleanings. The cleaning process could be adjusted based on individual oral health status and age-related considerations, like dry mouth or changes in gum health.

    The frequency of teeth cleanings could be personalized according to individual oral health needs and specific risk factors, with dental professionals offering tailored recommendations during routine check-ups.

    Teeth cleaning is a safe and vital aspect of healthcare for pregnant women. Pregnancy induces hormonal changes that could elevate the risk of gum-related issues. Regular dental prophylaxis addresses these concerns and upholds optimal oral health.

    Key considerations during teeth cleaning for pregnant women include managing hormonal shifts that lead to gum inflammation and gingivitis. Professional cleanings play a pivotal role in preventing and treating gingivitis, a common occurrence during pregnancy. Adequate oral hygiene, including routine dental cleanings, becomes paramount to safeguarding gum health.

    For pregnant women experiencing morning sickness, mindful oral care is essential. Rinsing the mouth with water or a fluoride mouthwash post-vomiting helps neutralize acids and protect the teeth. It’s advisable to wait 30 minutes before brushing to prevent enamel erosion.

    Routine teeth cleaning typically does not involve X-rays. If required, local anesthesia is generally considered safe during pregnancy. However, it is imperative to communicate your pregnancy status with the dental team for appropriate precautions.

    As some expectant mothers could experience heightened sensitivity or discomfort during dental procedures, clear communication with the dental team ensures adjustments can be made for a more comfortable experience.

    While the second trimester is often deemed the safest time for elective dental work, essential dental procedures can be carried out at any stage of pregnancy with proper precautions. Maintaining optimal oral health is crucial not only for the well-being of the mother but also for the overall health of the developing baby.

    It emphasizes the need to inform your dentist about your pregnancy and include regular dental check-ups and cleanings as part of your prenatal care routine.

    Teeth cleaning is typically not a painful procedure for most individuals. The discomfort experienced during or after the process is usually minimal. However, the level of sensation varies among individuals, and certain factors influence the degree of discomfort.

    Individuals with gum sensitivity or inflammation could experience mild discomfort, particularly in areas with more sensitive gums. If there is significant tartar buildup, some temporary discomfort could arise as dental professionals work to remove the hardened deposits.

    For those with a sensitive gag reflex, certain aspects of teeth cleaning, especially using dental instruments in the back of the mouth, could be slightly uncomfortable. People with pre-existing tooth sensitivity could feel some discomfort during the cleaning. This can be addressed with the application of fluoride or other desensitizing agents.

    It is worth noting that dental professionals prioritize patient comfort. They often employ local anesthetics or numbing gels to minimize potential discomfort. Advancements in dental technology and techniques make teeth cleaning a generally well-tolerated procedure.

    Should you ever experience pain during teeth cleaning, open communication with your dental hygienist or dentist is essential. They can adjust, use numbing agents, or explore alternative methods to enhance comfort. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are fundamental for:

    After a professional teeth cleaning, it is not uncommon for individuals to experience temporary sensitivity, known as post-cleaning sensitivity. This sensation, typically short-lived, can result from removing plaque and tartar during cleaning. This exposes the dentin and renders the teeth more sensitive, particularly to temperature changes.

    Factors contributing to post-cleaning sensitivity may include existing gum inflammation, the tools and techniques used during cleaning, and fluoride treatments to strengthen the teeth. Additionally, minor enamel microabrasions could occur during the cleaning, potentially contributing to sensitivity, albeit temporarily.

    Individual variability plays a role in the extent of sensitivity experienced, with some individuals experiencing minimal or no discomfort while others may notice a brief duration of sensitivity. For those with pre-existing conditions like exposed tooth roots or gum recession, the likelihood of post-cleaning sensitivity could be heightened.

    Note: Post-cleaning sensitivity is generally transient, resolving independently within a few days. To manage any discomfort, individuals can:

    If you have existing medical conditions or are currently taking medications, it’s important to note that dental prophylaxis, or professional teeth cleaning, is generally considered safe. However, informing your dentist about your health status and the medications you are on before undergoing the procedure is crucial. This open communication ensures that the dental team can tailor the teeth cleaning process to your specific needs and take any necessary precautions.

    Sharing your complete medical history, including chronic conditions, recent surgeries, and known allergies, allows the dental team to customize the dental prophylaxis procedure to ensure your safety and well-being. Likewise, providing a comprehensive list of medications, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, is essential to avoid potential interactions and complications during the dental cleaning.

    In cases involving bleeding disorders or blood-thinning medications, informing the dentist becomes even more critical. This information allows the dental team to take appropriate measures to minimize the risk of excessive bleeding during teeth cleaning.

    Moreover, your health status could influence the choice of anesthesia or sedation for dental prophylaxis if needed. Being transparent about your medical condition enables the dental team to make informed decisions about your safest options.

    In the rare event of a medical emergency during dental cleaning, your documented medical history facilitates a prompt and effective response from the dental team. Clear communication ensures that any necessary modifications to the dental prophylaxis procedure can be made to prioritize your overall health and safety.

    Steps Involved in a Dental Prophylaxis Procedure

    Dental cleaning encompasses several key steps. These are the general steps undertaken when you are scheduled to undergo teeth cleaning.

    Find a Dentist Near Me

    Dental prophylaxis is a pivotal preventive dental care measure. Securing access to this essential care hinges on a commitment to regular dental visits. During these appointments, dentists can assess your oral health, pinpoint potential issues, and recommend dental prophylaxis when deemed necessary.

    Dentists, in their evaluation, scrutinize the cleanliness of your teeth. They scrutinize the presence of plaque and tartar and gauge the overall condition of your gums. Based on their assessment, they could recommend you get a dental prophylaxis to prevent the advancement of gum disease, cavities, and other oral complications.

    Routine dental visits also serve as a platform for dentists to dispense personalized counsel on oral hygiene practices, address your specific concerns, and engage in discussions about tailored preventive measures. This cooperative interaction between you and your dentist assumes a pivotal role in forestalling potential dental problems and safeguarding the enduring health of your oral cavity.

    Talk to The Lakewood Dentist today at 562-423-1441 to schedule your next appointment.

    Get Your Confidence Back and Smile. Don’t Wait!



    Find a Dentists Near Me

    Your smile is one of your defining features, and you should trust your oral and general health to an upstanding dental practice. The experienced team at The Lakewood Dentist is happy to be your family’s primary resource for practical and gentle dental services. With the proper care, you can enjoy a healthy, beautiful, and lasting smile, and we are excited to assist you in reaching your goals! Whether your smile needs restorative care to repair damaged teeth, cosmetic care to enhance your smile’s appearance, or you are looking for a new dentist to care for your family, we have your ultimate solution.

    Our friendly dentists welcome patients throughout Lakewood to discover why many choose us to meet their oral health needs. Whether you want to establish ongoing care, are new to the area, or want to discover how state-of-the-art technology can assist you feel and look your best, our practice has the technology, personalized approach, and skills you deserve. We will ensure you are comfortable during your visit.

    Contact our friendly team today at 562-423-1441 to learn more about our broad range of services and to get started!