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Teeth Cleaning in Redmond, Oregon

Teeth cleaning sessions aren’t just about making your smile look attractive. Deep cleaning (oral prophylaxis) is a series of preventive dentistry practices aimed at eliminating plaque and tartar (the most common causes of oral diseases). 

For deep teeth cleaning and oral prophylaxis in Redmond, Oregon, call Blue Sky Family Dentistry. We will help you bring out the best in your smile!

Dental exam and periodontal charting - Teeth cleaning in Redmond OR

Examination and Periodontal Charting

Teeth cleaning sessions are typically conducted by dental hygienists. Before any cleaning takes place, the dental hygienist will examine your teeth, gums, and other areas of the mouth.

The hygienist will use a dental probe to examine the health of the gums. This process, known as “periodontal charting,” examines the pocket depth of the gums. The hygienist will usually call out a series of numbers to an assistant. If you hear a ‘1’ or ‘2,’ it usually means that portion of the gums is free of inflammation and likely healthy. Higher numbers may indicate the presence of gingivitis or gum disease.

Oral Prophylaxis

The reason oral prophylaxis is so important is that cavities, gingivitis, periodontal disease (gum disease), periodontitis (gum infection), and tooth decay usually begin as plaque and tartar buildup. What’s more, tartar becomes a cement-like substance that can only be removed with specialized dental tools. 

To eliminate plaque and tartar, the dental hygienist will likely perform the following:

  • General cleaning
  • Scaling
  • Root planing
  • Tooth polishing
  • Manual flossing

For patients with recurring cavities, the dentist may recommend a fluoride treatment as an anti-cavity measure. Sealants may be recommended to simplify brushing for patients with deep grooves in their molars.

Oral Prophylaxis  - Teeth cleaning in Redmond OR
Plaque - Teeth cleaning in Redmond OR

What is Plaque?

Plaque is a conglomeration of saliva, bacteria, microbes, and minerals. Plaque is forming in your mouth around the clock and can never be entirely eliminated, only controlled. Plaque is most noticeable when you first wake up. It's that sticky film that coats your teeth, gums, and tongue. Plaque is often referred to as "biofilm" since it is actually a large community of microbes and bacteria suspended in a mixture of saliva and minerals. Since biofilm is sticky, it readily adheres to all surfaces of the mouth — even below the gumline.

Tartar Buildup… it’s a Big Deal

Depending on its composition, tartar can appear as a yellow or white buildup on the surface of the teeth. Therefore, tartar buildup may not be noticeable when you examine your teeth in the mirror. Tartar might seem relatively harmless, but in fact it’s the precursor to most oral health problems, including:

  • Foul breath
  • Destruction of tooth enamel
  • Cavities
  • Periodontal disease
  • Gingivitis and gum disease
  • Tooth loss

The problem with tartar is that once it forms on the teeth, there are practically no at-home remedies that can effectively remove it. Removing tartar requires a dental tool known as a scaler and a skilled hand to do it properly. Another issue with tartar is that it tends to build up in those hard-to-reach areas, such as below the gum lines and between teeth. 

Tartar buildup - Teeth cleaning in Redmond OR
Oral care tips - Teeth cleaning in Redmond OR

Home Oral Health Care Tips

Avoiding costly and painful dental conditions starts at home. By following these simple pieces of advice you can prevent common dental issues.

  • Foul breath
  • Destruction of tooth enamel
  • Cavities
  • Periodontal disease
  • Gingivitis and gum disease
  • Tooth loss

Brush twice a day for two minutes. Brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush for two minutes, twice a day helps to reduce the amount of plaque on the surface of the teeth.

You might also consider purchasing an electric toothbrush. In an 11-year cohort study, those who used electric toothbrushes were found to have significantly less instances of dental cavities, periodontitis, and other conditions. Always use a fluoride toothpaste and avoid charcoal-containing toothpastes since the grittiness can wear away tooth enamel.

Floss once a day before bed. This is a big one. According to a survey by U.S. News and World Report, only 30% report flossing every day. If you do not floss then you are leaving behind plaque and tartar between the teeth and below the gumline. If you have trouble flossing, interdental brushes or a water flosser can help. While water flossers are not as effective as traditional floss, they do help to reduce the amount of plaque between the teeth and along the gumline.

If you are new to flossing, you might experience an issue with bleeding gums. While this is completely normal, it also indicates that an infection and gingivitis (gum inflammation) are also present. If you encounter pain and bleeding when you floss, wait 48 hours between flossing until your gums have a chance to normalize. You may also use a salt water rinse after you floss to help with the inflammation.

Talk to your dentist about mouthwashes. Mouthwashes are often advertised for their ability to kill "bad" bacteria. The only problem is that mouthwashes also eliminate the "good" bacteria beneficial to oral health. In fact, your mouth contains bacteria and microbes that are essential to proper blood pressure regulation and insulin sensitivity. Some studies have also shown a correlation between overuse of mouthwashes and diabetes later on in life. To be on the safe side, talk to your dentist before adding a mouthwash to your home oral health routine.

Woman looking at herself in the mirror while she is flossing

Give Your Smile a Deep Clean!

The team at Blue Sky Family Dentistry are ready to help improve your smile’s appearance and your overall oral health. Call to schedule an appointment.