The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day to reduce the severity of plaque. To completely remove plaque and tartar, you must also schedule professional dental cleanings at least once every six months.
If Dr. Jack or Dr. Carter notice signs of plaque and tartar underneath your gums, which can lead to periodontitis and gum disease, then they may recommend a periodontal cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing.
Plaque forms constantly from the saliva, food debris, and oral bacteria that linger in your mouth, and brushing and flossing is essential to removing it. If it remains long enough, it will calcify into tartar, and will stay there until removed by your hygienist.
A regular dental cleaning, or prophylaxis, is the careful but thorough removal of plaque and tartar from the surfaces of your teeth, and along your gum line. The procedure is simple and quick, and is performed during the same visit as your dental examination.
Scaling and root planing is a more complex cleaning that focuses on the surfaces of your roots, and can take two or more visits to complete. When plaque and tartar work their way under your gums, they can lead to gingivitis – the first stage of gum diease. Scaling and root planing involve gently debriding your roots with an ultrasonic scaler, then smoothing the root surfaces to inhibit bacteria buildup as your gums recover from the infection.
Keep Cavities and Gum Disease at Bay
Tartar is the leading cause of cavities and gum disease, and regular dental or deep cleanings are the only way to effectively control it. We welcome patients of all ages!