In only twenty four hours, plaque that has been allowed to remain on your teeth can turn into calculus (tartar)! It’s important for you to carefully clean your teeth daily to minimize the accumulation of plaque and tartar, but every mouth has hard to reach areas that will need special attention.
When your periodontal examination and / or treatment has been completed, your dental hygienist and dentist will recommend that you schedule regular maintenance cleanings (periodontal cleanings). Dentists usually recommend that these sessions be scheduled two to four times per year. During each of these cleaning appointments, the sulcus (or “pocket”) depths will be carefully evaluated to ensure that they remain healthy. Any areas of calculus or plaque that have slipped by your daily cleaning regimen will be removed, both from above and below the gum line.
Besides periodontal cleaning and evaluation, your regular appointments will usually include:
• Careful inspection of existing restorations: Check your existing fillings, crowns, etc.
• Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for signs of decay.
• Examination of diagnostic X-Rays (radiographs): Good quality X-rays are essential for detection of bone loss, decay, cysts, and tumors. They are also invaluable in determining positions of teeth and roots.
• Oral cancer screening: Your dental specialist will check for any signs of oral cancer in the gums, cheek tissues, tongue, throat, lips, face and neck.
• Oral hygiene recommendations: Your dentist or oral hygienist will review and recommend oral hygiene aids that you may need, such as special periodontal brushes, electric toothbrushes, fluorides, rinses, etc.
• Teeth polishing: This process is great for removing stains and plaque that may not otherwise be removed during regular tooth brushing and scaling.
It is crucial for everyone to maintain good oral hygiene practices and to schedule regular periodontal cleanings. These are the minimum, essential steps that will maintain dental health and aid you in keeping periodontal disease under control.