Oral prophylaxis is performed to remove the adhered microbes from the teeth and keep them from developing decay. In simple words, it is oral cleaning that is intended to get rid of the plaque and tartar deposits from the surface of the teeth and tooth roots. It is a procedure that ideally has to be carried out at least once in six months. This ensures the tartar deposits do not erode the enamel and cause oral conditions such as cavities or gum diseases.
What is scaling?
Scaling is one of the major procedures involved in oral prophylaxis. In this process, the dentist uses a hand-held device called the ultrasonic scaler. It has a metal scaling tip that vibrates at ultrasonic frequencies. The dentist uses it to dislodge the tartar deposits that have accumulated on the teeth surfaces by scraping off them meticulously. A jet of water is used along with it to wash away the debris. It is a mildly invasive process and doesn't cause pain, which eliminates the need for anesthesia.
What is root planing?
Root planing is quite similar to scaling, but is performed on the tooth roots. For this, the dentist uses a hook-like scaling tip that would be inserted in between the tooth root and gums. The tartar deposits that have accumulated on the roots would be removed and the root surface will be smoothed out to get rid of the surface imperfections. Further, the gum pockets will be cleaned by removing the deposited food debris. This reduces the chances of developing gum diseases and also helps the patient maintain a fresher breath.
Regular brushing and flossing
While scaling and root planing are performed at our dental practice, patients can help themselves by maintaining optimum oral hygiene at home. The basic thing that everyone can do is brushing and flossing their teeth at least twice every day. This ensures the removal of the majority of microbes from the mouth, which helps to keep oral infections at bay. Also, the accumulation of plaque and tartar on the surface of the teeth will be reduced, thereby allowing the teeth to remain whiter.
Use a medium-soft bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that's rich in fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that helps to keep the teeth strong and provides protection from cavities. Flossing is usually not given much prominence, which isn't a healthy practice. Individuals should floss every day to remove food debris from between the teeth.
We serve the area of San Mateo and Burlingame Terrace. To schedule an appointment, call us at (650) 348-5424, and we will be happy to help.