A Hygiene, sometimes called a scale and clean or teeth cleaning is undertaken by a dental professional such as a Dentist, Hygienist or Oral Health Therapist.
A professional Hygiene is an important part of preventive oral health care, in addition to regular brushing and flossing. We recommend a hygiene every 6 months along with your periodic exam.
What is a Hygiene and why is fluoride applied?
A hygiene involves using ultrasonic equipment and fine hand tools to remove plaque and calculus deposits that have built up over time, which are above and below the gum line. Once the teeth are cleaned, they are polished and then fluoride is applied.
Fluoride is applied to the tooth’s enamel to help make them more resistant to dental caries, erosion and sensitivity.
Plaque is a sticky, colourless film of bacteria and sugars that continuously forms on teeth.
When it isn’t removed properly or not at all, it hardens into calculus. As calculus is porous and absorbs stains easily, it can be seen, especially on the inside front teeth. Calculus attaches to the outside layer of the teeth or the enamel and can also attach to the tooth surface below the gum line. Regular brushing and flossing can’t remove this.
If calculus isn’t removed, it may cause inflammation and irritation to the gums and teeth. This can lead to gingivitis, which if left untreated progresses to gum disease and eventually may cause tooth loss.
Two hygienes per year, brushing twice per day and daily flossing are adequate to help maintain good oral health. If you haven’t maintained regular preventive measures, your Dentist may advise of additional hygienes to help prevent progression of gum disease.
How often should I brush and floss?
We recommend brushing twice per day for a minimum of two minutes. Floss daily to remove plaque from in between your teeth and under your gum.