Regular dental cleanings are the best way (besides your own daily care) to keep your smile sparkling and your mouth healthy. Both of our dental centers in Wheaton and Gaithersburg, Maryland offer several different types of services for dental cleanings (also called prophylaxis).
Many parents wonder when their child should first visit a dentist. According to The American Dental Association, your child should visit a dentist between six months and 1 year of age or when their first tooth emerges. Tooth decay in primary teeth can harm the growth and health of permanent teeth so it’s important to start early with dental hygiene.
Our dentists take special care with little ones during a pediatric dental cleaning. A regular cleaning includes light scaling, prophylaxis (cleaning and polishing the teeth) and a fluoride treatment.
A normal bi-annual teeth cleaning includes light scaling (to remove tartar from the teeth) and prophylaxis.
In certain cases, if it has been a long time since regular dental care, a patient may require a full mouth debridement. In this case, excessive calculus may have built up, there might be excessive staining, or even the presence of gingivitis which causes bleeding of the gums.
This appointment will involve detailed scaling and prophylaxis beyond what is normally done. If you return in 3 months and there is an improvement in dental hygiene, you’ll be able to return to a normal 6-month schedule.
If you have evidence of periodontal disease and/or bone loss, you may need to have a scaling and root planing procedure. This procedure can take up to 3 visits or more to finish. Complete scaling can be done with cavitron or hand instruments and it may require local anesthesia for your comfort.
During a deep dental cleaning, we will scale and root plane to remove tartar, bacteria and debris from under the gum line. Root planing involves smoothing rough patches on the gumline where bacteria may reside. This also aids in gum healing. Periodontal deep cleanings will help reduce inflammation and reduce the size of your gum openings.
After these initial appointments are complete, we will ask you to return in 3 months for a recall. If there is enough improvement, each subsequent recall appointment can go up to 6 months. In cases where there is not enough improvements and or if the performing doctor may issue referral to periodontist for further evaluation.
If you wear braces, we recommend extra cleanings to prevent build-up. We will remove the archwire for a deep clean as well as clean around brackets. Keep in mind, this make take longer than a standard dental cleaning. Braces sometimes make hygiene more difficult and more frequent visits will lower chances of damage.
Our dentists will pay extra attention to bone loss and signs of tooth decay for our older patients. Your dentist will go over any health-related concerns such as dry mouth and dentures. We will also screen for oral cancer as we do for other patients.