Routine dental cleanings are essential for maintaining adequate oral health, but in some cases — especially if you’re wearing braces — you have to go one step further. Every patient who’s ever worn braces knows how hard it is to keep their teeth and orthodontic appliances sparkling clean. All that brushing and flossing, and you’re still running the risk of plaque and tartar buildup, as well as health issues such as gum disease!
That’s where deep teeth cleaning, also known as teeth scaling or root planing, comes into play! While this procedure may cause some discomfort during and after, it is an essential step in preventing more serious dental problems in the future, especially if you’re wearing braces!
What Is a Dental Deep Cleaning?
Dental deep cleaning is a procedure that involves removing plaque, tartar, and bacteria from below the gum line and smoothing the roots of the teeth to help prevent and treat gum disease.
During the procedure, the dentist or dental hygienist uses specialized instruments to remove the buildup of plaque and tartar from the teeth, especially from hard-to-reach areas that cannot be cleaned with regular brushing or flossing. They may also use ultrasonic instruments to loosen and remove the buildup. This first step is known as the scaling process.
After the preliminary steps, the roots of the teeth are smoothed out to prevent bacteria from adhering to the surface and promote the reattachment of gum tissue.
Deep teeth cleanings may take multiple appointments to complete and may be performed under local anesthesia to ensure patient comfort.
How Long Does a Deep Teeth Cleaning Take?
The duration of deep dental cleanings can vary depending on the extent of the procedure and the condition of your teeth and gums. Typically, a deep cleaning procedure takes anywhere from one to two hours to complete.
If you’re dealing with a more severe case of gum disease or have multiple areas of your mouth that require deep cleaning, the procedure may take longer to complete. In some cases, your dentist may also recommend dividing the treatment into separate visits to minimize discomfort and ensure a thorough cleaning.
Should I Get My Teeth Deep Cleaned?
Dental deep cleaning is typically recommended for patients with gum disease, as it can cause inflammation, bleeding, and tooth loss if left untreated. It is also recommended for patients with a history of periodontal disease or those at risk of developing it due to poor oral hygiene, smoking, or certain medical conditions.
Be on the lookout for symptoms such as:
- Bad breath or taste
- Inflammation or bleeding in the gum tissue
- Receding gums (i.e., pulling away from your teeth)
The Pros and Cons of Dental Deep Cleanings
Like any dental procedure, there are pros and cons to dental deep cleaning every patient needs to consider before scheduling their first treatment session:
- Prevents gum disease: Dental deep cleaning helps prevent and treat gum disease — the forerunner to tooth loss and other serious dental health issues.
- Improves oral hygiene: Dental deep cleaning can improve overall oral health by removing plaque, tartar, and bacteria from below the gum line.
- Freshens your breath: Dental deep cleaning helps freshen your breath by removing bacteria and other debris from the mouth.
- Discomfort: Dental deep cleaning can be slightly uncomfortable for the patient, primarily during the initial dental treatment sessions.
- Cost: The costs of dental deep cleanings add up when performed regularly.
- Sensitivity: Some patients experience tooth or gum sensitivity after dental deep cleaning, especially to hot or cold temperatures.
Overall, the benefits of dental deep cleanings outweigh the cons for most patients, especially those with gum disease or at risk of developing it. If you have concerns about dental deep cleaning, it’s always best to speak with your dentist to determine whether it is the right procedure for you.
Can You Get Your Teeth Deep Cleaned With Braces?
Yes, it is possible to get your teeth deep cleaned with braces! In fact, it is even more important to have regular dental cleanings when you have braces because the brackets and wires can make it more challenging to clean your teeth thoroughly, increasing the risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay.
During the deep cleaning procedure, the dentist uses special instruments to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums, including the areas around your brackets and wires.
However, it’s important to note that some areas around your braces may be more difficult to clean, and it’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene habits throughout your orthodontic treatment. This includes brushing and flossing regularly and using interdental brushes or other tools to clean around your brackets and wires. Your dentist or orthodontist can guide you on properly caring for your teeth and braces during treatment.
Will My Deep Cleaning Be Painful?
Dental deep cleanings may cause some discomfort during and after treatment, but they should not be overly painful. The procedure is typically performed using a local anesthetic to numb the area and minimize any discomfort.
Removing plaque and tartar from your teeth and gum line can cause mild discomfort or pressure but should not be painful. However, if you experience any pain during the procedure, you should let your dentist know so they can adjust the anesthesia or take other measures to make you more comfortable.
After the procedure, you may experience sensitivity or discomfort in your teeth and gums for a few days. However, these side effects are expected and can easily be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and by avoiding hot, cold, or hard foods and drinks. Your dentist may also recommend using a special mouth rinse or toothpaste to help reduce sensitivity and promote healing.
Overall, while it may cause some discomfort, a deep dental cleaning is an essential step toward maintaining good oral health and preventing more serious dental problems in the future!
Start Your Orthodontic Treatment at Patuxent Orthodontics!
Contact Patuxent Orthodontics if orthodontic treatment is the solution to your dental woes. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of orthodontic treatment or have questions about the process, use our live chat or call (240) 802-7217 or send us a message through our contact us page to connect with our friendly staff today and book a complimentary orthodontic consultation! Our office, located at 44220 Airport View Dr., Hollywood, MD 20636, proudly serves Maryland’s Patuxent area, as well as the Greater Washington DC area. So, if you’re residing in Hollywood, Wildewood, or Leonardtown and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in Maryland, don’t hesitate to visit our office! We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining your perfect smile and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to become a part of our smiling community!