Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day especially at night before going to bed and in the morning when you wake up helps to neutralize a majority of the microbes in the mouth. It is recommended that individuals use a soft-bristled toothbrush along with a fluoride-rich toothpaste for maximum effectiveness. But, irrespective of how thoroughly you brush the teeth, microbes can get left behind in the hard-to-reach spots on the teeth, so flossing and even using a water irrigation appliance can help to reduce the microbe count.
What is a general cleaning?
A general cleaning is performed on relatively healthy teeth & gums. During a general cleaning, the dental professional will inspect your teeth and gums. Then, with the help of scalers, the tartar on your teeth is removed on the coronal aspect of the teeth. After removing the tartar, a tooth polisher will be used to polish your teeth enamel while the hygienist helps to rinse your mouth. As the last step, the hygienist will floss your teeth and finish the cleaning with one last rinse.
Any diagnosis greater than a mild case of gingivitis requires a deep cleaning.
What is a deep cleaning?
If you are diagnosed with a form of periodontal disease, you will require a deep cleaning. One of the ways this is diagnosed is through the evaluation of your dental x-rays and the numbers from your periodontal charting. When you have 5 mm periodontal pockets, you will need a deep cleaning by a dental professional. A deep cleaning involves two processes- scaling and root planing. Through scaling, the hygienist cleans the crown of the teeth with a hand-held, ultrasonic scaling device, and through root planing, the hygienist cleans the teeth roots with a hook-like scaling appliance. These processes remove the accumulated deposits of tartar along the root surface of the teeth so that the gum tissue can heal.