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Dental Hygiene

Dental hygiene, also called oral hygiene, is the practice of keeping your teeth clean and free of dental disease and bad breath.  In addition to the daily practice of tooth brushing and flossing, it is important to see your dentist regularly to do teeth cleaning and dental check-up.


Teeth cleaning, as the major part of dental hygiene, refers to the dental procedures with cleaning instruments to remove plaque, calculus/tartar, and stains from teeth to prevent cavities/tooth decay, gingivitis, and other gum disease. If left untreated, subgingival (under the gum) plaque and calculus are the main local factors of periodontal disease, and teeth cleaning is the most effective way to remove those plaque and calculus. After teeth cleaning, polishing the tooth surface can delay the redeposition of plaque and calculus.

How often should you get teeth cleaned?  It is generally recommended that you should have your teeth cleaned twice a year (every six months). After tooth cleaning, your dentist will evaluate the conditions of your teeth and gums and decide if further treatment is needed or more frequent cleanings will benefit your oral health. 

Does teeth cleaning damage your teeth?  No. Teeth cleaning does not damage the surface on your teeth, which is a very hard layer of enamel, and the impact of scaling can be ignored. Teeth cleaning only removes the plaque and calculus that build up over time on the teeth and under the gums. 

Does teeth cleaning increase gap between teeth?  No. This is because the accumulation of calculus and inflamed gums cause the gums to swell and fill the gaps between the teeth, which look like increased after all the deposits are removed by teeth cleaning. These gaps will reduce once the inflamed gums recover and get back to their original positions if regular teeth cleaning is received.

Is teeth sensitivity after scaling normal?  It's normal to experience certain level of teeth sensitivity after your teeth cleaning. This is because the "coat" formed by plaque and calculus are removed by teeth cleaning, and that part of teeth need to adjust the direct exposure to the environment.  The sensitivity is only temporary if your teeth is healthy.  

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