Dental calculus, also known as tartar, is a buildup of hardened plaque on the teeth. It can be removed through a process called scaling. Scaling involves the use of special instruments to scrape away the calculus from the surface of the teeth, both above and below the gumline.
Scaling is typically performed by a dental hygienist or dentist and may be done in conjunction with a procedure called root planing, which smooths out the roots of the teeth to help remove plaque and bacteria. Scaling and root planing may be recommended for individuals with gum disease, as it can help to reduce inflammation and bleeding of the gums.
It is important to note that while scaling can remove calculus, it does not prevent it from forming again. Good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing regularly, and visiting the dentist for regular cleanings, can help to prevent the buildup of tartar.
In addition to those with gum disease, scaling may also be recommended for individuals who have a high risk of developing calculus, such as those with poor oral hygiene, certain medical conditions, or a history of heavy smoking or alcohol use.
Overall, dental scaling is an effective way to remove tartar buildup and promote healthy gums, but it should be paired with good oral hygiene practices to prevent tartar from forming again.
Things to Consider After Teeth Cleaning
After a dental scaling procedure, it is important to take certain steps to ensure that the teeth and gums heal properly and to prevent further tartar buildup. Some things to keep in mind include:
- Pain or sensitivity: Some discomfort or sensitivity in the teeth and gums is normal after scaling, but if it is severe or lasts for more than a few days, it is best to contact your dentist for advice.
- Oral hygiene: Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential to prevent the buildup of tartar. Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, and use an antiseptic mouthwash if recommended by your dentist.
- Avoiding hard foods: It’s best to avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy foods for a few days after scaling to avoid irritation or injury to the teeth and gums.
- Follow-up appointments: Follow-up appointments with your dentist will be necessary to ensure that the teeth and gums are healing properly and to prevent the recurrence of tartar build-up.
- Medications: If prescribed, take any medications as directed by your dentist or hygienist to reduce pain or inflammation.
In conclusion, after dental scaling, good oral hygiene, avoiding hard foods, and regular follow-up appointments with the dentist are important steps to ensure proper healing and prevent further tartar buildup. If there are any concerns or complications, contact your dentist for advice.