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How Dental Cleanings Protect You From The Effects Of Plaque

How Dental Cleanings Protect You From The Effects Of Plaque

Many of us know in theory that going to the dentist is an important part of life that we need to do, but have you considered why? The mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria and the foods we eat, especially sugars, linger in our mouths and on our teeth in the form of plaque. A build up of plaque causes problems for our oral health and our general health. Dental cleanings are one major way we get rid of the plaque in our mouths, and keeping up with dental cleanings helps to facilitate a healthy mouth and even a healthier body.

Dental cleanings are a standard part of regular dental exams.
Learn some interesting facts about dental exams to better understand their importance.

Dental Cleanings And Plaque

What Is Plaque?
Plaque is a sticky substance in the mouth made from leftover food particles, saliva, and bacteria that can build up over time. Within your mouth, there is a microbiome that includes both good and bad bacteria. This microbiome starts developing from the moment you're born and is largely determined by your genetics, your oral health habits, and your diet. Your microbiome is partially responsible for your susceptibility to cavities and plaque buildup (which is made of the bad bacteria within your mouth). Plaque continues to build up and eat away at the teeth and gums unless you regularly brush, floss, use mouthwash, and visit your dental office for a dental cleaning.

How Does Plaque Impact Me?

  • Oral Health
    Plaque clings to the mouth and eats through the layers of the teeth, creating cavities. If the bacteria gets to the pulp, the centre of the tooth that contains nerves, it can cause serious pain and infections that can lead to tooth loss or threaten your overall health if this infection gets into the bloodstream. If you have a tooth infection accompanied by a fever, this is a sign that your infection is in your bloodstream and you need to seek medical attention immediately. Plaque buildup also increases your risk of developing periodontal diseases, which are infections and inflammations of the gums and jaw bone. Periodontal disease can cause permanent tooth loss as the gums recede and the jawbone weakens.
  • General Health
    Anytime you swallow, you are swallowing the bacteria in your mouth. Beyond this, your gums have delicate blood vessels within them and bacteria that enters and infects the gums also impacts those blood vessels. This can make the mouth a point of entry for bacteria and it can spread bacteria throughout the body. Recently, there has been a link discovered between heart disease and oral health, although it is not yet known if poor oral health increases your risk of heart disease or if heart disease increases your risk of gum disease, but we do know that a mouth with little plaque tends to lead to better health overall.

How Can A Dental Cleaning Help Reduce Plaque Buildup?
While regular flossing, brushing, and mouthwash use are all important parts of oral health, dental cleanings are also vital. A dental cleaning reaches areas that can’t be properly addressed with at-home oral care. Dental cleanings get bacteria off of the surface of teeth, in between teeth, around the gum line, at the very back of the mouth, and they offer additional services. Fluorides and polishes are applied during a dental cleaning, and these help to rinse all bad bacteria from the mouth while also protecting the teeth from having more bacteria build up right away. By receiving bi-annual dental cleanings, you make sure that bacteria is fully removed and not building up in the mouth.

Dental Cleanings Can Protect You From The Adverse Effects Of Plaque

Scheduling regular dental cleanings is an important part of your oral health as well as your overall health. Dental cleanings are instrumental in fighting the negative effects caused by plaque buildup and scheduling dental cleanings twice a year is a great way to help avoid any tooth loss or related health issues. At Marlborough Dental Centre, our dental hygienists will remove plaque from your teeth and give you cleaning instructions to help you further battle plaque buildup. To schedule a dental cleaning for plaque-free, smooth teeth, call Marlborough Dental Centre at 1-403-248-2066 or fill out the online contact form.


Q: What can I expect from a dental cleaning?
A: Your dental cleaning will be conducted by a dental hygienist. They will first examine your mouth for plaque buildup and staining before they start cleaning. During the dental cleaning portion of your visit, the dental hygienist will use a variety of manual tools as well as handheld instruments such as the ultrasonic vibrating cleaning device. They will also use fluoride and a dental polish. For a more complete description of the process, read What To Expect During A Dental Cleaning.

Q: Will I be able to eat after my dental cleaning?
A: To get the finest results and prevent future staining, you should wait 30 minutes after a dental cleaning to eat or drink. The fluoride treatment used during a cleaning will need these 30 minutes to seal around the teeth and be fully effective.

Q: Does Marlborough Dental offer family dental services?
A: Yes, we do. Marlborough Dental Centre offers dental services for all, including senior dental care, restorative dental services, cosmetic dentistry, dental hygiene for all ages, emergency dental services, and dental care for children.

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