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Dental Prophylaxis (Teeth Cleaning)
Plaistow, NH

Have you ever wondered why, even with regular brushing and flossing, you still need to visit the dentist at least once a year? Did you know that 91% of U.S. adults aged 20–64 have had cavities in their permanent teeth? Dental prophylaxis can help!

Dental prophylaxis, or teeth cleaning, is a preventive dental procedure focused on thoroughly cleaning and meticulously examining your mouth for any telltale signs of dental issues. What are the major benefits of this procedure?

Dental prophylaxis helps prevent nasty problems like tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and a host of other oral health issues. While brushing and flossing at home is essential, a good teeth cleaning ensures that even the hard-to-reach areas get cleaned.
Let’s delve deeper into what you can expect during a dental prophylaxis session.

What Happens During Dental Prophylaxis?

During dental prophylaxis, several crucial steps take place to ensure your oral health is at its best. The process begins with thoroughly reviewing your medical history, allowing your dentist to gain insights into your medications, past surgeries, allergies, and any dental concerns. This personalized information sets the stage for a tailored prophylaxis experience.

Next comes the oral examination, a meticulous assessment conducted using various tools and potentially X-rays. This step involves a comprehensive inspection for cavities, indications of gum disease, potential oral cancer symptoms, and other oral issues that require attention.

Dental prophylaxis begins with scaling, a gritty and determined phase where your dentist employs specialized tools to combat plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth, including those hard-to-reach areas below the gum line. Tartar, the arch-nemesis of optimal dental hygiene, necessitates professional removal.

Following the rigorous scaling, your teeth receive a rejuvenating polishing treatment, eliminating lingering stains and resulting in a gleaming, dazzling finish. The dentist then takes care of interdental spaces through meticulous flossing, ensuring no residues persist between your teeth.

A fluoride treatment is administered to fortify your teeth against the onslaught of bacterial acid attacks, functioning as a protective shield. Sealants may be applied to your back teeth for added defense, serving as robust barriers against potential decay.

As a critical element of the prophylaxis experience, your dentist imparts valuable home care instructions. This phase extends beyond the clinic, empowering you with knowledge and techniques to maintain the sparkle and health of your teeth until your next visit.

Concluding the process, a follow-up appointment might be scheduled. This is essential for situations where further procedures are warranted, ensuring that your dental well-being remains a priority.

Through these comprehensive steps, dental prophylaxis provides a radiant and enduring smile supported by thorough care and personalized guidance.

Types of Dental Prophylaxis

There isn’t a “one size fits all” dental prophylaxis. Depending on the level of cleaning and treatment needed, different types of prophylaxis might be suggested:

  • Regular Prophylaxis: This is your standard cleaning, often suggested for individuals with good oral health.
  • Periodontal Maintenance: This maintenance cleaning is a little more intense for patients who’ve previously had gum disease, focusing deeply on gum health.
  • Scaling and Root Planing: This is deep cleaning, involving cleaning above and below the gum line. We have a dedicated scaling and root planing page.

While all these methods aim to achieve a cleaner mouth and prevent dental issues, the procedures, frequency, benefits, and costs vary.

Talking with your dentist about which prophylaxis suits your oral health needs and goals is essential.

How to Prepare for Dental Prophylaxis?

Getting ready for a dental prophylaxis appointment isn’t as complex as you might think. You can make the procedure smoother for you and the dentist with a few straightforward steps.

Here’s how:

  • Tidy Up: Brush and floss your teeth to remove any loose plaque or food particles.
  • Mind Your Meal: Eat a light meal before your appointment and skip the sticky or sugary foods that cling to teeth.
  • Medical Roundup: Have a list of all your medications, allergies, and any medical conditions that might affect dental treatments.
  • Speak Your Mind: Let your dentist know if you have a dental phobia or experience any anxiety related to dental procedures.
  • Dress Smart: Opt for comfortable clothing and leave the chunky jewelry at home to avoid interference with dental equipment.

How to Care for Your Teeth After Dental Prophylaxis?

After the appointment, the care you provide to your teeth can make all the difference in maintaining the results:

Be Mindful of Intake: After a fluoride treatment, steer clear of anything too hot, cold, acidic, or sugary for at least an hour.

Smoke and Tobacco: These can be your teeth’s worst enemies after scaling and polishing. Avoid them for a minimum of 24 hours to prevent potential gum irritation or staining.

Stay Gentle: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and make fluoride toothpaste your best friend.

Floss Regularly: It keeps the plaque and food remains in check.

Rinse and Repeat: An antiseptic mouthwash or warm salt water can keep inflammation and bacteria at bay.

Hydrate: Water quenches your thirst and keeps the mouth clean.

Eat Right: Indulge in a nutrient-rich diet, promoting oral health.

Avoid Certain Foods: Stay away from foods that pose a risk to your freshly cleaned teeth, especially hard or sticky items.

Risks and Complications of Dental Prophylaxis

Engaging in a dental prophylaxis procedure comes with its share of advantages, but it’s important to acknowledge the potential risks and complications that can arise.

Within possible concerns, a subset of patients may encounter certain adverse effects. These can include:

  • bleeding
  • swelling
  • pain
  • heightened sensitivity
  • allergic reactions

While exceedingly rare, there is also a minute possibility of experiencing damage to the teeth or gums or even nerve injury in isolated cases.

There are measures you can take to minimize these risks. Adhering diligently to both pre-operative and post-operative care instructions is vital. This might involve specific hygiene practices, dietary adjustments, or other precautions your dentist recommends.

Clear and open communication regarding any pre-existing medical conditions or allergies is crucial for your dentist to make informed decisions regarding your treatment.

Selecting a reputable and experienced dental clinic for your prophylaxis can significantly minimize risks. Established clinics often maintain stringent protocols, utilize high-quality materials, and employ skilled professionals, all contributing to a safer and more effective prophylaxis experience.

It’s essential to approach the potential risks with perspective. While there are certain possibilities, most patients undergo dental prophylaxis without encountering any significant issues.

The benefits of this procedure, in terms of oral health and hygiene, far outweigh the potential downsides. Ultimately, staying well-informed, communicating openly with your dental team, and following recommended practices will help ensure that your dental prophylaxis journey is as safe and successful as possible.

Dental Prophylaxis at Plaistow Dental

Dental prophylaxis is more than a cleaning; it’s an investment in your oral health and overall well-being. Understanding the procedure, how to prepare, and the aftercare can make a significant difference in your experience and the results.

At Plaistow Dental Clinic, with over 30 years of expertise, we’re committed to ensuring that your dental needs are met with precision and care. So why wait? Book an appointment online today or call us at (603) 382-7100 and let us help you flaunt that radiant smile!