Dental cleanings are essential to maintaining adequate oral health, but sometimes you have to take it one step further, especially if you’re wearing braces. The maintenance of orthodontic appliances and teeth is difficult for patients who wear braces. Despite brushing and flossing, you’re still at risk of plaque and tartar buildup, as well as gum disease and other health problems!
Deep teeth cleaning, also called teeth scaling or root planing, is the answer! Although it can be uncomfortable during and after the procedure, it is an essential step in preventing more serious dental problems, particularly if you wear braces.
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What is a Dental Deep Cleaning?
During a dental deep cleaning, plaque, tartar, and bacteria are removed from beneath the gum line, and the roots of the teeth are smoothed.
Dental hygienists and dentists use specialized instruments to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth, especially from hard-to-reach areas that cannot be cleaned by regular brushing or flossing. Ultrasonic instruments can also be used to loosen and remove the buildup. This first step is called scaling.
The roots of the teeth are then smoothed to prevent bacteria from adhering to the surface of the teeth and promote gum tissue reattachment.
Deep teeth cleaning requires multiple appointments and may be performed under local anesthesia.
How Long Does a Deep Teeth Cleaning Take?
Dental deep cleanings can take anywhere from one to two hours, depending on the extent of the procedure and the condition of your teeth and gums.
The procedure may take longer if you have multiple areas of your mouth that need deep cleaning or if you have more severe gum disease. To minimize discomfort and ensure thorough cleaning, your dentist may suggest dividing the treatment into separate visits.
Should I Get My Teeth Deep Cleaned?
Inflammation, bleeding, and tooth loss can occur if gum disease is left untreated, which is why dental deep cleaning is typically recommended. Patients with a history of periodontal disease or those at risk of developing it due to poor oral hygiene, smoking, or certain medical conditions can also benefit from this treatment.
Watch out for symptoms such as:
- Bad breath or taste
- Gum tissue inflammation or bleeding
- Gums that recede (i.e., pull away from teeth).
The Pros and Cons of Dental Deep Cleanings
Before scheduling their first appointment for dental deep cleaning, patients should consider the pros and cons of the procedure:
- Prevents gum disease: A dental deep cleaning helps prevent and treat gum disease — the precursor to tooth loss and other serious dental problems.
- Improves oral hygiene: Plaque, tartar, and bacteria below the gum line can be removed during a dental deep cleaning to improve oral hygiene.
- Freshens your breath: By removing bacteria and other debris from the mouth, dental deep cleaning helps freshen your breath.
- Discomfort: Deep cleanings can be slightly uncomfortable for patients, particularly during the initial phases of dental treatment.
- Cost: Dental deep cleanings are costly if performed regularly.
- Sensitivity: Some patients experience tooth or gum sensitivity after dental deep cleaning, especially to hot or cold temperatures.
For most patients, dental deep cleanings outweigh the cons, especially those with gum disease or at risk of developing it. The best way to determine if dental deep cleaning is the right procedure for you is to speak with your dentist.
Can You Get Your Teeth Deep Cleaned With Braces?
It is possible to deep clean your teeth with braces! Having braces makes it even more important to have regular dental cleanings because the brackets and wires can make it harder to clean your teeth thoroughly, increasing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Plaque and tartar are removed from your teeth and gums during the deep cleaning procedure, including around your brackets and wires.
Although some areas around your braces may be difficult to clean, maintaining good oral hygiene habits is essential throughout your orthodontic treatment, especially if you have braces. You must brush and floss regularly and use an interdental brush or other tools to clean around brackets and wires. Your dentist or orthodontist can guide you on properly caring for your braces and teeth.
Will My Deep Cleaning Be Painful?
While dental deep cleanings may cause some discomfort, they should not be overly painful. A local anesthetic is usually used to numb the area and minimize discomfort.
In the case of plaque and tartar removal, there may be some discomfort or pressure, but it should not be painful. Your dentist can adjust the anesthesia or take other measures to make you more comfortable if you experience any pain during the procedure.
Your teeth and gums may feel sensitive or uncomfortable for a few days after the procedure. Nevertheless, these side effects can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and by avoiding foods and drinks that are hot, cold, or hard. Your dentist may also recommend a special toothpaste or mouth rinse to reduce sensitivity and promote healing.
However, deep dental cleaning is essential to maintaining good oral health and preventing more serious dental problems in the future.
Start Your Orthodontic Treatment at Loudoun Orthodontics!
Contact Loudoun Orthodontics if you think orthodontic treatment is the solution to your dental woes. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of orthodontic treatment or have questions about the process, use our live chat or call (703) 858-0303 or send us a message through our contact us page to connect with our friendly staff today to book a complimentary orthodontic consultation! Our office, located at 19465 Deerfield Ave, Suite 304, Leesburg, VA 20176, proudly serves not just Loudoun County but also the Greater Washington DC area. So, if you’re residing in Ashburn, Lansdowne, or Sterling, and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in Virginia, don’t hesitate to visit our office! We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining sparkling oral health, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to become a part of our smiling community!
- Higuera, Valencia. “Disadvantages and Advantages of Deep Cleaning Teeth.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 9 Dec. 2020, www.healthline.com/health/deep-cleaning-teeth. Accessed 17 Mar. 2023.
- “Deep Cleaning for Teeth: What It Is, How Much It Costs, and More.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/oral-health/what-is-the-cost-deep-teeth-cleaning. Accessed 17 Mar. 2023.