Your dentist is likely to clean your teeth at least twice a year as a part of your preventive care. During the cleaning, they use a scaler to gently dislodge tartar from the teeth.
Tartar is the yellow substance that accumulates on the teeth as plaque hardens. When dental plaque, a sticky mixture of food and oral microbes, is left in place for a prolonged period, it calcifies and becomes tartar.
Unlike plaque, tartar is not soft or sticky. Instead, the porous material is hard and chalky. In fact, it is too hard to be removed by a toothbrush or dental floss. Thus, a professional cleaning is needed to keep the teeth tartar-free.
Here are a few benefits associated with a professional dental cleaning.
The Teeth Look Whiter
Tartar is a dull, yellow color. Thus, it can make the tooth enamel appear dingy and discolored. Additionally, since tartar is porous, it may absorb colorants from the food and drinks that you consume.
As the tartar is scraped away, the underlying shiny, white enamel is revealed. The teeth may appear whiter and brighter after being professionally cleaned.
The Breath Smells Better
Halitosis, or bad breath, is usually caused by the foods that you consume and the bacteria that reside in your mouth. Foods with a strong smell, such as onions and garlic, may cause odors in your mouth after eating. The malodorous compounds that give the foods their characteristic smells may be absorbed by tartar accumulations. Additionally, bits of leftover food may become caught between the teeth where they can start to rot, emitting a foul odor.
Oral bacteria can be odor-causing because of the volatile sulfur compounds that they may release. Many anaerobic microbes that are sulfur-producing lie on the tongue. However, smelly bacteria may also become trapped within the pores of dental tartar.
During a dental cleaning, food and tartar that have been caught between the teeth are eliminated. Thus, the smell of the breath is likely to improve after a professional cleaning.
The Gums Are Healthier
Tartar often builds up at the gumline. Thus, acids from the bacteria contained in the tartar are released in close proximity to the gingival tissues before they are significantly diluted by saliva.
The acids inflame the gums, inciting the development of gum disease. As the tartar is removed, the number of acid-releasing microbes declines, preserving the health of the gums.
If you have not had your teeth cleaned in the last six months, contact the office of a local dentist to schedule an appointment.