5 things a dental cleaning can do for you

  1. Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is the world’s biggest disease. It affects 1 in 5 children under the age of 6. Despite the use of fluoride can limit decay, we still have a big problem.  The sad reality is that it is so easy to prevent…

The whitish film on our teeth is plaque. Plaque is bacteria that attach to teeth and starts to multiply and form a basis on which more bacteria can attach too.  It is like a chain reaction. The more bacteria are multiplying and attach to other bacteria the thicker and more dangerous the plaque becomes.

When plaque is older than 3 days it is sticky and difficult to remove.  When sugary diet is consumed the bacteria uses the sugar to form acid. The acid slowly dissolves tooth enamel. After a period of poor brushing and flossing with sugary diet the tooth enamel is dissolved to such an extent a hole is visible on the tooth. That is tooth decay.   The deeper the hole or cavity is forming the more likelihood you experience toothache.

Tooth decay can be prevented. You must see a hygienist to remove the plaque. Your hygienist will show you the proper brushing and flossing techniques.

Bi-annually cleanings and proper home care will ensure that you will never have tooth decay.


Dental cavity on molar



  1. Tooth Loss

Gum disease, affect  about 40% of adults. Most of them don’t even know they have this disease. Normally when the symptoms are present it is too late.

Mature plaque (5 day old) turns into harden plaque to form tartar build-up.  Tartar build-up cannot be removed by brushing and flossing.  Bacteria in turn attach more easily onto tartar build-up hence a thicker layer of plaque,  it also gets calcified because of the salts in your saliva. Build-up gets thicker.

The bacteria that attach to the harden plaque starts a gum infection.


Tartar build-up behind bottom teeth


Gingivitis is the start of gum infection.  The bacteria start to irritate the gum, the body response to the infection is more blood to the area.  White blood cells try to kill the bacteria, but unfortunately they cannot kill it because it is attached to the tooth surface.  Result of this infection is red and swollen gums.  Bleeding gums is a sign of gingivitis.

Treatment of gingivitis is to see the Hygienist for a good cleaning,  she will give you proper brushing and flossing tecniqunies .  You also receive some home care advise to relieve the symptoms.


There are stages of periodontitis.


Early periodontitis

At this stage damage is done to the bone and ligaments holding a tooth in place.  The bacteria are forming under the gum and the inflammation is destroying the bone around the tooth.  In early stages the damage around the tooth can still be treated.  The hygienist will remove all the tartar-build-up and plaque. She will measure the space between the gum and tooth to see how severe it is.

With early periodontitis one or two appointments are needed for a deep cleaning.

Moderate Periodontitis

This stage the damage is more severe, more bone-loss is apparent and the gum is starting to recede. It will appear that the teeth is getting “longer”.

Treatment for moderate perio is deeper cleaning and the hygienist will numb the gingiva the go deep into the gum pocket.


Advance Periodontitis.

This stage is when tooth loss occurs. The bone is completely destroyed, the tooth is mobile. (feeling loose in the mouth) The appearance is very long teeth. Hence the saying “getting long in the tooth”

Meaning you are getting older. Tooth loss is not from age but a gum disease. At this stage not much can be done. Teeth are normally extracted and false teeth (dentures) are made.


Gum diseases are very easy to prevent.  Regular bi-annually cleanings done by an Oral Hygienist and proper care at home (brushing and flossing), you will have healthy teeth and gums.


  1. Brighten your smile

Your lifestyle can cause your teeth to appear darker. For instance smoking, drinking black coffee and tea, Curries and red wine may stain your teeth.

Two types of staining


Type that form on the enamel of the tooth
Type that form inside the enamel of the tooth

Type that form on the surface of the enamel

The colorants attach onto the plaque and start to stain the tooth surface. With a good cleaning done by the hygienist she will remove the stains and polish the teeth.  After this treatment your teeth will look nice and white again.

Type that form inside the enamel

The colorants can lie in between the rods of the enamel structure. The hygienist cannot remove this type of stains with a cleaning.  Whitening is recommended.  Whitening is a safe procedure to use and very effective.


  1. Freshen your breath

Food particles accumulate in between our teeth during eating. The bacteria break down the food and form a gas. If not removed daily the bacteria multiply and more food gets broken down and the odour is more prominent.

In cases when patients have gum diseases it will also affect your breath. Bacteria are breaking down bone tissue and gum tissue.

Your tongue is also a breeding ground for bacteria. It needs to be cleaned daily, with a toothbrush or a tongue scraper.

A good cleaning done by an Oral Hygienist and good practices done at home, proper brushing and flossing will ensure a fresh breath.


  1. Boost your overall health

Studies have shown a connection between oral and overall health. Regular dental cleanings may help lower your risk for some diseases, like heart disease and stroke. Many medical conditions, some of them life-threatening, can be detected in their early stages by your dentist during a routine oral exam