Dr. Jennifer Lai is passionate about dentistry. She moved to Toronto at age 16 to pursue her dream of becoming a dentist. Of course this dream does not come from nowhere. Dr. Jennifer grew up in a dental office alongside with her mother and grandfather who were both dentists. You can say dentistry is not only a passion... more
No matter how well you take care of your teeth, plaque and tartar buildup are inevitable for everyone. Bacteria colonies form in our mouths every time we eat or drink, and while brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash are an effective strategy for getting rid of most of these particles, some always remain.
What You Need to Know About Scaling
This is why you need to visit your dentist for a checkup at least once every four to six months. Using a procedure called scaling (a.k.a. Cleaning), he or she will scrape away the layers of plaque buildup that have formed over time.
Please note that one of the key factors that affects the rate of tartar accumulation is saliva. Certain individuals have thicker saliva than others, thicker saliva increases the amount of tartar that is present on your teeth and gums. Therefore, your body's hydration and keeping hydrated by drinking water is very important to maintain proper saliva viscosity and proper oral clearance.
Likewise, eating on certain sides of your mouth and using drugs can exacerbate the level of build up as well, so be sure to speak to your dentist about how often they feel you should be coming in for treatment. Scaling is crucial for preventing gum disease and many other oral health problems, which is why you should never put off going to the dentist.
The Untold Benefits of this Common Dental Procedure
Helps eliminate bad breath - Whether you are plagued by chronic bad breath (referred to as halitosis) or the occasional bout of malodor, scaling can significantly improve the problem by getting rid of its source.
Many people mistakenly believe bad breath is caused by the foods they eat, but this is not always the case. Tartar buildup is often the main culprit, so the only way to cure chronic bad breath for good is to remove the gunk on your teeth and gums. And of course, don't forget to brush your tongue as the hair on your tongue can also harvest odor causing bacteria.
It’s good for your heart - There have been countless studies performed on the correlation between a person’s oral and overall health. Gingivitis and gum disease have a direct effect on your cardiovascular well-being. Your risk of heart diseases, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and many other life-threatening illnesses can be greatly reduced by simply removing the tartar which acts as the cause factors for so many of these debilitating diseases.
It will save you money - Taking good care of your teeth and mouth at home and by visiting the dentist or hygienist regularly, will save you thousands of dollars or more over your lifetime. Regular cleanings by your hygienist help prevent cavities, but more importantly identify cavities or caries at an early stage. Taking care of a small cavity which may cost you a few hundred dollars can be a easy and simple procedure. Left untreated inevitably will lead to unwanted complications including; infection, root canal treatment, tooth loss. All unpleasant outcomes that are very expensive to remedy.
While some dentists still rely on manual instruments to scrape away the tartar, manual scaling can be more detrimental to enamel in comparison to ultrasonic technology. Modern dental offices today use ultrasonic instruments for maximum precision, more effective removal of tartar and calculus, and overall better patient comfort as well as quicker treatment. The procedure can take anywhere from one to four visits to complete, with or without the help of local anesthetic. The number of scaling sessions required and the amount of time required is individualized depending on each patient's specific needs.