During your hygiene therapy or dental cleaning the hygienist will remove plaque (soft, sticky, bacteria) and calculus (mineral) deposits that have built up on the teeth over time. If the calculus is allowed to accumulate on the teeth, it will unfortunately provide the right conditions for bacteria to thrive next to the gums. The purpose of hygiene therapy is to leave the surfaces of the teeth clean and smooth so that bacteria are unable to stick to them, allowing you a better chance of keeping your teeth clean during regular home care.
At Pleasant Street Dental the hygienist uses specialized instruments to gently remove these deposits without harming the teeth. The instruments may include ultrasonic and/or fine hand instruments. Ultrasonic instruments use tickling vibrations to knock larger pieces of calculus loose or may be used to flush and irrigate the gums. Fine hand instruments are used to remove smaller deposits and smooth the tooth surfaces. These tools are shaped to match the curves of the teeth.
Once all the surfaces are smooth, your teeth will be gently polished. Polishing is completed with a soft rubber cup and prophylaxis paste – a special gritty toothpaste-like material to make them shiny smooth.
Your hygienist may also apply topical fluoride varnish. This is the final part of the dental cleaning. It is best not to eat, drink or rinse for 30 minutes after the fluoride has been applied.