What is a scale and clean?

A thin layer of bacteria forms on tooth surfaces very soon after they are cleaned. If this is left too long the plaque becomes mineralised into hard calcified deposits called calculus (tartar or scale). While regular brushing and flossing will help get rid of plaque and prevent calculus, once there is calculus on your teeth it can be very difficult to remove it and brushing and flossing usually is not enough. A professional scale and clean removes calculus, plaque and food debris from the mouth and teeth surfaces to reduce the risk of decay and gum disease (periodontitis).

 

Should I have a fluoride treatment?

Fluoride helps to desensitise, remineralise and strengthen tooth surfaces and the best time to do this is after all the plaque and calculus have been removed at your regular scale and clean appointment. Fluoride applied to the tooth surfaces becomes incorporated into the tooth and makes the teeth more acid resistant to help prevent dental decay.

 

Will a scale and clean make my teeth whiter?

Teeth generally look whiter after a scale and clean as all of the plaque, calculus and stain have been removed. Although the underlying  tooth colour will not be affected at a scale and clean, the appearance will usually be whiter.

 

What are fissure seals?

Some fissures (grooves) in the chewing surfaces of teeth are very difficult to clean. Sugary foods and plaque stick in the fissures and may cause decay. To help protect the areas, dental sealants may be placed over the grooves.

During each visit at MDOR we will assess your (or your child’s) risk of decay. If teeth are considered to be at risk, dental sealants may be recommended for tooth surfaces that are most likely to develop cavities.  At MDOR we use the latest and most effective medicaments to effectively seal the teeth most at risk of having tooth decay.

 

What can I do to care for my Childs’ teeth?

Brushing your child’s teeth daily Is important to remove plaque, which is a soft sticky, almost invisible layer of bacteria that forms on teeth every day. Most dental problems begin with plaque, these two main dental diseases are – tooth decay and gum disease.

Start cleaning teeth as soon as they appear in your child’s mouth (approximately 6 months of age) at first a soft damp cloth may be used to gently wipe the teeth around the gum line. When a few teeth are present, the cloth should be replaced by a tooth brush with a small head and soft bristles.

For children 18 months to 5 years use a small pea-size amount of low fluoride toothpaste and for children 6 years of age, a normal strength toothpaste. The fluoride in toothpaste will help prevent tooth decay. Children should spit, not swallow and not rinse after brushing.

Children should be encouraged to brush their own teeth. However they do not have the skills to use a toothbrush correctly until about 7 or 8 years of age. Therefore, Brush your child’s teeth twice a day, in the morning after breakfast and before going to bed at night.