Undergoing routine dental cleanings is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce the risk of cavities, gum disease, and other potential issues. At his self-titled practice, general and family dentist Jason Ray, DDS, and the team offer dental cleanings to people of all ages. Preventive care and regularly scheduled visits can keep your smile healthy for years. To make an appointment, call the office in Santa Monica, California, or book online today.
A dental cleaning is a type of preventive dentistry. During treatment, Dr. Ray uses a tool called a scaler to remove plaque and tartar (calcified plaque) from beneath your gums and from the surfaces of your teeth.
It’s important to schedule dental cleanings even if you regularly brush and floss. Underlying oral issues don’t always present obvious symptoms, but oral exams and X-rays can catch them early on when they’re easiest to treat.
Dental cleanings feature several steps, including:
A dental cleaning begins with a complete oral exam. Dr. Ray uses a handheld mirror to assess your teeth, gums, tongue, and cheeks. He looks for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, or other abnormalities. If Dr. Ray notices any growths, he uses gloved hands to feel them. He might also collect a biopsy and send it to a lab for additional testing.
Next, Dr. Ray takes a series of oral X-rays. X-rays use digital sensors to capture detailed photos of your tooth roots, jaw, and alveolar bone (the bone that anchors your teeth). They allow Dr. Ray to identify conditions invisible to the eye, like deep decay or damage to the tooth pulp.
After taking a series of X-rays, Dr. Ray cleans your teeth. He carefully removes the plaque and tartar that’s built up on the surfaces of your teeth and beneath your gums.
Once Dr. Ray finishes cleaning all of the plaque and tartar from your teeth, he polishes them with gritty toothpaste. The toothpaste has microscopic abrasives in it that remove any tartar that Dr. Ray missed. They also help remove stains and discoloration, making your teeth whiter and brighter.
After polishing your teeth, Dr. Ray flosses them. Flossing removes any remaining food particles and harmful bacteria from between your teeth. It also massages your gums, reducing the risk of infection.
At the end of your dental cleaning, Dr. Ray makes recommendations to help you maintain good oral health. Depending on your age, oral health history, and needs, Dr. Ray and the team might recommend eating a healthier diet, quitting smoking, or undergoing orthodontic treatment with Invisalign.
Dr. Ray and the team recommend you schedule a dental cleaning every six months, even if your teeth and gums seem healthy. Routine checkups can alert you to potential issues in their early stages, reducing your risk of complications.
To learn more about the benefits of dental cleanings, make an appointment at the practice of Jason Ray, DDS, by calling the office or booking online today