Teeth cleaning is just part of a Complete Oral Health Exam at Archer Dental.  We prefer to call this Hygiene Therapy Treatment as we view the exercise being similar to massage therapy, or physiotherapy, and we believe it’s just as important to our patients’ overall health and wellness.  Teeth cleaning is a preventive approach to oral health care because having clean teeth in a healthy mouth works to prevent disease.  It’s a fact that if our patients let plaque and tartar build-up on their teeth, they’re going to get cavities.  And if patients have skipped routine check-ups in the past, then they probably already have dental caries which are only going to get worse.  Medical studies link oral health to general health, and most noticeably in bone loss, cardiovascular disease, heart failure and cancer.

What is Hygiene Therapy?

Clean white teeth after Dental Hygienist led professional cleaning at Archer Dental

Professional hygiene therapy at Archer Dental

Hygiene Therapy is the main ingredient in a routine dental exam at Archer Dental.  It’s a painless and efficient scouring of teeth that’s proven to be effective at stopping the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease.  A typical hygiene therapy treatment takes about forty minutes but can expand in length and intensity as the situation requires. Among the benefits of choosing Archer Dental is our high quality health care, our experienced staff, and the close proximity of experienced dentists who are able to give opinions and suggest additional treatments for issues detected in the oral health exam that generally follows the cleaning.

What happens during Hygiene Therapy?

First things first, Archer Dental’s Dental Hygienists will need to know about you and your medical history.  They’ll ask if this is your first appointment with Archer Dental and if you have been to this location before? They’ll either make a new file or find your previous records. Then they’ll ask about any changes in your health such as new medications, diabetes, arthritis, or pregnancy.

hygienists use small mirror dental issues oral health

Mouth mirror, hygiene therapy treatment

Dental hygiene, also referred to as ‘a cleaning,’ removes plaque, tartar and food and tobacco stains to help keep your teeth and gums healthy.  Brushing and flossing stops plaque build-up and prevents the grimy substance from hardening into tartar.  Hard deposits of tartar can only be removed at the dentist’s office. As you relax and watch Netflix or listen to music on your own device, our dental hygienists will get busy with their own gadgets.

dental hygienists tools at Archer Dental Little Italy in Toronto

Hand scalers at Archer Dental

Hand Scalers – They have all the gear necessary to scrape away the tartar on your teeth.  During your cleaning, you’ll see the hygienists use a small mirror on a bent stick to guide their way around your mouth.  The dental hygienist uses a hand scaler to scrape away plaque and tartar around your gum line, as well as in between your teeth. You’ll hear scraping sounds and feel a blade shaving away at your teeth, but this is all entirely normal.  The only discomfort is the prodding, strange noises, and the occasional jaw ache. The more tartar they find on your teeth, the more time they’ll need to scrape.

Power scalers – Similar to hand scalers in their task, power scalers use ultrasonic waves to pull away plaque and tartar from the surface of teeth.  These instruments use energetic vibrations to crush and remove calcified deposits. They also create shockwaves that disrupt bacterial cells. Use of these tools includes washing and flushing the pockets and any exposed root surfaces with water. This technologically advanced dental power tool has a turbines which accelerates and vibrate a water jet to break down plaque and tartar on your teeth. This saves the hygienist the energy of having to manually scrape and often results in a deeper clean. For patients who’re afraid of pain, ultrasonic scalers prove to be gentler than hand scalers and as such they provide a more comfortable dental experience.  Ultrasonic cleaning takes about one-third less time as compared to hand scaling. It’s also possible to remove deposits of plaque and tartar from under the gum line by using an extremely small tip on an ultrasonic unit, which can cause less discomfort and result in a deeper and better cleaning. Some hygienists prefer to use the ultrasonic scaler first, and then any stubborn areas are scaled by hand.

teeth cleaning graphic Toronto tartar

Plaque and tartar build-up on teeth

Expert flossing – No matter how good you are with a toothbrush, flossing your teeth with proper dental floss is the only way to remove plaque between your teeth and keep tartar out of these hard-to-reach areas. Of course you floss and rinse daily. Of course you use an antiseptic mouthwash to help kill bacteria that cause plaque.  But regardless of whether you floss regularly at home or not, nothing beats a professional flossing session. Your dental hygienist can get deep between your teeth and locate any potential trouble spots where you might bleed at the gums. If you already notice that your gums bleed when flossing you should inform your dental hygienist of this fact in the information gathering session that precedes the cleaning as listed above.

polishing teeth during teeth cleaning session at Rosedale

Tooth polish, hygiene therapy treatment

Tooth Polishing – Archer Dental’s team will also give your teeth a smooth and shiny finish using a tooth polisher with a spinning head and slightly abrasive paste.  After your teeth are completely tartar-free, the hygienist brushes them with this high-powered electric brush. The polishing eliminates any residue that may have been previously missed and will make your teeth feel smoother. A sleeker surface also means that plaque will not collect as readily in the days and weeks that follow. Tooth polishing is a very old dental treatment.  It was mentioned in both Greek and Roman writings.  Pierre Fauchard, the Father of Modern Dentistry re-introduced the procedure for removal of dental stains with the use of finely ground coral, egg shells, or salt as the abrasive. Nowadays the paste is more scientifically advanced, but the idea remains the same.

X-Rays – Dental X-rays are pictures of your mouth made with low levels of radiation harnessed to capture images that show the bottoms of teeth and to see what lies below your gums.  Dentists at Archer Dental will use these photos to evaluate your oral health. The radiography helps identify problems caused by otherwise unseen cavities, tooth decay, and impacted teeth.  Not everyone needs X-rays however, and adults without any apparent dental issues do not need regular dental X-rays.

teeth cleaning in Toronto at Archer Dental Little Italy

Hygiene therapy at Archer Dental

Tooth Sensitivity – Tooth sensitivity is a very common concern by patients at the dental office. Symptoms often arise after drinking hot or cold drinks or eating certain foods and sweets. Sensitivity can be treated with fluoride. Your hygienist will often suggest using a toothpaste specifically for sensitive teeth.  Patients with low-tolerance for pain can ask dental hygienists to administer a local anesthetic. For excessive tartar buildup or advanced cases of periodontal disease, a more thorough cleaning than usual is sometimes needed and this can sometimes cause pain and bleeding, so a local anesthetic could be administered in these cases.

How much does teeth cleaning cost?

Teeth cleaning is $236 for a one hour Hygiene Therapy session at Archer Dental.  Scaling, a fifteen minute component of the service when performed by hand, is $63. Our teeth cleaning service is called Hygiene Therapy. The comprehensive program includes an Oral Health Exam after scaling / cleaning treatment.  For an extra $40 the patient may get an additional tooth polishing service with a coarse or medium paste to remove extrinsic stain such as coffee, tea, wine etc.  It has a refreshing minty taste.

Archer Dental’s Hygienist Team

Dr Archer as dental patient at Archer Dental Rosedale - Glo teeth whitening test

Hygiene therapy at Archer Dental Rosedale

Archer Dental prides itself on having skilled and experienced Dental Hygienists who consistently stay sharp with constant new training and development programs.  In consequence, our people have many abilities and meticulous attention to detail and above all else they all possess great communication skills to put patients at ease during even the most tedious procedures. Your dental hygienist may also provide an oral cancer screening, fluoride to resist decay, scaling, polishing as we have listed above.  They work with patients one-on-one to develop proper brushing and flossing techniques, provide nutrition counselling and explain treatment options in such a way as to make you feel comfortable and confident about yourself and your shiny new smile.

At the completion of a typical Archer Dental hygiene therapy treatment, patients can rinse with water to be rid of any lingering debris and then feel their smooth clean teeth in a healthy mouth.  That’s a great feeling.  In some circumstances your dental hygienist could provide a special mouthwash that contains liquid fluoride. This is a special fluoride that gets “painted on your teeth, if you don’t like the traditional liquid fluoride then this is the stuff for you! Ask us about it.

Optional Fluoride Treatment

Archer Dental can provide patients with an optional fluoride treatment. When applied to human teeth enamel this elemental oxide (flouride) will protect against cavities for several months into the future.

Dr Natalie Archer as dental patient at Archer Dental.

Dr Natalie Archer rises with water after a hygiene therapy treatment at Archer Dental Rosedale

Fluoride is a natural mineral that strengthens tooth enamel is the outer protective layer of human teeth. The positive benefits of fluoride treatments have been recognized by all major North American dental associations for decades. Fluoride also destroys the bacteria that harm teeth and gums. Some Archer Dental locations have more than one flavour available, and so your dental hygienist may ask you what flavor you like best. Fluoride is especially helpful if you’re at high risk of developing dental caries, or cavities.

After your exam, the dentist or hygienist will discuss your oral health, including your own personal risk of tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health problems. We’ll take the time to set-up additional preventive measures you can take home in your mind to improve and protect your oral health. The dentist or hygienist probably also made copious notes to ensure a continuation of your treatment plan when to return for a follow-up visit.

Brushing and flossing at home are essential, but to ensure teeth are healthy and thoroughly clean, you should schedule regular hygiene therapy treatments with Archer Dental.