Teeth cleaning is part of an Oral Health Exam labeled Hygiene Therapy at Archer Dental. The service is similar to massage therapy, or physiotherapy, and just as important to overall health. 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. 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 dental exam at Archer Dental. It’s a painless and efficient teeth scouring 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 any issues detected in the oral health exam that generally follows the cleaning.

What happens during Hygiene Therapy?

First, dental hygienists will need to know their patients’ medical history. They’ll ask if this is a first appointment with Archer Dental, and whether or not the patient has ever been to this location. Then they’ll either make a new file, or find previous records. Next, they’ll ask about any changes in a patients’ health such as new medications, diabetes, arthritis, or pregnancy.

Dental hygiene therapy is more commonly referred to as teeth cleaning because it removes plaque, tartar and food and tobacco stains to help keep patients’ teeth and gums healthy.  Brushing and flossing stops plaque build-up and prevents the grimy substances from hardening into tartar.  Hard deposits of tartar can only be removed at the dentist’s office.  Patients who visit Archer Dental for this procedure can relax, watch Netflix, or listen to their own music on their own devices as dental hygienists get busy with their gadgets.

hand scaler showing plaque on enamel and dental explorer

Hand Scalers scrape away the tartar on teeth. During the teeth cleaning procedure, patients will notice how hygienists use a small mirror on a bent stick to guide their way around their mouths.  Dental hygienist use a mirror and hand scaler to remove plaque and tartar around the gum line, as well as in between teeth. Patients will hear scraping sounds and feel a blade shaving their teeth, and this is normal. The only sensation is a gentle prodding, and the only discomfort is perhaps a jaw cramp. The more tartar the dental hygienist finds on patients’ teeth, the more time they’ll need to clean those teeth.

teeth cleaning

Power scalers are similar to hand scalers but instead of using muscle power, they harness ultrasonic waves to pull away plaque and tartar from the surface of teeth.  They use energetic vibrations to crush and remove calcified deposits. Additionally, the shockwaves that are created disrupt bacterial cells. Using these tools automatically washes and flushes pockets and any exposed root surfaces with disinfecting water. This technologically advanced dental power tool has turbines which accelerate and vibrate a water jet to break down plaque and tartar on 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 often prove to be gentler than hand scalers, and so 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.

What is professional flossing?

teeth cleaning graphic Toronto tartar

Plaque and tartar build-up on teeth

Expert flossing with proper dental floss is the only way to remove plaque between your teeth and keep tartar out of these hard-to-reach areas.  Patients floss and rinse daily, and use antiseptic mouthwash to help kill bacteria that cause plaque, but regardless of good habits, the dental hygienist uses the time to get deep between teeth and locate any potential trouble spots where you might bleed at the gums. If patients already notice their gums bleed when flossing they should inform the dental hygienist of this fact in the information gathering session that precedes the cleaning as listed above.

Does tooth polishing reduce staining?

polishing teeth during teeth cleaning session at Rosedale

Tooth polish, hygiene therapy treatment

Tooth Polishing is the last step in a typical teeth cleaning procedure and will not remove stains. The procedure is done to give patients’ recently cleaned teeth a smooth and shiny finish using a polisher device with a spinning head and abrasive paste.  After a patient’s teeth are completely tartar-free, the hygienist brushes them with the high-powered electric brush. The polishing eliminates any residue which may have been missed and will make teeth feel smoother. Giving teeth a sleeker surface also means that plaque will not collect as readily in the days and weeks that follow the cleaning. Tooth polishing is a very old dental treatment.  It was mentioned in both Greek and Roman writings.

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 is a teeth cleaning?

Teeth cleaning costs $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.

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