How Dentists Remove Plaque from Teeth – Ask a Dentist in Spring, Texas - Vita Dental Spring
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How Dentists Remove Plaque from Teeth – Ask a Dentist in Spring, Texas

How Dentists Remove Plaque from Teeth – Ask a Dentist in Spring, Texas 150 150 Tony

How Dentists Remove Plaque from Teeth – Ask a Dentist in Spring, Texas

The recommended daily dental hygiene practices are a great way of removing food particles from the surface of the teeth and ensuring that the teeth remain clean. But even with that, plaque usually develops gradually over time. Plaque is a sticky bacterial film that forms on the teeth surface and along the gum lines. When not removed, it accumulates to form tartar that attaches itself to the enamel and the gum line. The plaque can be removed by a dentist, and this Vita Dental post highlights how the procedure is done.

Teeth examination

Removal of dental plaque is part of the tooth cleaning procedure. As such, the process commences by the dentist or the hygiene specialist conducting a dental examination on the patient. The exam is meant to determine whether an infection is present or not. From there, the dentist will make the call on whether to proceed with the plaque removal or to administer the treatment first.

Removal of plaque

Once ready, the dentist or the oral hygiene specialist will now proceed to remove plaque from the teeth. The procedure is not painful hence there is no need for anesthesia to be administered. An ultrasonic instrument with tickling vibrations is used to knock off the large tartar particles lose. In addition to the vibrations, the ultrasonic instrument also sprays a cooling mist that washes away the debris removed and helps maintain proper temperature in the mouth. This is the most irritating part or plaque removing owing to the fact that the machine emits a high pitched whistling or humming sound.

Once the large tarter pieces are completely off, the dentist will now switch to using the finer hand tools. These are the scalers and the curettes. They are curved and have shapes that match the curve of the teeth. These are used to remove the smaller plaque deposits on the surface of the tooth. They also smoothen the surface of the tooth. The scalers and curettes are basically use scrapping mechanisms as they remove the plaque and small tartar deposits by gently scraping the surface of the teeth. The same has to be done gently and using moderate pressure to avoid damaging the actual tooth.

Brushing and expert flossing

After the plaque has been removed, the dental specialist will now brush the teeth using a toothbrush to clean the surface of the tooth. To ensure that there is no plaque still on the surface, a stronger and more abrasive toothpaste is used for the cleaning. While it is stronger, the toothpaste still tastes like any normal toothpaste.

In addition to the brushing, flossing will be done to access the areas in between teeth and remove any plaque and debris that may have accumulated there. Expert flossing is usually more thorough and more effective.


After all the plaque has been removed from the surface of the teeth and brushing has been properly done, the dentist will now rinse the mouth using a fluid containing fluoride. The rinsing is done thoroughly to ensure that there are no particles left in between the teeth.

Polishing of the teeth

The rinsing usually marks the end of the cleaning actions. What follows next are bids to ensure that the teeth retain their clean look by taking measures to prevent plaque from accumulating easily. Polishing of the teeth is usually done using a handpiece containing a soft rubber cup. The polishing is usually facilitated by a material that looks like toothpaste which is spun around the teeth using the handpiece making them smooth and shiny. The shiny appearance is just to make the teeth look even prettier while the smooth surface is aimed at ensuring that the tooth feels comfortable and that plaque does not accumulate easily on the surface.

Fluoride application

The final step is the application of fluoride. Fluoride usually comes in a number of flavors like strawberry, watermelon, mint, cherry, chocolate, pina colada or any other mix. The fluoride is applied by placing the same on flexible foam trays which are then placed on the teeth for a couple of seconds. The fluoride serves to strengthen the surface of the teeth and protect it from the acids being emitted by the bacteria forming the plaque. One is usually advised not to consume any food or drink for the first 30 minutes after applying the fluoride.

Plaque removal is fast and simple. There is no pain that comes with it. You will only experience a tickling sensation when the plaque is being removed due to the vibrations and the water spray. Also, the pressure from the scrapping can be a bit uncomfortable, but it only lasts for a few seconds. In case your plaque removal experience is painful and uncomfortable, that may be due to your hygienist being too rough. You can consider going to another dentist next time for your plaque removal. You can also consider getting anesthetics to numb your teeth before plaque removal begins. If the painful sensation is due to an exposed enamel or an oral disease, have the same treated first.