Preventative Dentistry

Linda Jones-Laper, DDS

Family Dentist & General Dentist located in Elkridge, MD

Nothing brightens your smile more than a good dental cleaning. The American Dental Association says you should get a dental cleaning at least once a year. As a top dentist in Howard County with her office in Elkridge, Maryland, Dr. Linda Jones-Laper knows how important regular cleanings are for good oral health. She works with you to design a cleaning plan that suits you and your oral health needs. If you need a dental cleaning and oral exam, call the office today or book an appointment online.

Preventative Dentistry Q & A

What happens during a dental cleaning?

The goal of a dental cleaning is to remove debris, tartar, and stains from your teeth to improve oral health. At Dr. Jones-Laper’s office, a trained dental hygienist cleans your teeth.

First, you sit back in the dental chair and the hygienist provides protective eyewear and places a bib over your head to protect your clothes from debris. Then, the hygienist adjusts the light to get a good view of your teeth and mouth.

The cleaning starts with scraping plaque and tartar from your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film that attaches to your teeth and harbors bacteria. Tartar is a hard deposit that collects in the crevices between the teeth and gums. If not regularly cleaned, both plaque and tartar may contribute to the formation of cavities.

After the scraping, the hygienist brushes your teeth with a high-powered toothbrush and gritty toothpaste to remove any remaining debris. The brushing is followed by flossing.

After your teeth are cleaned, the hygienist examines them for decay. Then, Dr. Jones-Laper conducts her oral exam.

Do regular dental cleanings prevent gum disease?

Regular visits to Dr. Jones-Laper and her team may help prevent the onset of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Gum disease is an infection that occurs in the soft pink tissue that surrounds your teeth.

Plaque causes gum disease. Regular cleanings help prevent plaque buildup and the onset of gum disease. Signs of gum disease include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Teeth pulling away from the gums
  • Loose permanent teeth

If you develop gum disease in the early stages, known as gingivitis, you may be able to improve your oral health and reverse the damage.

How can preventive dental cleanings improve bad breath?

Regular dental cleanings also help keep your breath fresh by removing bacteria and plaque.

If you’re in between dental cleanings, good oral hygiene can help keep bad breath, also known as halitosis, at bay. Good oral hygiene habits include:

  • Regular brushing and flossing
  • Using mouthwash
  • Eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water

If you have dentures, clean them twice a day to keep odors away.

To keep your teeth and mouth healthy, you need regular preventive dental cleanings. Call Dr. Jones-Laper today or book an appointment online to schedule your cleaning.