Instead of going to the dentist annually, it’s cheaper to just brush our teeth thoroughly every day, right? WRONG. This used to be my mindset until I saw how my teeth looked like up-close even after brushing. It’s not as clean as I thought it would be! So how often should we be visiting the dentist for professional teeth cleaning, also known as Oral Prophylaxis? According to Dr. Darwin Ferrolino of Variahealth Clinic in Quezon City, we should get it every six months, but it can also depend on our teeth’s status (e.g. with impacted hard-to-clean teeth, bloody gums, tartar buildup), so some people need to do it every two to three months.
In case you’re wondering what happens during Oral Prophylaxis and how much it costs, here’s an overview of my latest visit to the dentist, with matching explanations from Dr. Darwin.
WHO SHOULD GET ORAL PROPHYLAXIS?
Everyone, as long as you have teeth, should get professional teeth cleaning every six months. While brushing and flossing can help remove tartar and food stuck in our teeth, there are hard-to-reach areas that we don’t usually see in front of the mirror where there may be bacterial buildup. This usually happens when a person has an impacted tooth (like me). Those who drink coffee, tea, and colored drinks on a regular basis also tend to stain their teeth due to excessive drinking. Oral Prophylaxis can also help wash away the stain buildup.
The experience is actually really relaxing, in my opinion. You’ll really feel clean and fresh after your Oral Prophylaxis session, plus you’ll know which parts of your teeth should be brushed thoroughly moving forward. In case your dentist doesn’t tell you which parts, make sure to ask!
WHAT HAPPENS DURING TEETH CLEANING?
You’ll only need around 30 minutes for a teeth cleaning session. Just make sure to book your appointment with the dentist ahead so you won’t wait that long for your turn. Actual steps may vary depending on what your teeth needs but here’s what I experienced:
1.Assessment: As usual, your session will start with an assessment. This is where your dentist will tell you if there are damaged teeth that needs special care or if you need treatment other than oral prophylaxis.
Dr. Darwin showed me what my mouth looked like from the inside so I’ll see my impacted tooth. It wasn’t as clean as I thought it would be, so I also asked for advise on how to best fix it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your visit! Your dentist should be smart and nice enough to recommend the right dental care for you.
2. Scaling: My favorite step! Using a thin tool that shoots out water, your dentist will beremoving debris or tartar buildup before brushing and polishing. This is the simplest out of all the steps. To keep you from “drowning” yourself from the water (and saliva) buildup, a small suction will be placed in your mouth. It doesn’t hurt but you’ll have to get used to not swallowing the water in your mouth.
3. Flossing: For special cases, dentists floss areas with hard-to-remove debris. This usually happens when the teeth aren’t aligned or are overlapping.
4. Air Flow Prophylaxis: This is the most interesting part of the cleaning session. It’s like having a really small hair dryer shooting cool salty air in your mouth! Some parts of your gums may sting or bleed after the process but that’s just the bacteria crying. It means your gums are being cleaned from bacteria buildup!
Dr. Darwin showed me which parts of my teeth require more brushing. Tip: Apply equal pressure when brushing the left and right side of your mouth!
5. Brushing and Polishing: The finishing touch, whichtastes like toothpaste! This may seem a little messy but you’ll have gargle and wash your mouth after anyway, so it’s easy to remove. What sets this apart from regular brushing is that dentists’ tools are far more advanced and high-tech vs our manual toothbrush.
My teeth looked super clean after, I would’ve taken dozens of selfies if only I wasn’t wearing my TMJ splint. Overall, I would do it again and again!
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Teeth cleaning costs Php 1,500 only at Variahealth Clinic in Quezon City. There are other clinics that offer it at a higher price but so far, only Dr. Darwin was cool enough to show me what my teeth looked like up-close. Seeing it for yourself has a different impact vs just being lectured about dental care and all that. I’d say I’m more conscious now! Also, it’s more affordable to have your teeth cleaned professionally every six months vs getting it repaired once damaged by tartar and bacteria buildup.
Even in terms of dental health, prevention is better than cure!
For inquiries and to book an appointment, send a message to Variahealth or Dr. Darwin via:
- Facebook: Variahealth
- Instagram: @variahealth / @doferrolino.dmd
- Address: Unit 2A, 61 Kamuning Rd, Brgy. Kamuning, Quezon City 1103
- Mobile: +63917 6237901