Dental Cleaning

​Home dental hygiene consists of two basic practices, brushing and flossing.

Brushing – This procedure should be done at least twice a day. Try to do a thorough job without rushing. Brush with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. An electric toothbrush is more effective than manual brushing at removing plaque, which is the precursor of cavities, gingivitis, and periodontitis. Brush the inside, outside, and biting surfaces of your teeth. Rinse your brush off after use and store it vertically to air dry. Brushes (or the brush heads for electric toothbrushes) should be replaced every three to four months.

Flossing – Start with about 18 inches of dental floss. Wind the floss around the middle fingers of both hands. Then, hold the floss between your thumb and forefinger of each hand. Carefully pull the floss between your teeth so as not to injure the gum. Curve the floss around a tooth, and gently move the floss from the bottom of the tooth toward the biting surface of the tooth. Unwind fresh floss as you move to other teeth.

Dental Cleaning at the Dentist's Office

​For patients who have healthy teeth and gums, there are three stages to professional teeth cleaning. (Patients who have gum disease undergo more extensive and specialized treatments.)

Scaling – Calculus or tartar is a form of hardened dental plaque. It is created by the accumulation of minerals from saliva by plaque on your teeth. A dentist will remove the tartar either with a manual tool called a scaler, or an electronic device called an ultrasonic scaler, which uses vibration to disintegrate calculus and disrupt bacterial cells and wash them away from the tooth in a stream of water. Polishing – The polishing process involves the dentist using a device that has a spinning rubber head which polishes the teeth with a slightly abrasive paste. Polishing removes some minor stains and makes tooth surfaces smoother, which causes the teeth to be less likely sites for plaque and harmful bacteria. Fluoride – The final step is the cleaning procedure is treatment with fluoride in the form of a foam, gel, or rinse. The application of fluoride will help strengthen tooth enamel, the outer layer of the tooth. It helps make the enamel resistant to acid produced by bacteria, which can cause cavities.

What is a Removable Partial Denture?

​A removable partial denture, like full dentures, generally consists of a gum-colored plastic base, onto which artificial teeth are attached. But unlike full dentures, either metal clasps or “precision clasps” are also a part of the appliance. These clasps are used to attach onto the teeth adjacent to where your missing teeth are. These adjacent teeth are commonly referred to as “abutment teeth.” Precision clasps are more expensive than regular metal clasps, but provide you the advantage of being much less visible.

Adjustment Period

​There will be a brief adjustment period of a few weeks as you get acquainted with your dental appliance. Missing teeth have a negative impact on your enunciation as well as your eating. With removable dentures, this is not the case. After your adjustment period, you will be able to speak and eat much better than when you only had a gap where teeth should be. But begin the process with practicing your speech and enunciation, as well as starting off with soft, small sized foods. By using a dental appliance to fill in that gap, you are also benefiting the rest of your mouth, as you will minimize the rest of your teeth and jaw from shifting in an unfavorable way, to compensate for that void.


Be sure to get recommendations from our dentist on what kind of brush and cleaning solution to use on your denture. Also ask if you should soak your denture overnight or not. Metal clasps on a partial denture may rust. As for cleaning, you should use a soft bristled brush. There are also soft brushes that are specifically made for dentures. Do not make the mistake of assuming your toothpaste is good to use. Many toothpastes are too harsh and will damage your appliance.


​Good maintenance habits of your dental appliance as well as your natural teeth and gums will give you the maximum return on your investment. Your teeth, jaw, gums and denture will gradually change shape, and you will need to come in for adjustment or replacement but optimal oral hygiene will make a big difference.

Come and See Us

​If you are missing any teeth, the less you delay your dental visit, the better. Gaps in your teeth will cause the rest of your teeth, gums and jaw to shift to compensate for that gap. Not only are dentures great for your smile and quality of life, but they will make a big difference in preserving the shape of your face and jaw line, as well as your oral health. Feel free to pay us a visit or give us a call to schedule a free consultation. We’ll be happy to help you!

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Dentures, Implants and General Dental Services in Seattle, WA. 30 Years of Experience