Many people dread teeth cleanings. Between the prodding, strange noises, and occasional jaw discomfort, it’s easy to understand their apprehension. But for most, a teeth cleaning is simple and painless.
Knowing exactly what is going on during the process can help ease your stress and allow you to better enjoy the minty-fresh results.
1. A physical exam
Most teeth cleanings are performed by a dental hygienist. Before the actual cleaning process begins, they start with a physical exam of your entire mouth.
The dental hygienist uses a small mirror to check around your teeth and gums for any signs of gingivitis (inflamed gums) or other potential concerns.
If they detect major problems, the dental hygienist might call the dentist to make sure it’s fine to proceed.
2. Removing plaque and tartar
With the small mirror to guide them, the dental hygienist uses a scaler to get rid of plaque and tartar around your gum line, as well as in between your teeth. You’ll hear scraping, but this is normal. The more tartar there is in your mouth, the more time they’ll need to scrape a particular spot.
Brushing and flossing stops plaque from building up and hardening into tartar. Once you have tartar, you can only have it removed at your dentist’s office. So if this is your least favorite part of the teeth cleaning process, the lesson is to brush and floss more often.
3. Gritty toothpaste cleaning
After your teeth are completely tartar-free, the hygienist brushes them with a high-powered electric brush.which makes a grinding noise. While it sounds scary, it’s a great way to get a deep clean and remove any tartar left behind from the scaler.
Professional cleanings use toothpaste that smells and tastes like regular toothpaste, though you can often choose between flavors. However, it has a gritty consistency that gently scrubs your teeth. If done by a professional, this polishing of the teeth is deemed safe to do twice a year. But don’t be as harsh with your teeth at home, because you’ll wear down the enamel.
4. Expert flossing
Whether you floss regularly at home or not, nothing beats an expert flossing session. Your dental hygienist can get deep between your teeth and locate any potential trouble spots where you might bleed at the gums.
This might seem pointless if you floss at home, but having a professional floss your teeth also removes any leftover plaque or toothpaste from earlier in the cleaning process.
Next, you rinse out your mouth to get rid of any debris. Your dental hygienist will usually give you a rinse that contains liquid fluoride.
Other potential steps
Professional teeth cleanings are scheduled twice a year, while X-rays are normally done once a year. Still, depending on what your dentist or dental hygienist observes in your mouth, they might do other exams during your visit. For children, a dentist may recommend molar sealants to help prevent cavities in hard-to-brush areas.
Whether you need any additional steps or not, the key is to keep going back to the dentist for regular teeth cleanings to prevent problems altogether. By understanding what’s going on in advance, you’ll feel more at ease — and maybe even look forward to these appointments.
Caring for your teeth shouldn’t stop after a visit to our Clinic. Your dentist will suggest ways to ensure your good oral health. Here are some tips that can help you maintain the results of your teeth cleaning:
Teeth Brushing Tips
- Avoid harsh brushing, as it can be harmful for both your gums and teeth.
- Ensure that the same method of brushing is done throughout the brushing routine.
- Make sure you brush the back of your teeth.
- Always brush your tongue, which this helps reduce the bacteria in your mouth.
- Brush your teeth for a minimum of two minutes.
- Wrap about 18 inches of floss around your two middle fingers.
- Tightly hold the dental floss with your thumbs and pointer finger and gently insert it between the teeth.
- Position the dental floss around the side of the tooth in a ‘C’ shape.
- Move the floss up and down against the sides of each tooth.
- Repeat on the next tooth with a fresh section of the floss until each tooth has been cleaned.
Flossing regularly is just as important as brushing, so don’t underestimate this step in your oral routine.
A proper mouth rinse is needed to remove any debris left after brushing your teeth. Your dentist recommends an antiseptic mouthwash be used once or twice every day in order to eliminate bacteria from your mouth and further protect it from plaque and tartar.
- You can rinse before or after you brush your teeth.
- Swish your preferred mouthwash for around 30 seconds to fully benefit from it.
A healthy set of teeth and strong gums can only be achieved through effective oral care. Regular brushing and flossing are needed to provide maximum protection for your teeth against plaque, gum disease and tooth decay. Schedule an appointment with your dentist today to enhance your oral health and maintain a beautiful smile.
We love our patients and love to help them form a healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. Lancaster Dental is a dental clinic in Lancaster, Bellaire Acres, Westridge, Lancaster North, and Ten Mile Creek Neighborhood we have the best dental services in Texas: General & Cosmetic Dentistry, Crowns & Bridges, Dental Implants, Emergency Services, Teeth Whitening, Pediatric Dentistry, Braces & Invisalign For more information call us to answer all of your questions so you can get an appointment today.