Professional teeth cleanings are a necessary part of maintaining healthy teeth and overall good oral health. It is a painless and straightforward procedure that is typically scheduled at least once a year. With a professional cleaning from your dentist, your teeth can obtain a level of clean that you are unable to achieve at home.
Before the Cleaning: The Exam
Before you undergo the actual cleaning process, your dentist or dental hygienist will conduct a thorough examination of your mouth. A small mirror will be used to examine the areas around your teeth and gums for any indications of gum disease or any other issues. If there is a dental issue that requires immediate attention, the dentist may advise that it be addressed before you undergo the cleaning.
The actual cleaning begins with the removal of plaque and tartar. A dental scaler is used to gently scrape away plaque and tartar between the teeth and around the gum line. Once all visible traces of the substances are removed, your dentist will use a high-powered electric brush to clean your teeth with a gritty toothpaste. The grittiness of the toothpaste aids in slightly polishing your teeth during the cleaning, helping to remove stains. While this is safe for your dentist to do a couple of times a year, using gritty toothpaste during your regular brushing routine at home can result in the wearing away of your enamel.
After your teeth have undergone a cleaning and polishing, your dentist will expertly floss your teeth. This not only allows your dentist to pinpoint areas where you may bleed at the gums, but it also helps to remove any remaining plaque or toothpaste.
After having you have rinsed your mouth out with a mouthwash that contains liquid fluoride, your dentist will give you a fluoride treatment, which is typically the final part of the cleaning and can help protect your teeth from developing cavities for at least several months. The treatment, which may be in sticky paste or the form of a foamy gel, is placed into a mouthpiece that you will wear over your teeth for at least one minute.
After the Cleaning
After having received professional teeth cleaning, your teeth will look brighter, and your mouth will feel fresher. You might experience gum sensitivity a few days if you had a lot of build-up of bacteria in your mouth that required substantial use of instruments against your teeth and gums. There may be other steps that you may have to undergo, depending on what your dentist or dental hygienist detects in your mouth.
Benefits of a Dental Cleaning
- Prevents tooth loss from gum disease
- Results in whiter teeth and a brighter smile
- Aids in improving overall health by improving oral health
- Stops cavities from forming
- Saves money in the long run by eliminating need for costly restorative dental services
If you can’t remember the last time you have had a professional dental cleaning, contact your dentist today. Be sure to ask your dentist what other dental services you may need to maintain your bright smile.