Some people may hesitate to see their dentist for a professional teeth cleaning, thinking that regular brushing is enough to keep their teeth in good shape. What they may not know is that teeth cleaning done by a dentist involves a more thorough process to prevent cavities and dental diseases.
Depending on what your dentist observes in your mouth, professional teeth cleaning should be done at least twice a year. Regardless of whether you require additional procedures (such as teeth whitening) or not, what’s important is that you keep coming back for teeth cleanings to prevent dental problems altogether.
Does the thought of paying your dentist a visit make you nervous? Understanding in advance what goes on during a teeth cleaning session may help ease your stress.
Here are six important things you can expect to receive every time you go to the dental clinic for a professional teeth cleaning.
1. A physical exam
With most teeth cleanings, the dentist begins with an oral examination before the actual cleaning process. Your dentist will use a small mirror to check your teeth and gums and look for any signs of gingivitis or other potential oral health concerns. If ever your dentist detects a major problem, he will advise you on the next step to take.
2. Plaque and tartar removal
Plaque, which is the whitish film building up on your teeth, is the leading cause of tooth decay. This is an acidic substance that eats away the tooth enamel. If left unattended, it could cause cavities. With the small mirror as a guide, your dentist will use a scaler to remove tartar and plaque found along the gum line and between teeth.
Hearing scraping noises during teeth cleaning is normal. The more tartar there is in your teeth, the more time it’ll take for your dentist to scrape a specific spot. Make sure to keep up with regular brushing and flossing to prevent plaque build-up that will turn into tartar. Once tartar is present, it can only be removed with the help of your dentist.
3. A thorough brushing
After tartar gets removed from your teeth, the dentist may brush your teeth using a high-powered electric brush. While it may sound scary hearing the grinding noise from this brush, it’s actually an effective way to deep clean your teeth and remove any tartar left behind.
Professional teeth cleanings are done using toothpaste with a gritty consistency that lightly scrubs your teeth. When done by a professional, this method of polishing the teeth is safe. Remember not to be as harsh with your teeth when brushing at home as this could wear down the enamel.
4. Deep flossing
Regularly flossing at home is good practice, but a flossing session by a dental expert can yield superior results. Your dentist will get deep between your teeth to locate potential trouble spots. Having a dentist floss your teeth also effectively gets rid of leftover plaque or toothpaste from the previous cleaning process.
After flossing, your dentist will ask you to rinse out your mouth to remove remaining debris. Usually, the dentist will give a rinse containing liquid fluoride.
5. Fluoride treatment application
Depending on your needs, the last step of the cleaning process will involve a fluoride treatment. This functions as a protectant for your teeth to fight against cavities for the next several months.
Your dentist will place a foamy gel or a sticky paste into a mouthpiece then fit it over your teeth. In most cases, the dentist will leave the mouthpiece on your teeth for at least one minute.
6. Significant savings
There are numerous health benefits of teeth cleaning, and one of the most important is that it allows your dentist to see dental problems and solve them before they get out of hand. By keeping up with your regular teeth cleanings, you may be able to save money in the long run by preventing the need for more costly dental procedures.
Enjoy Your Pearly Whites for Years to Come
Why overlook professional dental cleaning when it has plenty of benefits in store for you? Experiencing apprehension is understandable, but don’t let that stop you from getting a teeth cleaning session with your dentist. Now that you know what professional cleaning can do for your oral health, you may even start looking forward to making an appointment.
Combine good oral hygiene habits and regular dental cleanings to increase your chances of enjoying your pearly whites for many years to come.