Once you understand what happens during teeth cleaning you will be ready to schedule your next general cleaning and feel less anxious. Most people are a little nervous about visiting the dentist, and, to a large extent, this applies to a dental hygienist visit as well. We hope that by explaining the general dental cleaning process, we’ll be able to show you that teeth cleaning is nothing to be afraid of.
Teeth cleaning is normally performed by a dental hygienist, but can also be performed by a dentist. A regular teeth cleaning not only gives you a brilliant, radiant smile but also allows the dental professional to do a detailed inspection of your mouth. This will assist in identifying any potential problems before they develop into full-blown dental emergencies.
Using a small mirror to be able to see into all the nooks and crannies in your mouth, the dental hygienist at Encore Dental will carefully examine your mouth for any signs of gum disease (gingivitis) or cavities. If the hygienist is worried about something they observe in your mouth, they will call the dentist to have a look before proceeding.
Once the dentist has given the all clear, the hygienist will proceed with the cleaning. Dental x-rays might be taken at this point, particularly if you are a new patient. The x-rays allow the dentist a good look at your underlying dental structure so that he or she can spot any potential problem areas.
Tartar and Plaque Removal
Using an instrument called a scaler, the hygienist will then proceeds to remove all plaque and tartar found in your mouth. Plaque is a build-up of bacteria that develops into a sticky film that adheres to your teeth.
If the plaque is not removed, it hardens into tartar which is much more difficult to get rid of. You can normally remove the plaque yourself by regular brushing and flossing but only a dental professional will be able to remove tartar.
There will be a scraping sound and sensation in your mouth while the hygienist is using the scaler. This sensation is not painful, and the procedure is relatively quick.
Using a very powerful electric toothbrush and special gritty toothpaste, the dental hygienist will then proceed to give your teeth a very thorough, deep clean. The grit in the toothpaste also polishes your teeth at the same time. This part of the procedure will be quite loud, due to the electric brush and this might be disconcerting for some people, but again, it is not in the least bit painful.
Final Flossing and Fluoride Treatment
The hygienist will then proceed to give you very thorough flossing to remove any last vestiges of tartar, before proceeding with the fluoride treatment. The hygienist will use a mouthpiece that fits over your teeth to apply the fluoride.
The mouthpiece is filled with a fluoride foam or gel which is left in your mouth for at least a minute. Once the mouthpiece is removed you will rinse thoroughly to remove the excess fluoride and debris left by the cleaning process.
It is highly recommended that you have a deep clean at least once a year. Twice a year is recommended to nip any developing problems in the bud, and to ensure that your teeth maintain their healthy, radiant appearance.