Curious about what goes into a dental cleaning? You’re not alone! Many wonder about the process and its importance for oral health. We’re here to provide you with a clear understanding of what to expect during a dental cleaning and why it’s a vital part of maintaining a healthy smile.
What Is Involved in a Dental Cleaning?
Taking care of your teeth involves more than just brushing and flossing at home. Visiting your dentist for a check-up and cleaning at least twice a year is essential for maintaining good oral health. During these appointments, your dentist or dental hygienist will remove any plaque and tartar buildup that may have accumulated on your teeth and gums, which you can’t get rid of on your own.
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth, and if left unchecked, it can lead to cavities, gum disease, and even tooth loss. Tartar, on the other hand, is a hard deposit that forms when plaque isn’t removed and can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning.
But don’t worry, getting a dental cleaning is a simple and painless procedure. Your dentist or hygienist will use special tools to gently remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth and below your gum line. They will also examine your teeth and gums for any signs of decay or disease.
By scheduling regular dental cleanings, you’re not only keeping your teeth and gums healthy, but you’re also taking care of your overall well-being. Don’t hesitate to book your next appointment today!
The Full Dental Check-Up and Cleaning
Every dentist is unique in their practice, but typically, a check-up/cleaning appointment goes as follows:
- Cleaning and polishing: The dental hygienist will use both manual scalers and ultrasonic scalers to remove plaque and built-up tartar from the surfaces of your teeth. Next, the teeth are polished with a rotating rubber cup or brush to remove any remaining plaque or stains.
- Flossing: Your dental hygienist will then use dental floss to clean between your teeth, removing any excess plaque and tartar.
- Fluoride treatment: Many dentists like to use fluoride to strengthen your teeth. Fluoride is placed into plastic trays and then fitted around your teeth or by a rinse that you gargle and spit out, similar to mouthwash.
- Education: After the cleaning, your hygienist or dentist will discuss any oral problems they encountered and brush/floss more effectively.
- Examination: Both your dentist and hygienist will examine your teeth, gums, tongue, and mouth for any damage or signs of potential problems. During this examination, they may use a unique instrument or probe to measure the “pockets” between their teeth and gums. If you have any visible problems, your dentist will discuss your treatment options.
- X-rays: Some of your dental visits may include x-rays to keep track of your mouth’s progress continually. X-rays are also helpful in discovering cavities and gum disease.
Is a Dental Cleaning painful?
The simple answer is: it shouldn’t. Your typically scheduled dental exam and dental cleaning should not cause you pain. However, there can be complicating factors. For example, inflammation in the gums, tooth decay, and other symptoms of oral disease can lead to increased sensitivity.
How long does a teeth cleaning take?
If your teeth are healthy and clean, a dental cleaning should take about 30 minutes. However, the cleaning can take an hour if your oral health care is poor with cavities and tartar buildup.
How long do you have to wait to eat after a fluoride treatment?
Fluoride treatment can help reinforce your teeth against decay, repairing the enamel on your teeth. However, to receive the most out of this treatment, you will need to wait 30 minutes after your dental cleaning to eat or drink. By waiting 30 minutes, the fluoride treatment has enough time to seal around your teeth.
What are the benefits of a regular check-up and dental cleaning appointment?
Regular check-ups and cleanings do more than keep your teeth nice and white. Visiting the dentist ensures you have the best chance at keeping your mouth and body healthy. Preventing cavities, tracking tooth movement, and discovering oral cancer before it happens are all things that regular dental visits can help you accomplish. So if you haven’t been to your dentist for a while, it might be time to pick up the phone and schedule your next appointment!