January 9, 2019
What Happens During a Dental Cleaning?
Professional dental cleaning treatments are one of the best ways to prevent and treat periodontal disease, maintain optimal tooth health and cultivate a bright, white smile. Some patients are apprehensive about coming in for teeth cleanings because they don’t know what to expect. By knowing what happens during a teeth cleaning you can eliminate your fears and approach this dental visit without fear or anxiety.
What Happens During a Teeth Cleaning?
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. Prevent cavities
The whitish film that builds up on your teeth is called plaque and is the leading cause of tooth decay. This acidic substance eats away at the tooth enamel and, if left unattended, can lead to cavities. Plaque can be removed by brushing, flossing and dental cleanings.
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.
5. Applying fluoride treatment
The last step of the cleaning process is a fluoride treatment. This treatment is used as a protectant for your teeth to help fight against cavities for several months.
Good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent persistent bad breath. Even if you brush and floss regularly, getting a cleaning is a great way to keep your mouth healthy and odor-free.
Professional teeth cleanings are scheduled twice a year. For children, a dentist may recommend molar sealants to help prevent cavities in hard-to-brush areas.