While teeth cleanings are basically non-invasive, they are still an experience that makes some patients feel anxious. The machinery is loud and your jaw might get uncomfortable when you keep your mouth open for cleaning.
All minor discomfort aside, dental teeth cleaning is a painless and simple procedure that helps patients maintain good oral hygiene. Getting your teeth cleaned can get rid of plaque to reduce the risk of tooth decay and related problems, such as cavities. Learn what to expect when you go for dental teeth cleaning.
A Quick Exam is Required
Usually, a dental hygienist performs teeth cleanings. The hygienist uses a mirror to look at your gums and teeth. Potential concerns include gingivitis or notable tooth decay that might need to be brought to the attention of the dentist before going forward. Once everything looks ready to go, the teeth cleaning begins.
Get Rid of Plaque
A scaler is a device used to remove the tartar and plaque from your teeth. A small mirror is used so the hygienist can see all the surfaces of the teeth, including between the teeth and near the gum line. The scaler makes a scraping sound because it has to get the plaque off your teeth. Brushing and flossing often can minimize the need for scraping.
After the tartar is carefully scraped from your teeth, the rest is eliminated when the hygienist brushes them. A noisy electric brush is used to deep clean the teeth. The toothpaste has a gritty texture to scrub the surface of your teeth. This is only safe for use in a dental office. Sometimes the patient can choose the flavor he or she wants. Once the brushing is done, your teeth are free of tartar and plaque. To make sure there is none left between your teeth, the dental hygienist performs an expert flossing. This gets every surface as clean as possible.
After the scraping, brushing, and flossing, the patient is told to rinse out. A liquid with fluoride is provided so the patient can get rid of debris left in the mouth. Sometimes there is some blood, too, depending on the condition of the patient’s gums and the extent of the cleaning that needed to be done.
The Last Step for Months of Protection Against Tooth Decay
The final step for most patients is usually a fluoride treatment. Fluoride treatments are given one or twice a year. The treatment comes in a variety of flavors and the hygienist will ask the patient to choose a favorite. Options might include mint, bubblegum, and others. The fluoride is put into a mouthpiece that fits onto the teeth. It is left on the teeth for a minute or two then removed. This fluoride treatment can help protect the teeth from tooth decay for a couple of months.
Once the dental teeth cleaning is done, the hygienist looks into the patient’s mouth one more time with a small mirror. If any other issues are noted, the hygienist might make other recommendations, such as the application of a sealant to further protect the teeth or a consultation with the dentist. Regular dental teeth cleaning should be done every three to six months in accordance with the directions provided by your dental professional. Ongoing cleanings get rid of plaque and help minimize the risk of tooth decay. Plus, your teeth and mouth feel fresher and cleaner for weeks to come. Often your teeth have a smooth feeling under your tongue when you leave the dentist’s office. This level of cleanliness can only be achieved during dental teeth cleaning.