What to Expect During Regular Dental Cleanings

Routine dental cleaning helps you maintain healthy teeth and a bright smile. Unfortunately, many people dread teeth cleaning due to the prodding, strange noises, and occasional jaw discomfort. As such, it is easy to understand their apprehension. But for most people, dental cleaning is a straightforward and pain-free procedure. Knowing what Dr. Divian Patel does during the process can help ease your anxiety and allow you to enjoy minty-fresh results. Below are the different stages or phases of dental cleaning.

1.  Physical examination

In most cases, teeth cleanings are performed by dental hygienists. Before the start of the cleaning process, your dental hygienist performs a physical exam of your entire mouth. Using a small mirror, they will check around your teeth and gums for any signs of gingivitis or other potential problems. If you have major dental concerns such as periodontitis or tooth decay, the dental hygienist might consult the dentist to ensure it is safe to proceed with the cleaning.

2.  Plaque and tartar removal

Using the guide of a small mirror, the dental hygienist removes plaque and tartar around your gum line and between your teeth using a scaler. It is normal to hear some scraping; the more tartar you have, the more time the dental hygienist takes to scrape a particular spot. Brushing and flossing prevent plaque build-up, which can harden into tartar. However, once tartar forms, you can only have it removed at your dentist’s office. Therefore, if this is your least favorite part of the cleaning process, ensure you brush and floss more often.

3.  Professional brushing

Once your teeth are free from tartar, the hygienist uses a high-powered electric brush to clean your teeth. The electric toothbrush produces a grinding noise which may sound scary, but it is a great way to get a deep clean and remove any tartar remaining. The dental hygienist will use toothpaste that smells and tastes much like regular, though you can often choose between different flavors. However, unlike your regular toothpaste, this one has a gritty consistency that gently scrubs your teeth. The polishing is safe when done by a professional twice a year. When cleaning your teeth at home, be gentle so as not to wear down the enamel.

4.  Expert flossing

Whether you floss at home or not, nothing beats a flossing session at your dentist’s office. During this part of the cleaning procedure, the hygienist deep cleans between your teeth and locates any potential trouble spots where you might bleed at the gums. It may seem pointless if you floss at home, but a professional floss also removes leftover plaque or toothpaste from the earlier cleaning process.

5.  Rinsing and fluoride treatment

The hygienist or dentist will rinse your mouth to eliminate any debris. Usually, the rinse contains liquid fluoride. Fluoride treatment will be the last step of the cleaning process; this treatment protects your teeth to help fight against cavities for several months. You can eat and drink immediately after since fluoride hardens when in contact with saliva.

When did you last visit your dentist for a professional cleaning? Book an appointment with your dentist at San Ramon Dental Excellence for a dental cleaning to maintain or improve your oral health.