Dental Cleaning 1

Dental Cleaning

When it comes to dental care, few individuals would argue the fact that preventative care is far more comfortable and convenient than restorative care. Viewed in this way, regular dental cleanings every six months are not excessive, but rather are prudent. These regular dental cleanings are vital to maintaining one’s oral health as they are able to clean more deeply and more thoroughly than can be achieved at home. In some cases, dental cleanings are able to uncover oral health issues, such as broken fillings, fractures and tooth decay, that are just beginning to arise so that they can be handled more easily and swiftly than if they are given the time necessary to worsen. Furthermore, regular dental cleanings can actually help to protect an individual’s overall health, as poor oral health can sometimes lead to cardiovascular disease, strokes, cancer and other major health problems.

What to Expect During a Dental Cleaning

Dental cleanings are comprised of a series of steps that are not altogether unlike your oral health care regimen at home. The primary difference is that dental cleanings are performed by a professional who can more clearly and easily see into and all around your mouth, who can recognize situations you may not have noticed, and who have tools that you don’t have at home. Following are the main steps of a professional dental cleaning:

  • An examination. Dentists recommend that you receive a full dental examination at least once a year, at which time x-rays may be taken and your oral health will be fully evaluated. Aside from this annual, thorough examination, the dental hygienist who will be cleaning your teeth will first take a look at your teeth and gums to determine whether there are any signs of inflammation or other oral health issues. If they feel there is something of concern, they will have the dentist come and take a look prior to proceeding with the cleaning.
  • Plaque and tartar removal. Once an examination of your teeth and gums determines that there are no major issues to be addressed, the dental hygienist will proceed to remove plaque and tartar that is in between teeth and near the gum line using a dental tool called a scaler. Since the purpose of brushing and flossing our teeth every day is to eliminate plaque so that it cannot build up and form tartar, which can only be removed at the dentist’s office, excessive scraping of plaque and tartar from your teeth means that you may need to brush and floss more often and more thoroughly.
  • Abrasive cleaning. After all the plaque and tartar has been removed from your teeth, the dental hygienist will thoroughly polish your teeth with a gritty toothpaste. The high-powered electric toothbrush and abrasive toothpaste help to not only remove any plaque or tartar that was left behind by the scaler, they also work to scrub and polish your teeth so that they look and feel as clean as they are.
  • Professional flossing. Regardless of how regularly and thoroughly you floss every day at home, a professional flossing can help to ensure that you are getting the job done and there are no trouble spots that need to be addressed and resolved. This flossing can also help to remove any plaque, tartar or toothpaste leftover from the earlier parts of the cleaning.
  • Rinsing. Your dental hygienist will have you rinse your mouth and get rid of any remaining debris, especially gritty toothpaste.
  • Fluoride treatment. This does not always occur as part of a dental cleaning, but is a final option that many dentists offer in order to better help protect your teeth against decay. If you choose to receive this treatment you may be given a choice of flavor and then a foamy gel or sticky paste will be put into a mouthpiece that is placed over your teeth for about one minute.

At the conclusion of your dental cleaning, the dental hygienist will likely talk with you about proper brushing and flossing techniques and encourage you to ask any questions you may have. While some individuals consider the dental cleaning process to be mildly uncomfortable, it’s important to bear in mind that regular dental cleanings tend to prevent major oral health issues from developing, which means less time spent in the dental chair undergoing dental treatments that are likely far more uncomfortable.


Request an Appointment