Getting your teeth professionally cleaned is one of the best things you can do for your smile! A teeth cleaning is generally done by a dental hygienist—a licensed professional who will assist your dentist during your appointment—and recommended twice a year in addition to your daily oral care routine at home.
While the frequency of your in-office teeth cleanings will vary based on your unique oral health, teeth cleanings are important for adults and children alike . What can you expect during a professional teeth cleaning? Here’s everything you need to know when it comes to your next appointment!
An Exam of Your Oral Cavity
Before doing any cleaning, your dental hygienist will carefully examine your oral cavity for signs of any issues. The hygienist will be looking for any indicators that gum disease, tooth decay, or oral cancer are present. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, your dentist will likely recommend that you get x-rays to check for tooth decay and other issues that can’t be seen with an exam alone.
Cleaning and Polishing Your Teeth
Once the exam is complete, your hygienist will remove any plaque and tartar from your teeth before polishing them. Your hygienist will even floss your teeth to be sure they get all the plaque out from tight spaces you may have missed when cleaning your teeth at home .
If you have any tartar on your teeth—which is the hardened form of plaque—it will need to be scraped off with a special tool. While the sound can be alarming, this process is painless, so there’s no need to worry.
The cleaning process will include the use of a mildly abrasive paste and a small instrument which is a lot like a toothbrush to polish the teeth. This thorough cleaning and polishing method helps remove surface stains that may have accumulated from foods, drinks, and plaque to give you a truly clean smile!
A Potential Fluoride Application
Most patients, including children, will receive an application of fluoride at the end of their teeth cleaning. Dentists use a professional-grade fluoride solution that helps strengthen the teeth and prevent tooth decay . Not every patient will need this, so you and your dentist can discuss if he or she recommends it before your cleaning begins. The fluoride application is painless, quick, and can give your teeth the boost they need to resist tooth decay until your next visit!
Is It Time for a Teeth Cleaning?
Teeth cleanings are simple processes that have numerous advantages—not only do they help keep your smile clean and strong to resist tooth decay and gum disease, but they also remove surface stains to help keep your teeth bright. Regular teeth cleanings also help spot oral health issues early, giving you the opportunity to correct them with minimal intervention before they get worse! Is it time to schedule a teeth cleaning? Make an appointment with your dentist today!