A lot of people dread dental cleaning. Between the prodding, strange noises, and occasional jaw discomfort, it’s easy to understand their apprehension. But for most, a teeth cleaning is simple and painless.
If you understand what goes into tooth cleaning, it would make a lot of people more comfortable to go for a dental cleaning. Especially to enjoy that fresh breath and other great benefits which your visit will entail. However, one should know that dental cleaning is not the same as teeth whitening. Today we are speaking only about teeth cleaning.
In the normal course of the day, our teeth and gums face attacks from bacteria, viruses and even parasites. They all pose health risks, but it is the bacterial colonies that form that gelatinous film on our teeth, commonly known as plaque, that set the conditions for cavities to form and for periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, to occur. The primary goal of teeth cleaning is to remove this plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth, so your teeth and gums are in good health. Even if you brush regularly, plaque and tartar may accumulate because it is not possible to clean the difficult to reach during our daily brushing.
Some of the signs that you need dental cleaning are:
- Your gums are red, swollen, & sore
- Your gums bleed whenever you brush or floss
- Your teeth have begun to feel loose in your jaw
- You can see pockets forming between your teeth & gums
- You have chronic bad breath that does not go away after brushing, flossing, or using mouthwash
- You have some heredity dental problems
- You maintain poor oral health habits like consuming tobacco
- You have diabetes, decreased immunity or are pregnant
- When you reach old age
Benefits of dental cleaning:
- Your teeth will look whiter. This is because the tartar that your dentist or hygienist removes has a yellow tint to it.
- Prevention of tooth decay that results from excessive plaque & tartar buildup.
- Prevention & relief from gum disease.
- Relief from bad breath.
- Detection of more serious dental issues. As your Dentist will screen your mouth for signs of decay, oral cancer, & other problems during & after your cleaning appointment.
- Regular preventative dental care helps to limit cavities & tooth loss
- Regular dental cleaning will save your money from the expensive procedure you will face when problems become severe.
- Regular dental cleaning also helps you save time and stress which you might face because of some severe complications in your mouth.
The following are the steps of your dental cleaning process:
This is the first step before any cleaning process starts. The doctor will review and update your medical history, including information about heart problems, pregnancy, diabetes and medications, which may have an impact on your oral health.
Your dental hygienist will examine your entire mouth. Your Oral cancer examination and screening will be done. 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 or a specialist for specific treatment.
2. Removing plaque and tartar
With the small mirror to guide, the dental hygienist uses a scaler to get rid of plaque and tartar around your gum line, as well as in between your teeth. You’ll hear scraping, but this is normal. The more tartar there is in your mouth, the more time they’ll need to scrape a particular spot.
Brushing and flossing stop plaque from building up and hardening into tartar. Once you have tartar, you can only have it removed at your dentist’s office. This is not a very enjoyable part of the process. However, if you regularly brush your teeth and floss properly, you can avoid this from happening.
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. This is 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 have options to 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. Avoid doing this at home, because you’ll wear down the enamel.
4. Expert flossing
Whether you floss regularly at home or not, when done by an expert the results are far superior. Your dental hygienist can get deep between your teeth and locate any potential trouble spots where you might bleed at the gums. Even the minutest particle that might have settled in between your teeth is cleaned.
This might seem pointless if you floss at home, but having a professional floss your teeth also removes any leftover plaque or toothpaste from earlier in the cleaning process.
Next, you rinse out your mouth to get rid of any debris. Your dental hygienist will usually give you a rinse that contains liquid fluoride.
6. 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.
Your dental hygienist may ask you what flavor you like best. They’ll then place the foamy gel (or sometimes a sticky paste) into a mouthpiece that fits over your teeth. It’s usually left on your teeth for one minute. Besides the foamy gel, fluoride varnish is also painted onto the teeth with a small brush. Fluoride varnish will harden when in contact with saliva, so you can eat and drink immediately after.
7. Other potential steps
Though you visit more than once a year for your dental cleaning, your X-rays are normally once a year. Still, depending on what your dentist or dental hygienist observes in your mouth, they might do other exams during your visit.
8. Personalized recommendation
Your dentist or hygienist will give your personalized instructions for tooth brushing and flossing. Help you to follow a good diet to maintain your oral health in excellent condition. Your dentist or hygienist will also give you recommendations for future treatment: when to return for follow-up hygiene treatment, periodontal (gum) concerns or restorative options will also be provided.
When should you be going for dental cleaning?
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) recommends a thorough & professional cleaning every 6 months to improve your oral health, though some patients may need cleanings more often if they are prone to decay or have a history of gum disease. Remember, the sooner your dentist learns about an issue, the less painful it will be to fix it. By understanding what’s going on in advance, you’ll feel more at ease — and maybe even look forward to these appointments.
If you want your dental health to be in excellent condition, dental cleaning is very essential. If you don’t go for regular dental cleaning then you are putting yourself at risk for cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss, poor oral care can also negatively affect your overall health. Your risk of experiencing cardiovascular disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory infections, and diabetic complications all increase when you don’t take good care of your teeth and gums. However, regularly going for dental cleaning does not mean that you will have good oral health. You will have to maintain excellent regular hygiene too. They both together help you to maintain good oral health.
During your visit to the office of Dr. Mohamed Ali, San Francisco, we will make you completely comfortable. The billing experts will check your insurance benefits and present a complete treatment plan with the financial arrangements. We accept all major dental and medical PPO insurance plans. We also have an in-office Plan For Health for those who don’t have insurance. Additionally, we have partnered with various financial institutions like Care Credit, The Lending Club, Healthcare Finance Solutions to make your treatment extremely affordable. We will be happy to answer all your questions. So just sit, relax, and get your dental cleaning without any worry. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 415.391.7751.