What to Expect During a Teeth Cleaning
The purpose of professional teeth cleaning is to remove harmful buildup from the enamel of the teeth, as well as above and below the gumline, to prevent future dental problems. Highly skilled dental hygienists are trained to use special instruments to aid in the removal of tartar buildup, plaque, and bacteria that can lead to tooth decay, cavities, gingivitis, infections, oral nerve sensitivity, and receding gums. This process includes the following steps:
Initial examination of teeth – The first thing our hygienist will do is inspect your mouth and teeth for any potential problems before starting. You will also be asked about pain or sensitivity in the mouth so our team can proceed with care in those areas.
Removal of plaque and tartar – Next, the hygienist will use special dental instruments, called scalers, to chip and scrape the harmful buildup from the teeth. You may experience pressure on your teeth and gums, but there should be little pain. Our dental experts have a careful and sensitive approach to prevent discomfort during this step.
Teeth polishing – Making sure your teeth have a smooth texture not only improves your smile aesthetically but also makes it more difficult for plaque to accumulate. This step involves the use of a high-powered electronic brush and a gritty toothpaste to polish the teeth. Some patients can be intimidated by the sound of the electronic brush, but it only touches the exterior of the teeth and does not cause pain.
Thorough flossing – After the hygienist polishes the teeth, dental floss is used to carefully clean between the teeth where the toothbrush could not reach. This also helps to clean up any gritty toothpaste that was left behind from the previous step.
Fluoride treatment (in some cases) – For some, particularly our younger patients, a fluoride treatment is recommended. This mineral is particularly helpful with strengthening the enamel of the teeth, helping to resist erosion due to acidity or bacteria. The fluoride solution is typically in the form of a gel or foam applied using a tray, then rinsed away after a set period of time.
Oral hygiene recommendations – Our dental hygienists may have some suggestions for you to improve your personal oral hygiene routine at home. This also gives you a chance to ask questions or voice any concerns if you have them.