Dentist showing patient about dental hygiene

Regular teeth cleaning is a critical part of practicing good oral hygiene. Even if you meticulously brush and floss your teeth every day, there will always be tartar and plaque buildup that only a dental professional can remove to prevent cavities, gum disease, bad breath and other dental problems.

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What Happens During a Professional Teeth Cleaning?

Our dental hygienists in Reno are highly skilled in removing plaque and tartar from the enamel of the teeth, both above and just below the gum line. During the cleaning, special instruments are used to scrape the hardened tartar buildup from the teeth. If not removed by professionals, this buildup can lead to tooth decay, gingivitis, bleeding or swollen gums, receding gum line and extreme sensitivity in the teeth.

After the tartar is thoroughly removed, the hygienist will then polish the teeth using a gritty toothpaste and high-powered electronic brush. Although the brush makes a loud grinding sound that some patients may find intimidating, it is only polishing the outside of the tooth and does not cause pain. The gritty texture of the toothpaste helps to smooth out the surface of each tooth, eliminating microgrooves or chips where plaque can start to build up.

The final step involved in the teeth cleaning is an expert flossing session. The dental hygienist will carefully floss between the teeth to make sure the areas that were not accessible to the electronic brush are also thoroughly cleaned and assessed. This also gives the hygienist an opportunity to clean up any toothpaste left behind from the brushing session. If our dental professionals noticed any sensitive areas or potential problems during the cleaning, they will be sure to let you know and give you recommendations on how to improve your own personal cleaning regimen at home.

Tips on How to Keep Your Teeth Clean

Between professional cleanings, it’s important to practice daily oral care to prevent dental problems such as tooth decay or gum disease. These are simple steps that should become part of your daily routine that will really make a difference in the long run:

  • Use mouthwash to rinse your teeth before brushing. This promotes healthy teeth and gums by killing bacteria, as well as loosening any food particles or plaque in the mouth.
  • Brush your teeth thoroughly. Using a recommended toothpaste with fluoride, run the toothbrush over your teeth, gums and tongue in short circular motions to remove plaque buildup and harmful bacteria.
  • Do not brush too hard. Although you might think the harder you brush, the cleaner your mouth will be, this can actually do more harm than good. Applying excess pressure when brushing can damage your gums, causing them to recede, and create a porous sensitive surface on the teeth.
  • Floss every time you brush. A regular toothbrush simply cannot reach areas between the teeth, leaving behind food and bacteria that can lead to a number of dental issues. Flossing prevents leaving anything behind in these hard to reach spots and should be done every time you brush.
  • Give up harmful habits. Food and drinks with a heavy amount of sugar or acid can really take its toll on your teeth. Try to avoid soda, candy and highly acidic foods, which promote bacterial growth in the mouth. Smoking is another habit that is detrimental to oral hygiene. The nicotine and tar will eat away at your gums and increase plaque, no matter how often you brush or have your teeth cleaned.

What is Proper Brushing Technique?

We all know we have to brush our teeth to keep our teeth clean and prevent dental problems, but do you know if you’re doing it properly? Although many patients take the time to brush their teeth every day, it doesn’t do any good if the technique is not done right. To practice proper brushing technique that is proven to be most beneficial, you should:

  • Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth
  • Use short, circular motions while brushing
  • Point the head of the toothbrush towards your gum line
  • Be sure to brush every tooth around 10-15 times during each brushing session

If you have sensitive areas of the mouth or are experiencing discomfort using these brushing methods, talk to your Reno dentist to discuss potential issues and how to best work around them. The dentist can put together an adjusted brushing technique that will work best for you.

Although some people try to avoid teeth cleanings because they may have had an unpleasant experience with a previous dentist, the dental professionals here at Absolute Dental are warm, welcoming and will walk you through the process every step of the way. Even if you haven’t seen a dentist in a long time or are particularly squeamish about teeth cleanings, our dentists are here to treat all your dental needs with the least amount of discomfort as possible. Once you have your teeth professionally cleaned and a proper oral hygiene routine in place, every subsequent visit will only get easier and easier. Contact our office to schedule your teeth cleaning or for more information on the other services we offer.

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