Brushing, flossing and using mouthwash are great ways to keep your teeth healthy at home, but it’s not enough to keep bacteria and plaque at bay. You need to see your dentist on a regular basis to professionally clean your teeth.
During this teeth cleaning, the dentist will remove plaque, tartar, and stains that have accumulated on your teeth. It is recommended to get your teeth professionally cleaned every six months.
Are you due for a cleaning? If so, contact Breeze Dental today and schedule an appointment. Call (703) 273-5545.
A dental cleaning typically lasts between 30 minutes and an hour. This will depend on the condition of your teeth and the last time you have had them cleaned.
There are various steps involved in a dental cleaning. They include the following.
A dental hygienist will first examine your mouth. Before cleaning, they will use a small mirror to check your mouth for signs of inflammation, plaque, tartar or other issues. If they find anything of concern, they will let the dentist know and determine whether or not to proceed.
After the exam, the hygienist will begin by scaling. Scaling involves using a handheld tool to remove tartar from the surfaces of the teeth. A manual or ultrasonic scaler may be used, depending on the amount of tartar you have. For large amounts, an electronic scaler is useful. It can easily remove larger pieces of tartar using a gentle vibration, along with a stream of water. If this process is painful or takes a long time, it means you need to do a better job of cleaning your teeth at home.
The next step is tooth polishing. This consists of polishing the tooth surface with an electric toothbrush, using a rubber motorized cup attached to an abrasive polishing compound. A gritty toothpaste is used to lightly scrub and polish your teeth. Polishing teeth is helpful, as its smooth texture makes it more difficult for plaque to accumulate on the teeth. Polishing can also remove some stains and give the teeth a shiny, clean look.
Even if you floss at home, nothing beats having an expert floss your teeth. Dental hygienists are specially trained to get deep between your teeth and remove food particles and other debris. This step can also remove any plaque and toothpaste from earlier in the cleaning process.
After flossing, you will then rinse out your mouth to get rid of any debris. Usually, you will rinse with water, but sometimes fluoride is included.
As a final step, your dentist may give you fluoride treatment. Fluoride can help strengthen the enamel, which can help repel acid attacks that cause tooth decay. This is primarily done for children since they are more prone to cavities. However, some adults may opt for fluoride as well, especially if they have had issues with cavities in the past.
The dentist will apply the fluoride solution in the form of a gel or rinse. Sometimes it comes in flavors such as mint, strawberry, and chocolate.
Most teeth cleaning sessions are painless and require no anesthetics. However, there may be some swelling, bleeding gums or discomfort afterward if it has been a long time since your last cleaning. If this is true for you, make it a point to get cleanings more often.
Professional dental cleanings help to reinforce healthy oral health care routines at home. They can also alert the dentist to any areas of your mouth that may need special attention. Cleanings are also an opportunity for your hygienist or dentist to give you educational advice. You may be advised on proper eating, brushing or flossing habits to maintain the health of your teeth. If you have any medical conditions, you may be counseled on how to keep your teeth healthy.
If you have gum disease or other health issues, you may need a deep cleaning. While a deep cleaning is similar to a regular cleaning in some ways, there are different procedures involved. The procedure is much more thorough and involved. Your dentist may require you to come into the office every few months.
Additionally, a deep cleaning requires an additional step: root planing. The hygienist will remove plaque and tartar from the roots of your teeth. In some cases, two separate visits are required. The goal is to get all of the bacteria removed from your teeth and gums. This will improve the health of your mouth.
Overall, it’s important to have clean, healthy teeth, and this is possible with regular professional dental cleanings. In our Fairfax clinic, our skilled dentists and hygienists can help you prevent serious oral health issues. Contact Breeze Dental and schedule a cleaning today by calling (703) 273-5545.