All About Dental Cleanings

Having your teeth cleaned regularly by a dental professional is one of the most important steps you can take toward preventing decay and maintaining good oral health. Healthy teeth can also have an impact on the rest of the body, as poor oral health has been linked to conditions such as heart disease and dementia.

A healthy person should have their teeth cleaned every six months. Below is a look at the procedure so you’ll know what to expect upon arriving at our office for your cleaning.

Who performs a routine dental cleaning?

A dental hygienist will perform your dental cleaning. Your dental hygienist may also take X-rays of your teeth and mouth. At the end of the cleaning, you will see the dentist, who will inspect your teeth for decay and other issues.

What happens during a routine dental cleaning?

During the dental cleaning procedure, your dental hygienist will inform you of what is taking place and when – we know many people experience anxiety about their dental visits, and we take every step possible to minimize those feelings and improve the visit for you. Throughout your dental cleaning, your hygienist will take the time to educate you regarding proper home care to help improve your oral care routine between visits.

Before doing any work on your teeth, your hygienist will perform a physical exam of your mouth. Using a mirror, the hygienist will examine your teeth and gums, looking for signs of inflammation and gum disease.

Next, the hygienist will use a scaler, polisher. and mirror to gently scrape plaque and tartar away. The polisher buffs the tooth surface to remove small plaque deposits, while the scaler is used to scrape away larger deposits and plaque between your teeth. They will work around the gum line and between each tooth, occasionally rinsing your mouth with water to remove plaque and tartar from your mouth. If you have a great deal of buildup in your mouth, this step may take longer.

Once tartar and plaque have been scraped away, the hygienist will polish your teeth. They a special toothpaste to scrub and polish the teeth. After brushing is finished, the hygienist will floss between every tooth. Both the professional brushing and flossing work to remove any leftover plaque that wasn’t removed during scaling.

After the cleaning is performed, you may receive a fluoride treatment. Fluoride works to protect your teeth in between dental cleanings, fighting to prevent cavities from forming.

Once the hygienist’s work is done, your dentist will come and examine your teeth and perform an oral cancer screening. The dentist will identify any areas in need of attention, such as a cavity that needs to be filled or an adjustment to a dental appliance. If further dental work is necessary, your dentist will outline a treatment plan for you after your dental cleaning.

How long does a routine dental cleaning last?

The average dental cleaning lasts from 40 minutes to an hour. If you have more plaque buildup or have missed regular dental cleanings, your cleaning will likely last longer than someone who has stayed on top of routine dental care.

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