Dental cleanings are a great way to keep your teeth healthy and strong. With one or two dental cleanings per year, you can help to prevent tartar from accumulating on your teeth and restore the whiteness of your teeth in the process. But if you've never gotten a dental cleaning before, you might worry about what the process involves.
Understanding the dental cleaning process will help to make you more comfortable about dental cleaning and what it involves. During a dental cleaning, the hygienist will carry out the following actions.
Before the cleaning can begin, the dental hygienist needs to examine your gums and teeth to determine whether they are healthy or not. This is important because if the hygienist spots any dental issues such as cavities, tooth damage, or gum disease, they can then inform your dentist. Your dentist may then decide to examine the area and diagnose the problem.
During an oral exam, your hygienist may also ask you about your dental habits and diet. You can also bring up any concerns you might have about the procedure or your dental health in general while the hygienist is examining your teeth and gums.
The Removal of Tartar
One of the main purposes of a dental cleaning is to remove tartar from your teeth. Tartar is a chalky, yellow deposit that builds up on the surface of teeth over time, especially if you don't brush and floss your teeth enough. Tartar was once plaque, a sticky film that contains bacteria and food debris, but plaque eventually hardens into tartar if you leave it on your teeth for too long.
Tartar is acidic and causes both enamel demineralization and gum disease. During the removal process, the dental hygienist will use a scaler along with a small mirror to scrape tartar from around the gum line and from between teeth. For large deposits, dental hygienists sometimes use ultrasonic scalers, which use water and vibration to remove tartar.
The Brushing and Flossing Stage
This stage helps to remove any residual tartar that the dental hygienist might have missed during the scaling process. First, the hygienist will ask you to choose a flavor from the toothpastes they have on offer. After that, the hygienist will use abrasive toothpaste along with a high-powered toothbrush to clean your teeth. The abrasive nature of the gritty toothpaste will clean and polish your teeth.
After brushing your teeth, the hygienist will then floss your teeth for you. Professional hygienists are skilled at flossing teeth and during the flossing process; they can spot areas of your mouth that you might normally miss during flossing sessions. These areas may be inflamed, sore, and bleeding.
As the hygienist flosses your teeth, they will give you tips on how to floss more efficiently, so you can reach the awkward spots among your teeth and prevent tartar from building up.
The Rinsing and Fluoride Treatment Stage
Once they have brushed and flossed your teeth, the hygienist will rinse your mouth out with water that contains fluoride. Fluoride helps to strengthen tooth enamel by clinging to calcium ions near the surface of your teeth. While your hygienist rinses your mouth, they may ask you if you want your teeth to be treated with fluoride. Fluoride is usually applied as a foamy gel or as a paste. Once hardened, fluoride will protect your teeth against decay.
Final Dental Exam
When the dental cleaning is over, your dentist may wish to examine your teeth one final time. This is because dentists can more easily spot dental issues such as cavities and gum disease when your teeth are clean. If the dentist finds any dental issues, they can then recommend the appropriate treatment.
Contact a clinic like Family Dentistry Of Woodstock to learn more.