You may feel anxious about visiting the dentist for a routine teeth cleaning. We understand your hesitation, but teeth cleaning is simple, straightforward, and painless. Teeth cleanings are important not only for your oral health, but also for your mind and body. Remember that everything in our body is connected. An oral health issue may be a precursor or a symptom of a bigger health problem.
What is Involved in a Dental Cleaning?
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) recommends a professional dental cleaning at least every six months. This way, your dentist can identify if any areas in your mouth need extra attention. In addition, cleanings reinforce proper oral health regimens at home.
If you regularly brush your teeth, floss, and even gargle with antiseptic mouthwash, you might think that you don’t need dental cleaning. This is not the case: Bacteria and tartar can still develop even with a thorough oral care regimen. Teeth cleanings aim to clean off the plaque and tartar deposits that have accumulated over time on your teeth. If you are not familiar with plaque, it is a viscid, soft film that houses millions of bacteria. These bacteria create gum issues and promote tooth decay. On the other hand, a tartar is a calcified substance that blankets the teeth. It also plays a part in the progression of tooth decay.
The Dental Cleaning Process
Usually, the dental hygienist checks the patient’s teeth and gums for potential issues prior to the cleaning process. If a major problem is spotted, the dentist will assess if it’s okay to move forward with the cleaning. The hygienist will use a scaler to remove the plaque and tartar on all sides of the gum line and in between the teeth. Depending on the tartar deposit, the hygienist may take some time to clean them.
As soon as the hygienist renders you tartar-free, your teeth will be cleaned again with a high-power electric brush. This ensures that any excess tartar and plaque will be eliminated. Next, your teeth will be professionally flossed. Again, this step will ensure that the tartar and plaque have been cleaned off.
The last step in the teeth cleaning is a fluoride treatment. Your hygienist will ask you to rinse out with a liquid fluoride so that the remaining debris in your mouth will be removed. Then, the hygienist will daub your teeth with a fluoride gel that protects against cavities for months.
Benefits of Professional Teeth Cleaning
Aside from tartar and plaque removal, a professional teeth cleaning can provide you at least three additional benefits:
- Attractive smile. If you are a smoker, a coffee lover or red wine enthusiast, chances are very high that you have stained teeth. A professional teeth cleaning can wash off the stains that build up, leaving you with newly polished teeth and a more attractive smile.
- Fresh Breath. Bad breath is a major turn off. Even if you brush your teeth regularly, professional teeth cleaning will ensure that you will have an odor-free mouth.
- Overall health and well-being. Several pieces of research have shown the relationship between oral health and your overall health. Did you know that routine dental cleanings help reduce your risk for heart disease? Various medical conditions can be recognized at an early stage during your visit to the dentist.