A professional dental cleaning is highly important for maintaining a lifetime of good dental health. Not only does it deep-clean the crevices of your teeth and rid them of tartar, it gives your dentist an opportunity to identify larger issues hiding beneath the surface. If you’re anxious about getting your teeth cleaned, if you’re new to the process or if it’s just been a really long time since your last cleaning, we’re here to calm any nerves. From start to finish, with a few extras in between, here’s the full professional teeth cleaning process.
The first step of any dental cleaning is a physical exam of your mouth. Here, your hygienist checks for signs of gingivitis or other potential issues. If your hygienist discovers any concerning areas, they’ll work with your dentist to formulate a treatment plan.
Removing Plaque Buildup
Plaque and tartar naturally build up on teeth over time. While regular brushing and flossing can help to mitigate buildup on the surface area of your teeth, an in-depth removal of problematic plaque and tartar is necessary to really clean out the spaces surrounding your teeth. During this step, your hygienist uses a scaler to scrape away the tartar.
What is Tartar?
Tartar is formed when an abundance of plaque builds up, leaving a hard, calcified substance on gums and teeth. Once it’s there, it can only be removed by a dental professional. Scraping away plaque is an especially important step since this can lead to tartar buildup, cavities and other unpleasant dental issues.
Polish Those Pearly Whites
Next up is a polish using gritty toothpaste and a high-powered electric brush. Despite the noise, this tool works to gently clean your teeth. The fun part is you get your pick of toothpaste flavors, so no need to worry about any unpleasant tastes left in your mouth. The toothpaste used in our offices is a bit different than your stuff at home, though. It has a gritty texture to thoroughly clean and polish your teeth to help your smile sparkle.
Floss & Rinse
Even if you’re on top of your flossing game at home, nothing beats a professional flossing. Our hygienists expertly floss your teeth to get deep in between your teeth to clean the tartar and plaque. This step further helps your hygienists identify any troublesome spots that may need attention. Just like at home, after you brush and floss, you’ll rinse out the debris.
Now that your teeth have been cleaned, flossed and polished, your hygienist may perform a fluoride treatment. Fluoride acts as an extra line of defense against cavities and is a great addition to any dental cleaning. Magnolia offers a variety of fluoride products to combat dental decay, including mouth rinses, dietary supplements, and professionally applied gels and varnishes. The easiest and most effective way to decide which product is best for you is to simply talk with your dentist and dental hygienist. They can address any concerns and advise you on which method best suits your needs.
Learn more about the benefits of fluoride here!
Your hygienist may suggest a quick X-ray to get an in-depth look at your teeth and allow your dentist to pinpoint underlying issues such as bone loss, oral abnormalities, tooth decay, tumors and cysts, gum disease, and movement of teeth. X-rays are especially great for new patients, as they allow our dentists to quickly assess your overall oral health.
Your hygienist has completed your dental cleaning! Now what? Your dentist will do one final overview to check for any issues. If you have a cavity or other oral issues, your dentist and hygienist will plan further treatment and schedule a follow-up to perform it. This is also a great time to ask questions if you have any concerns about your dental health!
Keeping Your Teeth Looking & Feeling Great After Your Cleaning
After your cleaning, it is important that you continue to keep up with your oral health to fight against tartar buildup and combat cavities. Remember, you should be scheduling a professional dental cleaning every six months. If you’re behind on your teeth cleaning and need to make an appointment, click the link below!