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What Happens During a Teeth Cleaning?

You may be familiar with the terminology of teeth cleaning. But if you’ve never had the procedure done, you may be apprehensive about your first dental cleaning experience. Even if you brush your teeth regularly and take care of your oral hygiene, most dentists advise getting professional dental cleaning done at least twice a year.

The main aim of a dental cleaning is to eliminate plaque and calculus (accumulated plaque that hardens over time) deposits from around your teeth and gum line. This is an essential part of maintaining your oral health and preventing gum disease.

Teeth Cleaning

Steps in a Dental Cleaning Procedure

 

Oral Examination

The first step of any dental procedure includes a thorough oral and dental examination. Your hygienist will use a small circular mirror and a dental probe to examine all your teeth and check for signs of gum disease. If they notice more serious dental issues, they may refer you to the dentist before starting with the cleaning procedure.

 

Scaling

After you have been deemed fit to receive a dental cleaning, a dental scaler is used to remove the plaque and calculus from all areas of your teeth and around your gum line. Your hygienist may use a hand scaler to clean your teeth manually, or an ultrasonic scaler that uses a mechanized vibrating motion for a dental cleaning. With hand scalers, a gentle scraping motion is used to remove plaque and dislodge calculus from different areas of your mouth.

 

Polishing

Once your teeth are free of plaque and calculus, your hygienist will use an electric toothbrush to polish your teeth with a professional toothpaste. This toothpaste is not very different from the toothpaste you use at home, except that it has a grittier consistency. Any calculus that may be left behind after the dental cleaning is removed through the polishing.

 

Flossing

Your hygienist may also add professional flossing to your routine teeth cleaning. Even if you floss regularly at home, a dental hygienist can get into the hard-to-reach areas of your mouth and floss deep between your teeth.

 

Fluoride Treatment

Your teeth cleaning is complete once you’ve rinsed out your mouth and got rid of all the remaining debris from your oral cavity. Though it’s not an essential part of the cleaning procedure, your hygienist might recommend a fluoride treatment towards the end of your appointment. The procedure consists of a fluoride paste applied onto a mouth tray and placed over your teeth for a couple of minutes. You can rinse your mouth after the tray is removed. Fluoride helps your teeth repair themselves and protects you from potential tooth decay, so it might be a useful step to add to your professional dental cleaning routine.

Benefits of a Professional Dental Cleaning

 

Accumulation of plaque is the primary cause of tooth decay and the development of gum disease. Even with regular brushing and flossing, some amount of plaque is always left behind in areas that may not be accessible with toothbrushes or dental floss. A dental cleaning procedure can help eliminate plaque and calculus from such areas and protect you from developing cavities and gum disease.

 

Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, is most commonly due to bad oral hygiene. Accumulated plaque and calculus can harbor the growth of odor-causing bacteria and give you a foul-smelling breath. Dental cleanings can help keep your mouth clean, fresh, and odor-free.

 

Many health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke have been linked to gum disease. Preventing the development of gum disease through regular dental cleanings can prove to be beneficial for not just your oral health but your overall health.

 

Professional dental cleanings can remove surface stains from your teeth caused by tea, coffee, or wine. This helps brighten up the appearance of your teeth and gives you the confidence to smile wide.

 

By maintaining good oral hygiene and getting frequent dental cleanings, you keep your teeth and gums healthy. This, in turn, saves you money in the long-term that would otherwise be spent on dental procedures for avoidable dental issues.

 

What is a Deep Teeth Cleaning Dental Procedure?

 

A deep dental cleaning may be advised for people who have initial or advanced stages of gum disease. It is similar to professional dental cleaning, except that your hygienist will focus on cleaning the areas below the gum line and on the roots of your teeth.

 

Gum disease is often associated with gingival pockets around the teeth, which occurs when the gums pull away from the teeth and accumulate more plaque and bacteria. A deep dental cleaning controls infection by eliminating the pockets and allowing more efficient cleaning of the plaque and calculus.

 

Your hygienist will scale your teeth and beneath the gum line just like in routine dental cleaning. Root planing is done on the tooth roots to clean out all the plaque, calculus, and bacteria from its surfaces. Smoothening the root surfaces will also prevent further accumulation of plaque in the future. Just like in a routine dental cleaning, your hygienist will use either a manual scaler or an ultrasonic scaling instrument to perform scaling and root planing. The entire procedure can take one to two hours and may be completed in one or multiple sittings.

 

The gums usually become healthier over a few weeks after a deep dental cleaning procedure. The care for your gums needs to continue at home as well, in the form of regular brushing and flossing. As the bacterial growth in the pockets reduces, the size of the pockets will reduce as well, with the eventual tightening of the gums around the teeth.

 

When doing a deep dental cleaning, your dentist will schedule you for an assessment every few weeks, and then every three to six months. This is to keep a check on gum disease from developing again and to ensure that your teeth and gums are getting healthier.

 

For more details about the dental cleaning procedure, contact LeSueur Family Dental, and let our expert staff take care of all your dental care needs.