Once a year, it would help if you visited your dentist to get your teeth cleaned. Even though many people get their teeth cleaned, they still don’t know the process. The results of clean teeth are precise when you feel how smooth and clean your teeth feel. Not everyone enjoys dental cleanings, and many people avoid them altogether. The process only takes about an hour and is virtually painless if your teeth are cleaned regularly. Knowing what to expect when you visit your dentist for a cleaning can help ease your anxiety.
What Happens During a Teeth Cleaning at A General Dental Practice?
Every office performs cleanings differently. However, the guidelines for dental cleanings are the same no matter where you go. A dental hygienist will clean your teeth in most offices. But if the office you’re visiting doesn’t have a hygienist, your dentist might perform the procedure.
When you get your teeth cleaned, you should expect the following:
- A tooth and gum exam: Before the procedure, your dentist examines your teeth and gums. They’re looking for potential problems, such as dark spots on your teeth. Plaque, tartar, and inflammation are checked for, letting the dentist know what to focus on. Your dentist will be called for a more thorough exam if serious concerns arise.
- Scaling: Scaling can begin once your dental hygienist has examined your teeth. Scaling removes the plaque and tartar that have built up since the last cleaning. The primary focus of scaling is between the teeth and the gum line. Many dentists have started to use ultrasonic scaling tools, but if the buildup is severe, they’ll use a manual scaler. The ultrasonic tool makes your teeth feel like they’re vibrating, and the manual tool feels like a gentle scrape on your teeth.
- Flossing and polishing: After scraping your teeth, your dentist uses an electric polisher. The tool’s tip looks like a rubber cup called a prophy cup. It’s used to hold a gritty paste that polishes your teeth. During this process, you’ll feel a gentle grinding sensation. Once your teeth are polished, your hygienist will also floss your teeth to remove plaque and the polishing paste.
- A fluoride rinse: Dentists have used fluoride for years as part of the cleaning process. Ask your dentist if they offer flavored fluoride to make the experience less unpleasant. Your dentist places the fluoride gel into a mouthpiece placed over your teeth. After a minute, the mouthpiece is removed.
Dental cleanings are painless procedures that have been used for years. They can be uncomfortable if you’ve gone too long between cleanings or if gingivitis has developed. Your hygienist must go beneath the gum line if you have gum disease. These deep cleanings are only mildly uncomfortable and don’t require anesthesia.
Schedule a Dental Cleaning
There might be some discomfort during a dental cleaning, but it’s not painful. Some patients find the process invasive and experience anxiety. At Countryside Smiles, we do our best to ensure you’re comfortable and the procedure is smooth. Call us at (972) 957-7610 or schedule your cleaning online.