When you schedule a routine dental cleaning with your dentist or dental hygienist, you take an important step toward maintaining good oral health. Most dentists will recommend dental cleanings twice a year. However, you may need more frequent cleanings if you have gum disease or other oral health concerns.
Your regular dental cleanings are essential for your oral health. At these appointments, your dental team can assess your health and remove harmful bacteria from your teeth. Additionally, they may notice if you are developing common dental issues.
What Is the Process?
The first step in a routine dental cleaning is to examine your teeth and gums. Your dental hygienist will use a small mirror and a scaler to check for any signs of gum disease, tooth decay, or other oral health issues. They may also take X-rays to get a better look at your teeth and jawbone.
Next, your hygienist will use a scaler tool to remove any plaque or tartar from your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth throughout the day. If left untreated, it can harden into tartar, which only a dental professional can remove. Removing plaque and tartar is important because it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
After the scaling, your hygienist will use a high-powered electric toothbrush to clean your teeth. They’ll use a gritty toothpaste to scrub away any remaining plaque and tartar. This toothpaste is a little more abrasive than the toothpaste you use at home, so it’s important not to use it regularly. Your hygienist will also floss your teeth to remove any plaque or food particles that may be stuck between your teeth. This step removes any remaining plaque and helps remove mild surface stains.
Once your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned, your hygienist may apply a fluoride treatment. Fluoride is a mineral that helps to strengthen your teeth and prevent tooth decay. The treatment involves applying a fluoride gel or foam to your teeth and allowing it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off.
Finally, your dentist will examine your teeth and gums again to ensure everything looks healthy. They may also recommend additional treatments, such as a dental sealant or gum disease treatment if they notice any issues.
Why Do You Need Dental Cleanings?
So, why are routine dental cleanings so important? There are a few reasons. First and foremost, cleanings help to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. By removing plaque and tartar from your teeth, your dental hygienist is helping to keep your mouth healthy and free of harmful bacteria.
Routine cleanings can also help to catch oral health problems early on. For example, if your dentist notices a cavity during your cleaning, they can fill it before it becomes a bigger problem. Similarly, if they notice signs of gum disease, they can recommend treatment before it leads to more serious issues like tooth loss.
Finally, routine cleanings can help to keep your teeth looking their best. A clean and healthy mouth can help to boost your confidence and make you feel better about your smile.