To put your mind at ease, it helps to know how the cleaning process looks like. What exactly happens during a cleaning visit? Although the procedure might differ slightly between dental offices, many steps remain the same.
The Cleaning Process
The first step is an oral exam. A dental hygienist checks for any signs of inflamed gums (gingivitis), dark spots on teeth or other potential problems. If any are detected, a dentist is usually called in for a closer inspection. Once it is determined it’s safe to proceed, the cleaning procedure begins.
The dental hygienist uses a small mirror and a scaler (a small, hooked tool) to get rid of tartar and plaque in between your teeth and around your gums. Tartar is plaque that built up and hardened. It can only be removed during a cleaning by a professional. However, frequent brushing and flossing can prevent plaque from building up and turning into tartar. The more tartar in your mouth, the longer the dental hygienist will have to scrape it. In some cases, an ultrasonic scraper might be used in place of a manual one.
Once your teeth are tartar-free, the hygienist will brush them with an electric brush. This is to provide deeper cleaning and to remove any bits of tartar that may have escaped the scaler. The toothpaste that is being used during a cleaning, prophylaxis paste, smells and tastes like a regular toothpaste (you can often choose its flavor). It is, however, grainier and grittier, to gently scrub your teeth. Teeth polishing, when done professionally, is safe to do twice a year. More frequent scrubbing can lead to damaging the enamel.
Next comes flossing. The dental hygienist will get deep between your teeth, which might cause some spots to bleed. They will be able to remove leftover plaque and toothpaste. After that, it will be time for rinsing. You will be given a fluid that contains liquid fluoride.
Teeth cleaning often ends in a fluoride treatment that’s supposed to help protect your teeth from cavities for a few months. Again, you might be able to choose a flavor. A foamy gel or in some instances a sticky paste will be put into a mouthpiece that will cover your teeth. You’ll keep it in for one minute. Then, fluoride varnish will be applied onto your teeth. It will harden right away, so you’ll be able to eat and drink immediately after the cleaning.
It should be noted that if, during an exam, your dentist or dental hygienist notice any issues, they might perform other exams. Children may also receive molar sealants to protect hard-to-reach areas from cavities.
In conclusion, it is crucial to not only brush and floss your teeth at home, but also keep your teeth cleaning appointments. It is a great way to take care of your oral health and keep dental issues at bay.
Frequently Asked Questions about Teeth Cleaning Cincinnati, Ohio [OH]
Is teeth cleaning painful?
Generally speaking, teeth cleaning is not very painful, although may cause some patients discomfort. How much the teeth cleaning hurts depends on:
- Dental sensitivity (in cases of inflammation, tooth decay and gum disease)
- Jaw pain (due to some disorders)
- Time passed (how long has it been since the last cleaning).
If you are experiencing pain during your cleaning, you should let the dental hygienist know right way. They can offer ways of lessening the pain and more frequent breaks.
What is deep cleaning?
Deep cleaning is a procedure that differs greatly from a regular cleaning. It is used to keep periodontal disease under control, and it involves root planing and scaling. Without this treatment, the condition could lead to tooth and bone loss.
How should I take care of my teeth after the cleaning?
To keep your smile bright and healthy, it’s important to:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day (using a fluoride toothpaste)
- Floss your teeth at least once a day
- Rinse you mouth every day (with a fluoride or bacteria-killing mouthwash)
- Change your toothbrush every 2-3 months (of after an illness).
Rinsing your mouth with water after each meal and snack is also recommended. Whenever you notice any dental problems, contact our office right away.
What will happen if I do not clean my teeth regularly?
Our mouths are full of bacteria. Some of them are beneficial to our health, while others can be extremely harmful. When these bacteria amass on your teeth, they release acid that can lead to serious problems, such as inflamed gums, damaged enamel, tooth decay and loss, and periodontal disease. To steer clear of any dental issues, we strongly recommend taking good care of your teeth every day, as well as scheduling regular dental cleaning visits.
Remember that dental cleanings keep your mouth healthy. They can help you avoid issues that are costly and procedures that can be painful.
Are teeth cleanings covered by insurance?
Most insurance plans offer two free teeth cleanings ever year. Nevertheless, it is important to always check with your insurance provider and learn about the dental coverage.