What to Expect from Our Teeth Cleanings
What is a Professional Teeth Cleaning?
A professional teeth cleaning is done by your dental hygienist or dentist, who uses tools to remove tartar from your teeth — both above and below where the gum meets the tooth. A professional teeth cleaning keeps your teeth looking their best and provides the following benefits:
Protection Against Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is damage that occurs when germs (bacteria) in your mouth make acids that eat away at a tooth. It can lead to a hole in the tooth, called a cavity. If not treated, tooth decay can cause pain, infection and tooth loss.
Detection and Prevention of Gum Disease
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. It's typically caused by poor brushing and flossing habits that allow plaque—a sticky film of bacteria—to build up on the teeth and harden. In advanced stages, periodontal disease can lead to sore, bleeding gums, painful chewing problems and even tooth loss.
What Should I Expect at a Professional Dental Cleaning?
The teeth cleaning process by our dentist follows a series of simple steps to effectively remove all bacteria and other problems from your teeth and gums:
Consultation with Our Dentist and Oral Examination
Your appointment will start with a quick consultation with our dentist. You will be asked about your dental history, dental procedures previously performed, and your last teeth cleaning. Our dentist will also conduct an oral exam to determine the current health of your teeth and look for any signs of tooth decay, cavities and gum disease. In case of a dental problem, our dentist will recommend solutions to address these effectively.
Removing the Tartar and Plaque from your Teeth
With the small mirror to guide them, the dental hygienist uses a scaler to get rid of plaque and tartar around your gum line, as well as in between your teeth.
After your teeth are completely tartar-free, the hygienist brushes them with a high-powered electric brush, which achieves a deep clean and removes any tartar left behind from the scaler. He or she will floss your teeth to remove any leftover plaque or toothpaste.
Rinsing and Fluoride Application
Next, you rinse out your mouth to get rid of any debris. Your dental hygienist will usually give you a rinse that contains liquid fluoride. The last step of the cleaning process is a fluoride treatment. This treatment is used as a protectant for your teeth to help fight against cavities for several months.
After the teeth cleaning is completed, the dentist will advise you about when you should get your next professional teeth cleaning, which you may schedule before leaving.
Caring for your teeth shouldn't stop after a visit to our office. Your dentist will suggest ways to ensure your good oral health. Here are some tips that can help you maintain the results of your teeth cleaning:
Teeth Brushing Tips
- Avoid harsh brushing, as it can be harmful for both your gums and teeth.
- Ensure that the same method of brushing is done throughout the brushing routine.
- Make sure you brush the back of your teeth.
- Always brush your tongue, which this helps reduce the bacteria in your mouth.
- Brush your teeth for a minimum of two minutes.
- Wrap about 18 inches of floss around your two middle fingers.
- Tightly hold the dental floss with your thumbs and pointer finger and gently insert it between the teeth.
- Position the dental floss around the side of the tooth in a ‘C’ shape.
- Move the floss up and down against the sides of each tooth.
- Repeat on the next tooth with a fresh section of the floss until each tooth has been cleaned.
Flossing regularly is just as important as brushing, so don't underestimate this step in your oral routine.
A proper mouth rinse is needed to remove any debris left after brushing your teeth. Your dentist recommends an antiseptic mouthwash be used once or twice every day in order to eliminate bacteria from your mouth and further protect it from plaque and tartar.
- You can rinse before or after you brush your teeth.
- Swish your preferred mouthwash for around 30 seconds to fully benefit from it.
A healthy set of teeth and strong gums can only be achieved through effective oral care. Regular brushing and flossing is needed to provide maximum protection for your teeth against plaque, gum disease and tooth decay. Schedule an appointment with your dentist today by calling 636-225-3900 to enhance your oral health and maintain a beautiful smile.