Using tools and equipment, your dentist can provide dental cleaning to your teeth and gums in ways that most people cannot do at home. Most of the time, cleaning your teeth properly involves removing plaque and tartar build-up on the surfaces of your teeth, both above and below the gum line. This can make your teeth look whiter, remove bad breath odors, and even make them easier to brush! By making sure to schedule regular cleanings with your dentist, you can ensure that you’re brushing your teeth properly, preventing cavities from forming, and keeping your whole mouth healthy.
What is involved in getting a cleaning?
Your dentist usually does a dental cleaning during your regular check-up. If you are new to getting cleanings, here’s what you can expect: During your cleaning, your dentist will first do an overall evaluation of how healthy your mouth is. This will involve checking out your teeth, gums, and tongue for any signs of disease or decay. Next, they’ll start flossing around each tooth to remove any food debris that has collected between them. As they do so, they might also scrape off any plaque from those areas and underneath each tooth using a tool called an interdental brush or pick.
Next, your dentist will usually use an ultrasonic or sonic scaler to clean any plaque or tartar built upon each tooth. If you’re like most people, you may have some areas of hardened plaque on your teeth that can’t be removed by brushing alone. To get rid of it, your dentist will first spray an acidic solution on your teeth so that it loosens up any gunk underneath. Next, they’ll pass their scaler over each tooth repeatedly to scrape off all the loose plaque before rinsing everything away with warm water. Finally, they’ll do another overall check-up to ensure there are no new signs of decay or disease before moving on to whatever else is next in their dental exam protocol for you.
Who needs regular cleanings?
Everyone needs regular dental cleanings, no matter how young or old they are. Even though it’s routine, that doesn’t mean your cleanings are any less important. If you take good care of your teeth during your cleanings, you can help prevent gingivitis, tooth decay, and gum disease. It’s one of our top ways to keep healthy gums!
For people who wear braces, toothbrush gums, or dentures, it’s especially important to schedule regular cleanings to ensure plaque doesn’t build up underneath them. If you use tobacco products like cigarettes or chew tobacco, your dentist will likely recommend more frequent cleanings to help prevent gum disease.
If you’re thinking about getting your next cleaning, start with your dentist. They’ll be able to determine if your teeth need another cleaning before it’s scheduled. If you wait too long between cleanings, food particles can build up around your gums, irritate them, or even cause gum disease. Therefore, routine cleanings are so important!
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