Professional teeth cleanings are an opportunity to ensure that you maintain optimal oral health, and they are an affordable, effective way to prevent more costly and extensive restorative procedures. Performed twice a year (recommended) by a qualified dental hygienist, dental cleanings are usually completed during regular dental checkups. By removing built-up plaque and tartar from your teeth and bacteria from hard-to-reach places, professional teeth cleanings help keep myriad dental issues at bay, including gum disease and tooth decay.
Professional teeth cleanings give your daily brushing and flossing routine an extra boost and are essential to ensuring that your teeth and mouth stay healthy for a smile you can be confident in. Teeth cleanings are just one of the many preventative, dental care services offered by Castle Dental, along with dental deep cleanings, fluoride treatment, and oral exams.
While professional teeth cleanings are not painful, there can be some discomfort or sounds that people may find unpleasant; for some, they’re unpleasant enough to avoid altogether. Dental cleanings are an important part of maintaining good health, and if you are avoiding routine dental care as the result of fear or anxiety, call Castle Dental today to discuss the possibility of sedation dentistry. With sedation options like nitrous oxide or medication, we can help take the stress out of your visit, so you can get the care you need.
What should you expect from a professional teeth cleaning?
A professional teeth cleaning typically takes about 30 minutes and will include an examination of the mouth, scaling, polishing, flossing, rinsing, and fluoride treatment.
- Examination of the mouth. Before beginning, your hygienist will likely take X-rays (if you’re due for them) and assess the general health and condition of your mouth. Using a small mirror, she or he will examine your gums, teeth and other soft tissues of the mouth in an effort to detect signs of decay, gum inflammation or redness or any other concerns to convey to the dentist. This quick look also makes your hygienist aware of any areas that may be sensitive during the cleaning or that may need extra attention.
- Scaling. Using a dental scaler and a small mirror, your hygienist will gently scrape away any built up tartar that has collected between the teeth and around the gumline. If your teeth have been neglected, this process may take a bit longer as there will be more work for your hygienist. This portion of the cleaning is typically the most uncomfortable due to the scraping sound and slight poking around the gums, but should not be painful. If you do find yourself in pain, be sure to raise your hand and let your hygienist know right away.
- Polishing. Once all the tartar has been removed, your hygienist will use an electric toothbrush to remove any leftover plaque and tartar. Using a minimally abrasive toothpaste called prophylaxis paste, the teeth get a thorough scrub and polish. This paste has a grainy consistency and often comes in different flavors, which you may be allowed to choose. This step typically lasts the longest and is critical in ensuring that no decay-causing substances are left behind.
- Flossing. During this step, your hygienist will floss your teeth and remove any residual plaque or paste that may have been left behind during the previous steps. This is usually an opportunity for you to learn where you can improve. Even if you’re a regular flosser, your hygienist might suggest you pay a bit more attention in certain areas, which will decrease the amount of time spent scaling and polishing at your next appointment and help improve the health of your gums.
- Rinsing. Using either a mouthwash or sprayed water, you’ll rinse away anything left behind for teeth that feel smooth and clean.
- Fluoride Treatment. Fluoride is a powerful naturally-occurring mineral that can help strengthen the enamel (outer surface) of your teeth. Though there are different techniques and applications, most fluoride treatments are applied as a gel or paste directly onto the teeth, leaving them stronger and more resistant to decay. Your mouth may feel sticky afterward and your hygienist will give instructions on when you can eat or drink following the application.
Following the professional teeth cleaning, your dentist will come examine your teeth and overall oral health. If any cavities or other concerns were detected, treatments will be suggested and scheduled at this time.
How can you get the most out of your teeth cleaning?
Good at-home dental care can help you get the most out of your professional teeth cleaning, extending the results, further improving your oral health, and making your next appointment faster.
To ensure that your teeth remain clean, strong and ready for the next cleaning in six months, be sure to follow a healthy routine that includes:
- Regular brushing. Brushing with an electric toothbrush at least twice a day is the best way to ensure you’re scrubbing away all the built up sugar, bacteria and acid that can accumulate throughout the night and day.
- Flossing. Be sure to floss in a ‘C’ shape against and around the tooth, rather than up and down. This ensures that you’re not just cleaning between the teeth, but also between the gums and teeth.
- Mouthwash. – A fluoride mouthwash to your daily routines. Rinsing with a mouthwash helps remove anything left behind from your brushing and flossing, as well as bacteria from hard-to-reach places like between your teeth. The fluoride will benefit the durability of your teeth, leaving them ready to withstand daily wear and tear.
Take Care of Your Teeth with Professional Dental Cleanings from Castle Dental
Daily brushing and flossing are important for maintaining your dental health, but they’re often not enough. Professional teeth cleanings help remove harmful plaque and tartar that your toothbrush simply can’t tackle, reducing your risk of cavities and gum disease and improving your oral health.
Twice-yearly professional cleanings are covered by most dental insurance plans as a preventative treatment. If you don’t have insurance, you can still receive the outstanding care you deserve with Castle Dental’s OneSmile Dental Plan, which provides members with free exams and X-rays as well as discounts on all dental services, including professional cleanings.
What’s more, with multiple convenient locations and flexible hours–including weekend appointments at some locations–Castle Dental makes it easy to get good dental care that fits your busy schedule. Call us today at 1-800-867-6453 or book your appointment today!