Having regular cleanings done by your dentist is an important part of oral hygiene care. It is part of preventative dentistry and is necessary to make sure your teeth stay healthy and happy. Most dentists recommend that you get your teeth cleaned at least twice a year, which is typically what your insurance will cover. Sometimes, though, it is necessary to get cleanings more frequently. If you’re wondering how often you should get your teeth cleaned, ask your dentist. People going through orthodontic treatment, people at high risk of dental decay, and people with chronic dry mouth should all see their dentists more often.
You might be wondering what happens at a dental cleaning. Knowing what the dentist is doing can help ease any anxiety and allow you to sit back and enjoy the results of a good teeth cleaning.
Most teeth cleanings are done by a dental hygienist. Before they begin cleaning, they’ll start by examining your mouth. They’ll use a small mirror to look around your teeth and gums for potential signs of gingivitis (which are inflamed gums) or any other possible concerns. The dentist will do his exam once the cleaning is done.
Using the same small mirror to help guide them, the hygienist will use a scaler to begin removing plaque and tartar from around your gum line and from in between your teeth. You’ll hear some scraping, but that’s perfectly normal. Once plaque turns into tartar, you can’t brush it away, so it’s important to see your dentist to get it removed.
Once your teeth are clean of tartar, the hygienist will begin brushing them with a high-powered electric brush. This brush and special toothpaste can get your teeth extra clean. You don’t use this type of brush at home, but it’s perfect for a twice-yearly cleaning.
The hygienist will then floss your teeth for you, helping get between your teeth and locate any possible problem spots where you might be bleeding at the gums. It will remove any left-over plaque.
You’ll rinse your mouth out with water next, getting rid of any debris that’s been left over or scraped out.
The last step is applying a fluoride treatment. This will act as a protectant to help your teeth fight against cavities.
Getting a dental cleaning is important. If your child is due for a cleaning or think your child might need one, call 860-731-8899.