Regular teeth cleanings play an integral role in good dental health. Over a prolonged period, eating and drinking cause a sticky substance, called plaque, to form on your teeth. Even with regular brushing and flossing, bacteria may still linger on your teeth and harden, causing what is known as tartar. The only way to remove this buildup is through professional dental cleaning. If you feel an excess of tartar or plaque buildup on your teeth, our professionals here at Stansell Dentistry Associates offer you a professional dental exam and cleaning to ensure the health of your teeth and gums.
Start With a Physical Exam
Before getting your teeth cleaned, a physical exam of your teeth is necessary to see the overall health of your teeth and to perform an oral cancer screening. Our professionals oversee the routine checkup and cleaning procedure, examining your entire mouth for problematic areas and bacteria. Not only will we note excessive plaque buildup, but also check for signs of gingivitis, where the bacteria begin affecting the gumline and cause inflammation. If our hygienist detects any major underlying issues, they will consult with our dentist to ensure the cleaning process can proceed.
Removing Plaque and Tartar
Using a small mirror, the dental hygienist begins working on the cleaning to remove plaque and tartar with a scaler tool. During the procedure, most patients find themselves unnerved by the sound of scraping around their teeth. However, this process is painless and should not cause distress. Excessive tartar and plaque require the hygienist to scrape a specific area longer.
While plaque is manageable, tartar may only be removed by a dental cleaning. The best preventative measures for tartar buildup include regular brushing and flossing to rid your teeth of plaque buildup that eventually hardens. During this phase of the cleaning, the dental hygienist also cleans between your teeth to remove all bacteria and debris stuck between each tooth.
Professional Brushing and Flossing
After the hygienist removes most, if not all, of the tartar from your teeth, the next step is professional brushing with a high-powered electric toothbrush. The electric toothbrushes make a loud noise, but there is nothing to worry about here. The effectiveness of the high-powered brush helps to deep clean the teeth. A gritty toothpaste is used during this process to help scrub and polish the teeth, removing any tartar or plaque left behind. This type of polishing is considered safe if done only twice per year, the average number of times a professional cleaning is done. It is highly advised not to use a similar scrub at home to avoid wearing down the enamel of your teeth, which could leave you needing additional dental services.
After brushing your teeth, the hygienist begins a deep-cleaning floss treatment. Even if you floss regularly at home, professional flossing helps to locate problematic areas deep between your teeth. During this phase, the hygienists' concern is to remove all plaque in your gums, especially those that cause bleeding from gingivitis and to remove any leftover toothpaste from the brushing process.
Rinsing and Applying Fluoride Treatment
After getting your gums and teeth deep cleaned, the hygienist provides a rinse that contains liquid fluoride. This helps to remove any debris leftover from the flossing process. You will often have to gargle for thirty to sixty seconds since this is comparable to a mouthwash. The longer you gargle, the more effective it is at removing all debris between your teeth.
Afterward, a fluoride treatment is administered to help add a layer of protection over your teeth that helps prevent cavities for several months. Several flavors are available for you to choose from and it is placed inside a mouthpiece that fits snuggly over your teeth. Fluoride varnish may also be an option here, where the hygienist paints it onto the teeth with a small brush. This immediately hardens when it encounters saliva. This allows you to eat and drink after the procedure, whereas the mouthpiece option requires you to wait an hour or two after it is administered.
It is recommended that you get professional teeth cleaning every six months for maximum dental health. If you havent received a dental cleaning in a while, call Stansell Dentistry Associates at 984-477-0177 to schedule an appointment today.