If you’re curious about the ins and outs of a dental cleaning appointment, follow along for a comprehensive guide to getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist.
We don’t have to tell you that dental hygiene is important — but we love doing it anyway! Everyone needs a reminder from time to time to check in on their oral health and give their hard-working teeth the care they deserve. Having a consistent at-home oral health routine is important, but no matter what, we highly recommend a visit to the dentist every six months.
Keeping your pearly whites shining is only half of it! Did you know that poor oral hygiene can lead to more severe health problems? It’s true, and we see it happen all too often. Delaying a visit to the dentist due to anxiety or simply a lack of understanding of the process is understandable. We’re here to tell you that with routine dental cleanings, there is nothing to fear! Follow along to get an inside look at the 1-2-3s of routine dental cleaning appointments.
What to Expect at a Routine Dental Cleaning
STEP ONE: Gum Health Check
Your dental hygienist and dentist will use a mirror to examine your gums and teeth carefully. The hygienist will note any signs of gingivitis, such as bleeding, tenderness, inflammation, and sores or discolorations that could indicate mouth or throat cancer.
STEP TWO: Plaque and Tartar Removal
Your dental hygienist is the only one who should be poking at your teeth with a metal object! But it’s not as scary as it sounds. A hygienist will use a scraper to de-scale your teeth, top and bottom. They’ll pay special attention to the areas behind crowded teeth and molars, which are often hard for us to reach on our own with a simple toothbrush.
STEP THREE: Polish Away Stains
After your teeth are scraped clean, a hygienist will often use a high-powered electric toothbrush to gently polish away with gritty mint paste any remaining tartar and leave your teeth feeling silky smooth.
STEP FOUR: Professional Flossing
Your dental hygienist or dentist will often use thick, wide floss to give your teeth the pro floss treatment.
STEP FIVE: Fluoride Rinse
Don’t be surprised if your dental team finishes off your care with a pleasant-tasting fluoride rinse or fluoride treatment to provide further protection for your teeth until your next visit.
The HOW’s and WHY’s of Dental Cleanings, Answered!
Why do I need a dental cleaning if I brush and floss regularly?
It turns out that brushing and flossing just aren’t enough to keep your teeth in tiptop condition. Every six months, it’s smart to have a full exam and cleaning to assess the condition of your teeth and prevent future problems.
Why is dental cleaning necessary
Dental cleanings are your friend! Not only do they help keep your teeth bright and white, but they also prevent cavities and gum disease (and subsequent tooth loss), as well as preventing halitosis (bad breath). During a dental cleaning, you’ll also be screened for any signs of early oral cancer. X-rays, if needed, can reveal potential problems before they become acute or painful.
In addition, regular twice-a-year dental cleanings are the maintenance you need to keep your teeth healthy — and they’re usually covered by dental insurance. Score! Regular cleanings also help you prevent tooth loss.
Won’t a dental cleaning hurt?
No! With modern dentistry, dental cleanings are pain-free. Your dental team will walk you through every step of the exam and cleaning as well as calm any anxieties you might have.
Aren’t regular cleanings just for kids?
While regular dental cleanings are definitely a must for kids, who are just starting to form healthy oral hygiene habits, these cleanings are a necessity for grownups, too.
As adults, we can be pretty hard on our teeth, and we tend to be fond of substances that cause deep stains. All that coffee, tea, cola, wine, and tobacco can wreak havoc on our choppers!. Stains sink into enamel — past the reach of regular brushing — and often require pro help to remove.
Another perk for grownups? Adults can benefit from the oral cancer screenings provided by dentists.
How do adult dental cleanings differ from children’s dental cleanings?
Adult dental cleanings are sometimes more in-depth than children’s, with scaling of the teeth to remove long-built-up tartar and plaque on the front and back of teeth, including the gumline. Pediatric dentists concentrate on cavity prevention, proper teeth alignment, and teaching good dental hygiene habits. Dentists who serve an adult population tend to evaluate patients for issues that can crop up from long-term neglect of teeth or untreated tooth decay. Both pediatric and adult dental cleanings may involve x-rays to check on tooth structures below the gums, although x-rays are not required every year.
I haven’t seen a dentist in a long time and feel embarrassed. What if it’s been too long since my last cleaning?
Don’t be shy! Life has a way of getting in the way of the must-dos like dental cleanings. But fortunately, it’s never too late to catch up with your dentist and hygienist — and get back to a clean bill of oral health. We’re happy to help you resume a twice-yearly dental cleaning schedule so your smile stays bright for years to come. After all, we know you have a lot to smile about!
Dental Cleanings With An Extra Touch of Care
At Dr. Lance Johnson Family Dentistry, located in Sherman, Texas, in the heart of Grayson County, we love dental cleanings! It’s a great opportunity for us to get to know our dental patients — long before there are any problems with their teeth. We’re committed to providing pain-free and thorough dental cleanings for our patients of all ages.
We typically recommend dental cleanings every six months to stay on top of oral health — but with our fantastic, friendly team, you can count on your cleaning being quick and easy so that it won’t get in the way of your busy schedule. Our team goes above and beyond for each and every customer, assuring that your level of care exceeds all expectations. Stop by Dr. Lance Johnson Family Dentistry for a uniquely personalized dental care experience and painless routine dental cleaning.