Teeth cleaning can be intimidating for some children and even adults as the prodding, machine noises, and jaw and mouth discomfort can make it an undesired process.
However, teeth cleaning is a simple and effective procedure that benefits your oral health.
What is a Teeth Cleaning?
Teeth cleaning, or dental cleaning, is a preventative process that dental hygienists and dentists perform.
To obtain optimum oral health conditions, the dental professional aims to remove buildup debris, plaque, and tartar that can lead to the development of cavities, tooth decay, and gum problems in an individual.
You can efficiently clean your teeth at home by properly brushing your teeth, using good quality toothpaste, and regularly flossing your teeth.
While these oral hygiene practices ensure thorough cleaning, professional teeth cleaning can remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from hard-to-reach areas and deep spaces between and around the teeth.
Moreover, a dental hygienist can also help get rid of substances that stick to the teeth surfaces and cannot easily be removed.
What Happens During Teeth Cleaning?
Dental hygienists perform most teeth cleanings, and the standard steps for the procedure include the following:
Before the cleaning process, the dental hygienist will examine your teeth, gums, tongue, inside of your cheeks, and the roof and floor of your mouth.
If the hygienist detects serious problems that can develop into complications, like gingivitis, or lesions in the mouth, they will call in the dentist to proceed with the treatment plan.
After checking for inflamed or diseased gums, tooth decay, or cavities using a small mirror, the dental hygienist proceeds to the rest of the teeth cleaning process.
Plaque and Tartar Removal
Using a small mirror, the dental hygienist removes plaque and tartar around the teeth, in-between spaces, and around the gum line with the help of a scaler.
Many people are not fond of scraping noises, which intensify in areas where plaque and tartar buildup is most severe.
However, such noises are harmless and painless, and the more tartar and plaque accumulate in your mouth, the longer it will take for the hygienist to scrape and remove it.
The dental hygienist proceeds to clean your teeth and ensure they are entirely plaque and tartar free by using an electric-powered brush and gritty toothpaste.
The grinding sounds may seem intimidating, but this step ensures teeth are polished and scrubbed free of any remaining plaque or tartar.
Dental professionals recommend this type of teeth polishing and cleaning but do not recommend doing it yourself, as a person can wear their enamel down by using such a method of teeth cleaning harshly.
Professional flossing allows the dental hygienist to reach deep areas around your teeth and gum pockets that might bleed due to bacterial accumulation.
The leftover plaque and tartar are also removed using this cleaning process.
Rinsing and Fluoride Treatment
The dental hygienist provides a fluoride liquid mouthwash that removes leftover debris and the last step of the teeth cleaning procedure of fluoride treatment.
Fluoride treatment is a preventive dentistry practice that protects teeth from future acid attacks, bacterial accumulation, and tooth decay from sugary or processed food.
The sticky gel or paste is left on the teeth for one minute, which hardens when it comes in contact with saliva.
The person is allowed to eat or drink after the fluoride treatment.
How Long Do Dental Cleanings Take?
Teeth cleaning procedure and length depend upon a particular individual's oral health. If a person has good oral health, less tartar and plaque buildup, and no gum diseases, then the dental cleaning takes around 30 minutes to finish.
However, if a person has cavities, tooth decay, or extreme tartar buildup, the dental cleaning can last for an hour, in addition to an examination from the dentist.
How Long After a Dental Cleaning Can I Eat?
If a teeth cleaning doesn't involve fluoride treatment, a person can eat or drink usually immediately after the process.
However, if the dental hygienist has polished the teeth with a fluoride treatment or air polishing, the person is instructed to wait 30 minutes before eating.
Dental professionals recommend not eating foods that can stain teeth, like alcohol and coffee, for six hours after teeth cleaning.
How Often Should I Schedule a Teeth Cleaning?
Generally, dentists recommend getting teeth cleaned every six months, along with routine dental checkups.
The frequency of visiting a dentist and getting dental cleaning depends on an individual's oral health.
Those people at a high risk of developing tartar and plaque will need to see their dentist every three to four months.
Others who maintain good oral health and do not have any dental or gum diseases can visit their dentist after long periods, like nine to 12 months.
Can I Brush After a Dental Cleaning?
A person can brush and floss their teeth regularly after a dental cleaning, but it is recommended to do so using gentle strokes.
It is necessary to maintain good oral health habits after a dental cleaning session, which ensures that the hard work done by a dental hygienist is maintained for a long time.
Does a Dental Cleaning Hurt?
Dental cleaning is a relatively painless process. It can be uncomfortable for a few people who dislike grinding noises from the electric toothbrush or scaler.
Still, minor discomfort can result if a patient has poor oral health and has complicating factors.
Gum inflammation, extreme tartar buildup, tooth decay, and other conditions can make teeth cleaning difficult and discomforting, resulting in increased sensitivity and minor pain during the teeth cleaning.
Usually, dental cleanings shouldn't hurt, but if a dental hygienist has to scrub a little hard and work extra around an inflamed gum or excessively hardened tartar, minor pain can make dental cleaning hurt a little.
Schedule Your Nampa Teeth Cleaning Appointment Today
At Middle Creek Dental, we believe in providing professional dental services, and our doctors Dr. Shaun Christensen and Dr. Christensen look forward to providing premium dental services.
Call us at (208) 505-9975 to schedule an appointment for teeth cleanings or regular dental checkups.