A dental cleaning probably doesn’t sound like fun, but believe it or not routine dental cleanings are one of the most important procedures you can have done to keep not just your mouth healthy, but your body’s entire immune system! So, if you’re apprehensive about having your teeth cleaned, it’s actually a pretty simple procedure- especially at Dapper Dental!
At Dapper Dental, a teeth cleaning includes a thorough inspection of your teeth, gums and mouth, scraping away plaque and tartar, a toothpaste cleaning, flossing, and rinsing, a fluoride treatment, and a final inspection. There may be some other steps we take during your visit depending on your situation, but these are the common steps to a dental cleaning.
We’ll break down each step so you know exactly what to expect, why dental cleanings are the link to your body’s immune system, and how a simple dental cleaning can even detect early signs of cancer and other diseases.
The first step of your dental cleaning is pretty simple. The dental hygienist will take a moment to examine your mouth, teeth, and gums with a small mirror to look for any possible signs of issues, like gingivitis, or perhaps dark spots on your teeth, which may mean you have a cavity.
This is a simple, yet important step because if they detect any issues they will call in the dentist just to make sure it’s still okay to move forward with the dental cleaning. This is also a good time to ask the hygienist any questions and to tell them about any issues you may be having.
If everything looks good after the quick examination, the dental hygienist will grab a tool that looks like a little hook. This is called a scaler and is what they will use to scrape away plaque and tartar around the gum line.
They will also use a small mirror to help guide around your mouth so they can scrape around every tooth. You will definitely hear some scraping, but that’s nothing to worry about! Just turn on your massage chair and TV at Dapper Dental and relax!
How much time the dental hygienist spends scraping will depend on how much plaque and tartar they need to remove. Tartar is a result of built up plaque and can only be removed during a dental cleaning, so if it’s been a while since your last appointment this step may take a little longer.
After the hygienist removes all the plaque and tartar, it’s time for the professional cleaning! This is where you have your teeth cleaned with some toothpaste and a high-powered brush.
The toothpaste may feel kind of gritty and the brush will make a grinding, whirring sound. It may sound scary, but this is all part of the deep-cleaning process and helps removes stains from your teeth. At Dapper Dental, we have several flavors of toothpaste to choose from such as mint, bubble gum, cherry and marshmallow!
Just like at home, the next step after brushing is flossing. The dental hygienist is a flossing expert and will floss all the spaces in between your teeth.
After the flossing, you’ll be asked to rinse your mouth to remove any debris or leftover toothpaste. The dental hygienist will use a tool to squirt water in your mouth so you can swish it around. Then they will place a suction tool in your mouth that sucks away the water so you don’t have to spit.
Your dental hygienist may have you complete a dental fluoride treatment. This is a simple step that helps strengthen your teeth’s enamel so you can avoid cavities.
They will take something that looks like a mouthpiece and fill it with either a gel or foam. They’ll then place it in your mouth, over your teeth, and let it sit for about a minute. Once the treatment is done you’ll be asked to rinse your mouth again.
When your dental cleaning is complete, the Dr. Sutton will come to have a final inspection of your mouth. He will also check your teeth for any issues or concerns, such as cavities. Depending on the severity of the cavity, you may need to schedule an additional appointment to see Dr. Sutton.
Some dental offices also take digital x-rays of your mouth before your dental cleaning begins. This is also routine and absolutely painless. This allows the dentist to see below the gums to make sure no problems are brewing underneath. So if you had x-rays taken, Dr. Sutton would also review them during the final examination.
Why Routine Dental Cleaning Is Important
One important thing the dentist checks during the final inspection is a sign of oral cancer. Believe it or not, one person passes away from oral cancer every hour in the U.S., but it’s something that is completely curable if caught early! Dr. Sutton takes examinations very seriously to ensure he catches any severe issues early on.
Additionally, early research indicates that teeth cleaning is linked to lowering the risk of heart attacks and strokes. When there is plaque and tartar buildup, your gums become inflamed and chronic inflammation can lead to hardening of the arteries.
A dental cleaning is pretty painless, so committing to a dental cleaning twice a year is more than just walking away with a brighter smile. It’s also about taking care of your entire body.