Call me crazy, but I actually look forward to my bi-annual dental cleaning. I love how smooth and fresh my teeth feel afterwards! And I love having peace of mind, knowing that my teeth and gums are healthy. But, I know that a lot of people out there absolutely dread any visit to the dentist, even a simple cleaning. A good way to ease your fear is to understand the process.
Step 1: Physical Exam
A dental cleaning is normally handled by a dental hygienist. First, he or she will need to do a quick exam. Taking a small mirror, they will look at your teeth and gums checking for any decay, trauma, or possible inflammation. It is best to find these problems right away so the cleaning process can be quick and painless. If there is anything troubling, a dentist will come to give the okay to continue along with the cleaning.
Step 2: Remove Plaque
Despite our best efforts, plaque gets trapped between our teeth and underneath our gum-line. Luckily, a quick dental cleaning will take care of anything we have missed. The hygienist will scrape plaque away from between teeth and gums. If plaque goes left unnoticed and untreated for too long it becomes calcified and is then called tarter. Simply brushing and flossing won’t remove tarter, it must be removed in a dental office. These cleanings are vital for protecting you from plaque and tarter buildup that ultimately lead to gingivitis.
Step 3: Pretty Polish
Once all the plaque is safely removed, the teeth are ready for a good old fashioned scrubbing. Think of it like brushing your teeth, just a little advanced. A rough textured toothpaste is used to really give those teeth a good sparkle. The paste is applied to a sophisticated electric toothbrush and then massaged onto your teeth. The hygienist will be sure to be very thorough to get every tooth sparkling like new.
Step 4: Floss & Rinse
Every good brushing needs to be followed up with a good flossing. The toothpaste used has a grit to it that you don’t want left behind. Flossing will remove any left over toothpaste or plaque that was missed in the first couple steps. Plus it never hurts to be flossed by a trained hand. Then a good rinsing, of course, to wash away any debris.
Step 5: Fluoride
Fluoride is great for preventing cavities and tooth decay. The fluoride applied during a dental cleaning provides a nice thick coating. This type of fluoride can protect your teeth for months. It is foamy in texture so it can be sprayed into a mouthpiece and sit comfortably on your teeth. You will bite down on the mouthpiece and then your hygienist will make sure you are perfectly comfortable. And now your job is so easy, simply wait about a minute for the fluoride to work its magic.
Step 6: Dentist Exam
Dental cleanings are normally followed up by a quick check from the dentist. If you have any concerns, or if the hygienist noticed anything out of the ordinary, your dentist will take a look. Once you are cleared and cavity free, you get to go on home with your bright new smile.
If you are in need of a dental cleaning, let Eagle Rock Dental take care of you. We know that any visit to the dentist can be unnerving. We have plenty of options, including sedation dentistry, to keep you as comfortable as possible. Let us make your dental cleaning a positive experience! Contact us today, or simply request your appointment online.