Routine teeth cleaning doesn’t just make your smile whiter and brighter, it’s also an important way to maintain your overall oral health. This simple 30-to 60-minute procedure is crucial when it comes to keeping your teeth and gums clean, removing built-up plaque and tartar that ca cause bacteria to form and spread in your mouth. A routine cleaning is actually the only way to remove tartar once it’s formed on the teeth, so you truly can’t afford to put off a cleaning when you’re due for one. When it’s time to stop by the dentist’s office for an Indy South teeth cleaning, here’s exactly what you can expect during the procedure.
The process of a routine teeth cleaning
There’s no need to get nervous when it’s time to go to the dentist for a regular cleaning. Cleanings aren’t painful, and you’ll leave with brighter, whiter teeth and a healthier mouth overall. A routine teeth cleaning procedure typically follows this sequence:
- Oral exam: A dental hygienist typically performs an initial visual inspection of your entire mouth, looking for any signs of inflammation, decay or any other potential problems. They’ll also give you an oral cancer screening and take x-rays if you’re due for them. All of this happens before any cleaning actually begins, to ensure your mouth is getting the individualized attention it deserves.
- Plaque and tartar removal: Your hygienist will use a scaler to scrape away any built-up plaque and tarter on your teeth and along the gum line. It should be quick work for the hygienist if you’ve kept up with your brushing and flossing. If you’ve developed tartar, it may take a little extra time to remove it all.
- Deep cleaning and polishing: Using a high-powered electric brush and some gritty toothpaste, the hygienist will grind away any remaining tartar on your teeth. The grit in the toothpaste acts as an abrasive to knock off some of the smaller areas of tartar that the hygienist may have missed with the scraper. It also acts as a polish, giving your teeth a healthy, sparkling shine.
- Flossing and rinsing: The final part of the cleaning process is professional flossing followed by a liquid fluoride rinse. This last step takes care of any remaining plaque or tartar that may be lurking between teeth, getting rid of any bacteria-causing elements and leaving your entire mouth fresh and clean.
- Final exam: Once your mouth is entirely clean, it’s time for the final checkup with the dentist. As long as no problems become apparent during the cleaning, you should be good to go until your next cleaning! This is also the time when your dentist might offer some tips to deal with problem areas, or talk with you about different products or techniques that may improve your daily approach to oral care.
Types of cleaning: Regular vs Deep
Deep dental cleanings give your teeth a thorough cleaning when it needs it most—one that even goes below the gum line. Your dental professional will use special techniques and equipment like a scaler and ultrasonic tool to remove tartar and bacteria both above and below the gum line. The cleaning even extends all the way down to the roots to ensure there’s no place for bacteria to multiply and grow. Typically, you won’t need a deep cleaning unless you’re presenting with signs of worsening gingivitis or early-stage periodontitis. Because it’s so involved, deep cleaning is usually performed in a series of appointments, rather than a single session. Additional sessions depend on the extent of tartar and bacteria in your mouth. In severe cases, you may even need to visit a periodontist to discuss specialized procedures to clean teeth. That said, if you stay up to date with routine cleanings, you’ll be able to avoid the need for deep cleaning!
Frequency of teeth cleaning and maintenance
While deep cleaning is only required when recommended by a dentist, you should have a routine cleaning every six months. One regular cleaning a year generally isn’t enough to keep plaque and tarter from forming in your mouth. Sticking to a 6-month schedule for cleaning not only keeps your teeth looking healthy and white, it also prevents gum disease from threatening your oral health. One of the smartest things you can do to keep on top of bi-annual cleanings is to immediately schedule your next one after your cleaning. This gets it on the calendar and keeps you accountable when it comes to checking in on your oral health.
What to expect after a teeth cleaning
A routine teeth cleaning should only take about an hour at the most. You can leave the dentist’s chair and go about your day as usual, with a fresher mouth and a brighter smile. When you’re ready to schedule your Indy South teeth cleaning, contact the professionals at Bright Tiger Dental to request an appointment. Along with regular brushing and flossing, it’s the best way to preserve your oral health and prevent bigger problems like gingivitis or periodontitis.