Exams and Cleanings
Do I Need Professional Teeth Cleaning?
Yes, everyone needs professional teeth cleaning. Even with brushing twice a day and flossing daily, patients still need to visit a dentist every six months for a professional teeth cleaning. Our mouths contain an ecosystem filled with thousands of microorganisms, including good and bad bacteria. Regular brushing and flossing help control the bacterial count in the mouth and removes any food debris that might allow the bad bacteria to thrive.
However, bacteria constantly form in the mouth and create a sticky film called plaque that covers the teeth and gums. Plaque contributes to the development of tooth decay and gum disease. When not brushed or flossed away immediately, plaque hardens into tartar, trapping the bacteria on the teeth and under the gums, increasing the risk of dental problems. Tartar is a hard substance that sticks to the teeth, and a toothbrush or dental floss can’t remove it.
The tools used during a professional teeth cleaning are the only way to remove the buildup of tartar from the teeth and gums.
What Are the Steps of Teeth Cleaning?
Oral Exam — Before our dental expert cleans the teeth, they first examine the mouth, gums, jaw, and bite. They also review the medical and oral health history.
Removal of Plaque and Tartar — After the oral exam, our provider uses a dental mirror and scaler to remove the plaque and tartar from the teeth.
Tooth Polishing — Our provider polishes the teeth with a special gritty toothpaste and an electric toothbrush to remove any remaining tartar on the surface of the teeth. Tooth polishing also removes surface stains to improve brightness.
Professional Flossing — Our dental expert flosses the teeth and has the patient rinse their mouth with water and spit out into a sink to get rid of any remaining debris.
Application of Fluoride — Once the teeth are clean and shiny, our dental provider applies a fluoride solution to the teeth to protect them from tooth decay.
What Happens After Teeth Cleaning?
After professional teeth cleaning, our dental expert talks about the at-home dental hygiene routine and makes specific recommendations based on the patient’s oral health needs.
They may also take dental X-rays to evaluate the interior of the teeth and gums to look for any problems a visual inspection can’t see. Our dental expert also advises when to come in for the next teeth cleaning.