Growing smiles dentistry

Teeth Cleaning: What to Expect at the Dentist

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Teeth Cleaning is always an inevitable part of our daily lives. The first signs that one has a healthy mouth will be determined by their teeth condition. Therefore, the checkups that will show the overall health status of an individual’s mouth will largely depend on the condition of his/her teeth.

Dental check-up commonly referred to as dental prophylaxis involves cleaning of the teeth and it zeroes in on the disposal of the tartar on teeth. Usually, once every six months, the teeth are taken to a professional dentist for cleaning for failure to challenge the remaining plaque and the food residue left behind by brushing and flossing the teeth.

What procedures are followed in teeth cleaning?

Teeth cleaning in whitefield

Cleaning was usually done with scraping and brightening of the teeth as a technique of attempting to peel the stains and the plague that could be on your teeth. Here’s a step-by-step look at what to expect:

  • Checkup: The following is the flowchart of the initial procedures your dentist will undertake starting with an examination of the teeth, gum, and the tissues in your mouth. Based on the check-up, they shall identify cavities, early signs of gum diseases, and oral cancer. You will also undergo dental health history taking.
  • X-rays: As for the other conditions, bitewing or panoramic radiographs might reveal issues such as caries between the teeth or underfilling. The structure of the examination implies obligatory usage of X-rays.
  • Scaling: Scaling most often is used to describe the actual procedure of using certain instruments such as scaler curettes and ultrasonic devices to eliminate hard deposits also known as dental tartar that develop at any line of the gums. The dentist or the dental hygienist then uses dental utensils to remove the piled-up tartar with immense dexterity on the neighboring structures.
  • Polishing: After scaling, the polishing paste is used with a slow-speed handpiece along with a rubber cup or brush. Polishing refines the surface of the teeth and gets rid of any residues and stains that may be left behind in scaling. It does eradicate stains from the teeth and gives the teeth a polished appearance.
  • Fluoride treatment: The most relevant fluoride gel or foam is used to restore the hardness of the enamel and prevent fresh cavities formation. The fluoride treatment also eliminates the feelings of sensitivity in the teeth.
  • Oral hygiene instruction: It provides information on brushing and flossing and the ideal diet as per your recommended health status. Homecare products may also be recommended.

The session usually takes 30-45 minutes. Most patients find the cleaning process comfortable though a little scraping sensation may be felt during scaling. Let your dentist know if you experience any discomfort.

What to expect after a teeth cleaning?

Your mouth may feel slightly sensitive afterward due to the removal of built-up plaque. These are some common aftereffects:

  • Teeth sensitivity- Cleaned teeth that were covered by tartar may be extra sensitive to hot and cold foods or drinks in the first few days till the enamel adjusts.
  • Bleeding gums- Gentle massage during scaling can cause some bleeding from inflamed gums but this should stop soon. Persistent bleeding needs attention.
  • Slight pain or tenderness – Gums may ache a little due to instrumentation but strong pain requires medical advice. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help.
  • Temporary changes- Your teeth may seem more yellow, lackluster, or loose initially. Smile lines look deeper due to tartar removal. This improves within a week as stains are removed with polishing.
  • Fresh breath- Teeth cleaning leaves your mouth feeling very fresh and clean due to plaque elimination. Practicing good home care maintains this clean feeling.

If no complications arise, there is nothing special to do post-cleaning except follow your dentist’s at-home instructions carefully. Maintaining excellent oral hygiene between visits optimizes results.

Is teeth cleaning painful?

Most patients report that teeth cleaning falls between no pain to mild discomfort on the pain scale. Since it’s not a surgical procedure, it is generally not considered very painful. Some common sensations during cleaning include:

  1. A scratchy or tickling feeling during scaling as the instruments scrape plaque off the teeth and subgingival areas.
  2. Gums may feel tender when plaque is removed from below the gumline. This tends to lessen with successive cleanings as gums become healthier.
  3. Polishing causes no or minimal pain. The whirring noise of the slow-speed handpiece may be unfamiliar.

Tips to manage discomfort include: relaxing the mouth and jaw, breathing through the nose, and informing the dentist if any area is too painful. Good local anesthesia can also help keep sensitivity low. Children may require behavior guidance or protective stabilization.

With practice, most people get used to the feel of cleaning. If severe pain develops, something is wrong and should be addressed by the dentist immediately. Cleaning should not feel invasive or stressful after the first few visits.

Frequency of teeth cleaning

The American Dental Association recommends getting your teeth professionally cleaned and checked twice yearly, about six months apart. Cleanings performed more often may not be fully covered by dental insurance.

However, people at high risk of cavities, gingivitis, or periodontitis due to factors like medication use, diabetes, pregnancy, poor oral hygiene, or acid reflux need cleaning as often as every 3-4 months per dental advice.

Teeth in good condition and with excellent at-home cleaning may only require annual cleanings. Those undergoing orthodontic treatment also require more frequent visits. Your dentist can best determine your personalized cleaning schedule based on your dental health evaluation.

In conclusion, regular teeth cleanings go a long way in keeping plaque and tartar at bay. With the knowledge of what to expect during and after cleaning, anyone can feel at ease about maintaining great oral hygiene through routine dentist visits. Consider teeth cleaning as an important step towards lifelong dental wellness and a beautiful healthy smile.

Growing Smiles Dental Clinic in Whitefield is a top-notch dental care center that sees clients of all ages so that they can have perfect dental health throughout their lifetime.

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