What Happens During a Teeth Cleaning?

Having your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year might seem like a hassle, especially when your schedule is already packed with activities and tasks. Unfortunately, plenty of people skip their routine cleanings, usually because they figure if they’re not having pain or other symptoms, there’s no point in scheduling an office visit. But the fact is, dental cleanings aren’t intended to treat pain — they’re intended to help prevent it by keeping your teeth and gums healthy. If you skip those routine cleanings, you can leave yourself open to serious oral health issues, like cavities, gum disease and tooth loss. Some studies suggest skipping regular teeth cleanings might even increase your risks for systemic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer.

If it’s been awhile since your last professional teeth cleaning, you might be wondering what to expect. The good news is, professional teeth cleaning at your family dentist is quick, thorough and hassle-free. Here’s what happens during a routine teeth cleaning at Smile Workshop.

Teeth Cleaning: What to Expect

Your cleaning begins with an examination of your teeth and gums to look for any “problem areas” that might need to be evaluated by the dentist. Next, your hygienist will begin the actual cleaning process.

Removing plaque and tartar

First, the hygienist will focus on removing plaque and tartar deposits. Sticky plaque and hard tartar collect on the surfaces of your teeth, especially at the gum line and in the hard-to-reach areas between teeth, and both provide harbors for germs that cause decay and gum disease. By getting rid of tartar and plaque, you can significantly reduce your risks for cavities, infections and tooth loss. Plus, because those germs emit foul odors as they multiply and spread, eliminating plaque and tartar also plays a major role in bad breath removal.

Polishing and buffing

Once your teeth are free of tartar and plaque, the next step is polishing and buffing your teeth. Your hygienist will use a rotating brush and a special toothpaste designed to gently but thoroughly polish tooth surfaces so your teeth shine. Polishing and buffing also helps remove superficial stains and yellowing for a brighter, healthier-looking smile.

Flossing and fluoride

Finally, the hygienist will use dental floss to expertly clean between your teeth, getting rid of any tiny particles left behind during the previous steps. You might also receive a fluoride treatment or sealants to help prevent cavities in the future.

Prevention and screening

Depending on how long it’s been since your last office visit, you might have X-rays to enable the dentist to see “inside” your teeth and below your gums. And before you leave the office, the dentist will examine your teeth and gums, screening for oral cancer and looking for other potential issues that need to be addressed early, before they become major problems. 

If it’s been more than a year since your last teeth cleaning, you might be wondering how painful the process will be, especially if your gums are already a little sore. Fortunately, at Smile Workshop, you can put those fears to rest. Our hygienists are trained in the gentlest techniques for removing plaque and tartar on the teeth and at the gum line. They’ll take their time to help you relax so you can feel confident in your comfort, your care and your results. And if you’re really nervous, we can use a topical anesthetic to numb your gums before we get started.

Take the First Step Toward Better Oral Health

Smile Workshop is a leading family dentist with 14 locations in and around Dallas-Fort Worth, Amarillo and San Antonio, Texas. Our goal is to help patients of all ages enjoy better oral health, fresher breath, and more confident, more beautiful smiles — and that starts with routine dental cleanings. Join our Reasons to Smile Club to stay up to date with your appointments. To schedule your professional teeth cleaning or to find out about other treatment options we offer, use our online request form or give us a call today at 1-888-833-8404.

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