What Happens During A Dental Cleaning?

Dental CleaningEveryone needs regular dental cleanings regardless of how thorough your oral hygiene routine is. These regular visits to the dentist's office give your oral professional ample opportunities to detect issues like gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer before things get out of hand.

A professional cleaning helps you get rid of tartar – which turns sugars into acids that cause tooth decay.

Dentists typically recommend two dental cleanings per year, but people who are already dealing with issues should like gum disease should get their teeth cleaned every month. A routine cleaning session also involves an examination, meaning your dentist will keep an eye out for other issues.

Here is a closer look at what you should expect when you set an appointment for a dental cleaning:

The examination

Once your teeth are all nice and clean. Your dentist will conduct an examination with a metal probe and angled mirror, looking for any signs of tooth decay. Your dentist will also check for any issues with your gums like deep pockets, redness, and inflammation.

Your oral professional will also look for signs of the temporomandibular joint disorder by taking a close look at your upper and lower jaw. He/she will take a close look at the soft tissues in your mouth, palate, lymph glands, and neck looking for signs of oral cancer. One person dies from oral cancer every hour in the U.S., yet it is completely curable when detected early. When in doubt, ask your dentist if he/she looks for signs of oral cancer during examinations. You can also ask your dentist for tips on how to perform monthly oral cancer screens on your own at home.

During the examination, your dentist might end up touching your palate – which can trigger your gag reflex. Keep that in mind so that you can keep it under control.

The professional cleaning

During the appointment, the dentist will provide you with an apron that you can use to protect your clothes from any stains. Once in place, the dentist will begin to scrape tartar off from your teeth below and above the gum line. Your dentist might also decide to use an ultrasonic vibrating device to break up tartar on your teeth, then rinse it off with a jet of water.

After removing all the tartar and stains, the dentist will polish your teeth with an abrasive paste. In some cases, the dentist may use floss to clean the space between your teeth. Polishing the tooth makes it more difficult for plaque to accumulate before the next cleaning.

Your dentist will then apply a fluoride treatment on your teeth. This protects them from cavities for months. The treatment will usually consist of a gel or paste on a mouth guard that you wear for a minute or so. Your dentist might also decide to use a fluoride varnish to give you an extra layer of protection.

What’s the bottom line?

Ready to get your dental cleaning? Schedule an appointment with a dentist today.

Request a dental appointment here: https://shepherddentalpc.com or call Shepherd Dental P.C. at (210) 593-7620 for a professional teeth cleaning in our San Antonio dental office.

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