If you have not had a teeth cleaning for a while, you may not recall what will take place. Like many patients, you may have some anxiety about visiting the dentist, but this does not have to be a scary visit. The more you understand about these appointments, the more at ease you can feel.…
Guide to a Professional Dental Cleaning
Keeping good oral hygiene can seem like a job at times: brushing at least two times a day, flossing and mouth wash after meals. And of course, there are the new methods like activated charcoal and oil pulling. How can a normal, busy person keep up?
Luckily, you are not alone. Scheduling an occasional professional dental cleaning can do wonders for dental health, and it can take some of the pressure off of you.
Is a professional dental cleaning that different from home brushing?
While brushing at home (and flossing and all that other stuff) is 100-percent necessary and great for your teeth, there is no doubt that professional dental cleaning goes a step or two beyond.
First, dentists know what they are looking for: They know what tartar and plaque is, where it gathers and the best way to remove it. They have professional tools that can practically sand-blast teeth and gums clean, and they are trained to do it in a safe way. They can scrape the parts of the mouth that need scraping, and they can do it without filling your mouth with blood.
The fact is, powered dental tools in the hands of a professional are going to beat home brushing every time.
How often should you get a professional dental cleaning?
According to the ADA (American Dental Association), regular professional dental cleanings should be scheduled every six months. This should happen concurrently with normal daily dental hygiene; it is not a replacement, but a supplement. This is true of both adults and children.
If you are suffering from gum disease or other dental problems, it may be wise to get more regular cleanings. The dentist will be able to recommend what works best.
How to prepare for a professional dental cleaning
First of all, do not prepare for a professional dental cleaning. Some patients have been known to go overboard on flossing and brushing before their cleaning appointment so they do not feel embarrassed. However, if you have not kept up with your flossing, do not start the day before your cleaning. It could cause small wounds to gums that are not used to the treatment, which could hinder the professional cleaning or make it more painful.
Feel free to change your routine after a cleaning, but do not try to make up for weeks, months or years of negligence in one go. Maintain your normal dental hygiene routine beforehand.
What to expect
The dentist will examine the teeth, gums and mouth for any diseases or tooth decay. Then, they will focus on removing the tartar and plaque from the teeth, usually with a scraping tool. After that, the dentist will use an electric brush and dental-grade toothpaste (often with a little grit) to really clean and polish the teeth.
Then, they proceed to heavy-duty flossing and then rinsing with a high-fluoride wash. They will sometimes apply a fluoride varnish or foam to the teeth to prevent tooth decay in the future.
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