Teeth cleanings are an essential part of preventive dental care, but routine dental exams are unfortunately still a cause of anxiety for many of our patients. At The Landing Dental Spa, we believe that knowing what is going on during a dental cleaning can help ease the nerves, so we have outlined this simple process below.
WHY ARE TEETH CLEANINGS IMPORTANT?
Teeth cleanings are not just for patients with dental emergencies or dental problems. Even if you are not having any dental issues, regular teeth cleanings are necessary. The American Dental Association (ADA) explains that regular teeth cleanings allow your dentist to spot dental problems early on – when dental treatment is less invasive and less expensive – and in some cases, prevent some issues from occurring altogether. Furthermore, there are specific medical conditions and diseases where symptoms are only present in the mouth. Regular teeth cleanings allow dentists the chance to spot them early.
Read our related blog, 4 Reasons Why You Should Visit Your Dentist Regularly, to learn some other reasons why regular dental exams are essential.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU GET A DENTAL CLEANING?
At The Landing Dental Spa, our dentists recommended that all patients schedule regular dental cleanings, typically every six to 12 months, to encourage healthy teeth habits. However, keep in mind that certain patients should visit the dentist more frequently. For example, pregnant women, smokers, people with diabetes, gum disease, weak immune response, and people prone to cavities are all considered high-risk and should visit the dentist more often. Your dentist will discuss your unique situation and recommend how often you should schedule your teeth cleanings.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING TEETH CLEANINGS?
Routine teeth cleanings begin with a dental hygienist conducting a physical examination of a patient’s mouth. During this initial step, you might notice your dental hygienist using a small mirror and other dental instruments. These tools check the teeth and gums for any signs of gum disease or other potential dental problems.
If it has been over a year since your last teeth cleaning, or you are a new patient, your dentist may recommend X-rays of your teeth and mouth. This process is quick, safe and painless. X-rays are necessary because they allow dentists to detect disease or decay that the eye cannot see, like cysts, abscesses, bone loss, decay between fillings and decay under the teeth.
If no serious issues are detected, your dental hygienist will begin removing plaque and tartar build-up on the surfaces of the teeth and along the gum line. Plaque is a sticky film caused by bacteria, food debris and sugar. It will eventually turn into tartar if it hardens, and tartar can only be removed during teeth cleanings. To control plaque and tartar build-up at home, make sure you brush and floss your teeth every day.
Now it is time to get your teeth shiny and clean! Once the plaque and tartar are removed, your dental hygienist will perform a professional cleaning with a high-powered electric brush. The toothpaste used in this step is not like your toothpaste at home – this toothpaste is gritty in texture and helps gently scrub the teeth.
Your dental hygienist will follow with flossing. Flossing allows your hygienist to clean deep between your teeth into the gum line and look for any signs that might suggest gingivitis. They may also discuss flossing techniques. To learn more about flossing, read our related blog, How to Floss: A Step-by-Step Guide for Flossing Teeth Correctly.
Lastly, your dentist will conduct a thorough dental exam. They will look for pockets or gaps between your teeth and gums. A periodontal probe helps your dentist find any problem areas while measuring the depth of your gum pockets.
After your dental exam, your dentist will talk with you about your oral health, including any future risks of oral health issues. Your dentist may also go over preventive measures that you could be taking to improve your overall oral health.
WHAT IF YOU ARE STILL FEELING ANXIOUS ABOUT A DENTAL CLEANING?
It is an entirely normal reaction if you feel anxious before your dental cleaning! However, we want to help patients feel as comfortable as possible throughout the process.
When you visit The Landing Dental Spa, there are many differences compared to a typical dental office. We offer complimentary Wi-Fi, heated leather dental chairs with massage features, personal flat-screen televisions and soothing spa music playing in the background. It should only take one visit to see the difference and how much better a dentist visit at The Landing Dental Spa can be for you.
So if you’re feeling nervous before your teeth cleaning, please tell us! Our goal is to give you a healthy smile and make your dental experience as relaxing and comfortable as possible. Also, you can read our related blog, Avoid Dental Anxiety at The Landing Dental Spa, to learn more about easing dental anxiety.
TEETH CLEANINGS | THE LANDING DENTAL SPA
If it has been a while since your last teeth cleaning, visit us at The Landing Dental Spa. Located in Morgantown, West Virginia, our relaxing environment is sure to calm and soothe you as you are adequately treated. For a comfortable, relaxing, and spa-like dental appointment, call us today at 304-594-2200 or contact us online here. We look forward to making you smile!