What to Expect Before & After a Teeth Cleaning
Whether it’s your very first teeth cleaning, or a routine dental checkup, we all tend to get a little nervous performing that “dentist near me” search for our next appointment. Knowing what to expect before scheduling your local dentist appointment can help you mentally prepare as well as understand our affordable payment plans. We’ve asked top dentists for their advice on what you can expect both before and after a teeth cleaning treatment.
We understand that getting a teeth cleaning can often be a dreaded experience (but we don’t take it personal). From unpleasant past experiences, to the prodding and strange noises, it can be enough to make anyone uncomfortable. However, for the majority of Bright Now patients, getting a teeth cleaning is generally a simple, painless process thanks to our expert and gentle staff. Browse our list of local dentists by Zip Code, and continue reading for an overview of our professional teeth cleaning procedures.
Before a Teeth Cleaning
Take some precautionary measures before your next checkup to ensure you’re getting the most out of your teeth cleaning experience. Knowing your family medical history, and keeping up with regular brushing and flossing is a great way to help your dentist provide the very best care at your next appointment. Brushing and flossing prior to a cleaning will rid your teeth of any debris or food particles. If you’ve been experiencing any pain or toothache from a possible cavity or otherwise, be sure to let your dentist know so they can examine the affected area and discern the treatment best for you.
Part 1: Oral Exam
Before the teeth cleaning actually begins, the hygienist will come over to examine your teeth and visually look for anything that can cause concern. They will use a small mirror that’s used to probe all angles of your teeth, looking for any signs of decay or damage to the enamel of your teeth. They also look for any inflammation or swelling along your gum line, as this is a primary indication for gum disease. Some dentists may also perform an oral cancer screening by checking your neck, palate, lymph glands, and tongue. Regular oral cancer screenings can be done for patients that pose a higher risk. For example, patients that smoke or use tobacco products, or are over the age of 35 pose a higher risk for developing oral cancer. If any major problems are detected, your dentist will come to inspect the area before proceeding with a teeth cleaning.
Part 2: Teeth Cleaning – Scaler
Now the fun part begins! After your hygienist has given your mouth a proper examination, they will begin the teeth cleaning procedure. Generally your hygienist will begin by using what is called a “scaler” to scrape away any plaque or tartar that has built up around the gum line and between teeth. If you hear a scraping sound, this is completely normal! The hygienist must scrape along your tooth enamel to remove tartar that has built up and can lead to gum disease if left behind.
If you have practiced good oral hygiene at home, this process is fairly quick and easy, as they’ll just be removing some hard spots that are more difficult to get to. Once complete, you’ll receive a rinse of water to remove any debris that was freed from your teeth. It’s fairly normal to experience bleeding at this stage of the teeth cleaning, especially if you have begun to develop early stages of gingivitis.
Part 3: Teeth Cleaning – Toothpaste
After your teeth have been scraped of any tartar that’s built up, you’re ready for some polish in action. For this part of the teeth cleaning procedure, your Seattle dentist doesn’t just use any kind of toothpaste. They’ll use a toothpaste that has extra grit to help polish the enamel on your teeth and help remove any leftover plaque or debris. It’ll generally taste just like the toothpaste you have at home, with some extra flavor options to choose from. Your hygienist will use a high-powered electric toothbrush, infamous for the loud noises that come out of the dentist office. While they may be noisy, they’re completely painless and do the most efficient job of polishing off your pearly whites. Keep in mind this type of toothpaste is only used for routine teeth cleanings at the dentist office, and you shouldn’t use abrasive paste on a normal basis as it can wear down enamel over time.
Part 4: Floss, Floss, Floss
Just as you would at home, your hygienist will also floss your teeth after they’ve been brushed! However, with their skilled hands they can get as close to perfect when it comes to flossing. This will help remove any plaque or tartar that was left behind – the more meticulous, the better! During this process they can also check for any trouble spots that cause bleeding at the gums, and advise on where you may need to focus extra attention.
Part 5: Rinse, Repeat!
After your teeth have been left polished and sparkling clean, they’ll need a final rinse. Generally your dentist will give you a mouthwash that contains fluoride to help remineralize the enamel on your teeth. Using a mouthwash at the end of your teeth cleaning is a final step to dislodge debris or plaque, and will leave your breath extra fresh stepping out of the office.
Once your teeth cleaning is all said and done, your dentist will come over for a final look through. This is where they can assess any cavities that may have developed or check the stature of your teeth. In some cases, your dentist may find signs of wear due to teeth grinding. Some dentists may also recommend the use of sealants, especially on children, to help prevent cavities from forming on the surface of your molars. Dental X-rays may also be performed generally once a year to make sure the office has a record of your teeth and can look for underlying signs of decay that may not be visible to the naked eye.
Dentist Near Me
After you’ve had your teeth professionally cleaned by your local Bright Now dentist, be sure to follow through on your end of the deal! Taking care of your teeth at home is the best way to maintain what your dentist has performed during the appointment. Make sure you are brushing and flossing after meals, or at least twice a day for two minutes each session. Eating a healthy diet will also translate to healthier teeth, as your teeth won’t have to battle with excess, cavity-causing sugar.
Don’t forget to schedule regular dental appointments – We even offer same day cleanings! If it’s been awhile since your last teeth cleaning, or you want to get to know your local dentist at Bright Now! Dental you can request an appointment online or call at 1-844-400-7645. Having a caring and gentle professional dentist examine and clean your teeth will keep you free of gum disease and cavities between visits!