Why do you need professional teeth cleaning in the first place, if you do brush and floss your teeth twice, every day? The answer is, how we brush and floss is not enough to get rid of the plaque and tartar that forms on your teeth.
Plaque contains a high amount of bacteria that hardens over time to form tartar, which is primarily responsible for tooth decay and cavities. Furthermore, your dental insurance covers this, so why not get a fresh smile? Is it the fear of the dentist that keeps you away?
Well, it’s just the weird sensations that come with the scraping process. No pain is associated with teeth cleaning, and you’ll soon find out why, by going through the steps involved in professional teeth cleaning.
- The first step is to inspect your teeth. The dentist will use a small mirror that works more like a magnifying glass, to examine the condition of your teeth. This is to determine the spots where more plaque and tartar are present. This helps the dentist to understand how to go about with the scraping process.
- The next step is the scraping process. A dental scraper will be used to thoroughly scrape off the plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth. More plaque and tartar will require harder scraping. Although there are some weird sensations associated with this, there is zero pain involved! Sometimes, the dentist might use ultrasonic vibrations to loosen the tartar on your teeth.
- After the scraping is done with, your mouth may be rinsed to wash away the plaque and tartar that might be left behind from scraping. The dentist would then spend some time to dry your mouth, before flossing your teeth. This professional flossing will get rid of all the minute food particles from your teeth. This also helps in getting rid of the plaque that could not be scraped off.
- Your teeth will then be brushed using a mildly abrasive toothpaste and an electric powered toothbrush. It will take some hard brushing to get the stains off the surface of your teeth., however, this will barely make you uncomfortable. Usually, it takes 120-150 seconds for the dentist to brush your teeth.
- After your teeth have been brushed completely, your mouth is thoroughly rinsed once more before the final step, which is the fluoride treatment. Fluoride gel will be applied to your teeth and it will be left there for a few minutes. Your teeth will then be brushed with fluoride varnish.
And those are the five small steps involved in professional teeth cleaning! Generally, you are advised to get professional cleaning twice a year. However, as per the American Dental Association (ADA), the number of cleanings you need per year depends on your dental condition. It says:
“…individual risk factors help to dictate the frequency of cleanings needed per year to help prevent periodontal disease. Based on data analysis, researchers speculate that high-risk patients would likely benefit from more frequent dental visits, while low-risk patients may see the same benefits from only one cleaning per year. The key takeaway for consumers, underscored by this study, is that personalized oral care is a necessity for good dental health.”
Thus, what matters the most is understanding your own oral needs, rather than being comparative with the general scenario when it comes to periodic teeth cleaning.