A regular teeth-cleaning at the dentist is a necessity, more than a luxury. Plaque and tartar vandalize your teeth and gums if left in your mouth for too long. This is why you are often advised to get professional teeth cleaning at the dentist, ideally twice in a year.
Both plaque and tartar have millions of bacteria in them and your daily brushing and flossing are not enough to get rid of them. Tartar or calculus is commonly considered to be the harder form of plaque and it requires scraping to take them off your teeth and gums. This sort of dental cleaning could only be done at the dentist’s clinic. As per Caleb Murphy, “Brushing your teeth at home is great, but it’s not enough. To have optimal oral health, you’ll want to get periodic dental cleanings from a professional. Dental insurance often covers this, so it may be no cost to you. Why not get your teeth cleaned by a pro?” So, how teeth are cleaned at the dentist, you ask? Here’s how:
- The first step is inspection. The dentist uses a dental mirror that works like a magnifying glass, to spot the areas in your gums and teeth containing plaque and tartar. These are the areas that the dentist will specifically target.
- Following this, some dentists tend to use ultrasonic vibrations to loosen the plaque and tartar. The frequency of these vibrations is set as per the patient’s comfort. After this, the dentist will use a scraper to scrape off the plaque and tartar from certain spots in your gums and teeth. This might sound unnerving but you don’t need to worry. Most patients claim that this experience is more of a discomfort than pain, with weird scraping noises and sensitivity.
- The dentist may then use a scaler to smoothen your teeth. Once that is done, your mouth will be thoroughly rinsed with water to wash away any residual tartar that may have stayed during the scraping process. What follow are professional brushing and flossing.
- The dentist will be using a mildly abrasive toothpaste on a powered toothbrush that will brush your teeth thoroughly. This will be some hard brushing to get rid of any remaining germs in your teeth. Professional flossing will also be given to you by your dentist, to completely cleanse your teeth.
- Followed by this, most dentists opt to provide a fluoride treatment. They usually come in flavors and you can choose yours! The fluoride will be applied to your teeth and will be left there for a minute or so before the dentist asks you to spit it out. There are two purposes of this fluoride treatment. Firstly, fluoride is meant to kill off any remaining germs inside your teeth and also prevents plaque and tartar from forming in your teeth and gums any time soon. Secondly, fluoride gives a bright shine to your teeth.
And that is it! Just a 5-step guide to a teeth cleaning process at the dentist!