What Are the Steps of a Thorough Dental Clean?
You might wonder why you’d need a dentist to clean your teeth when you already brush twice a day and floss regularly. Well, unfortunately, even the most stringent oral healthcare routines can’t do what a thorough dental clean can do. Here’s what you need to know about dental cleaning and why it is so important for your health.
What is a dental clean?
Dental cleaning is essentially a more thorough examination and cleaning of your teeth and gums than you would normally be able to do yourself. Brushing and flossing is an extremely important part of maintaining oral hygiene, but your mouth also needs an expert clean, ideally twice a year.
While there are several steps to a thorough dental clean, the most important difference is the removal of plaque and tartar. Plaque and bacteria can be removed by regular brushing and flossing, however, tartar cannot. If left untended, it can cause significant issues, including gum disease. Dental cleaning removes tartar and is therefore a crucial part of oral hygiene.
Why is dental cleaning important?
Dental cleaning is important for a number of reasons, most importantly to maintain good oral health. Regardless of what we eat, plaque, bacteria and tartar build up on our teeth and gums and can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and a range of other conditions. Even if you stay away from sugary food and drinks, don’t smoke, and brush your teeth regularly, you still need dental cleaning.
As mentioned above, tartar is the main offender when it comes to gum disease and oral health problems. We can’t remove tartar ourselves, which is where a proper dental clean becomes extremely valuable.
Another important thing to remember about dental cleaning is that it also includes a thorough oral examination. So, your Parramatta dentist can identify any causes for concern and recommend a strategy moving forward. Not only do you get your teeth cleaned, but you can get on top of any minor issues before they become major problems.
Which oral health problems can be avoided by a dental clean?
It’s not correct to say that dental cleaning will prevent all oral hygiene problems. For example, if you smoke cigarettes, drink a lot of red wine, consume sugary foods and drinks and don’t brush or floss regularly, you’re likely to experience problems even if you do have a dental cleaning procedure twice a year. So, maintaining proper care of your mouth is still important.
However, if you look after your oral hygiene, dental cleaning can help to prevent a range of issues, namely gum disease. Receding gums and other forms of periodontal disease can be largely prevented with dental cleaning because tartar is removed during the process.
We talk about gum disease specifically because tartar is the leading cause and dental cleaning is the only way to remove it. But essentially, your overall oral hygiene can be improved with regular dental cleaning. Of course, cleaning won’t help to repair eroded tooth enamel or structural issues such as crooked teeth, but any oral disease related to bacteria, plaque or tartar can be greatly prevented.
The steps of a dental clean
The process of a thorough dental clean can be broken down into 6 steps. For some people, it can be an uncomfortable process, but for most, it is a painless procedure. It should be noted that if you have very sensitive teeth (dentin hypersensitivity), or your enamel has worn away, dental cleaning can be a little painful. Depending on the severity, your dentist may provide a localised anaesthetic to help you cope with any pain you might experience.
Here are the 6 steps of a dental clean.
The initial stage of the cleaning process begins with a careful examination of your mouth. Your dentist or dental hygienist will use a small mirror to examine the inside of your mouth, looking for signs of tooth decay, inflammation or other concerns. During this examination, if there are any serious concerns raised, the dentist may elect to not proceed with cleaning at this stage. Rather, they’ll discuss their concerns with you and formulate a way forward.
The next step is to remove tartar from the gum line in a process known as scaling. A dental scaler is used to scrape tartar away from the gum line and from between your teeth. A word of warning, the scraping does make a bit of noise, but it isn’t painful. However, if your tooth enamel is in poor condition, this part of the procedure can be problematic.
Deep cleaning and polishing
The deep cleaning of your teeth takes place with a powerful electric toothbrush and grainy toothpaste. This process helps to remove any residual tartar but also cleans and polishes your teeth without damaging the enamel. The special toothpaste tastes just like normal toothpaste, and the electric toothbrush won’t hurt.
Professional flossing is a worthwhile step in the process, even if you don’t floss regularly yourself. It helps to remove any remaining toothpaste or plaque between your teeth, especially in areas a toothbrush can’t reach.
The next step is pretty self-explanatory. Your dentist will provide you with a liquid solution to swish around in your mouth and spit into a sink. This is a final way of removing any particles that may have been left behind during the cleaning process.
Finally, the fluoride treatment. This is usually done by applying a foamy gel or paste to your teeth, combined with a mouthpiece to hold it there. Once you remove the mouthpiece, you rinse your mouth again. But you shouldn’t eat or drink for 30 minutes, because this allows the fluoride to fully absorb into your teeth.
Book your dental clean today
Booking in for a dental clean today could help you avoid more serious dental issues in the future. During the cleaning, your dentist will give you a thorough examination to ensure there are no other issues that should be addressed. Plus, you’ll walk away knowing that your teeth are nice and clean for another 6 months. Contact your local Parramatta dentist at Parramatta Dental today, and we’d be glad to help.