What To Expect From a Dental Cleaning
If you’ve never had a routine dental cleaning, or if it’s just been a long time since your last visit, it is normal to be a little nervous about what’s coming your way. Let’s walk through what you can expect at your next oral cleaning.
First things first, your hygienist will examine your mouth and make sure your teeth are in good condition. They’ll do this by physically looking at the front and back of your teeth using a small mirror that allows them to see all sides of the tooth.
They’re looking for small holes in your teeth called cavities, as these can grow and turn into much more serious tooth decay if left untreated. They’ll also look at your gums for signs of periodontitis (gum disease) and more.
While they likely won’t be able to treat some of these conditions on the spot, they’ll be able to reschedule you for a later time to help you get the care you need in a timely manner.
Plaque and Tartar Removal
Plaque is a soft, sticky film that builds up on the outside of your teeth from eating certain foods and drinking certain beverages. Essentially, acids in your saliva break down sugars and other chemicals, releasing plaque as a result. You can cut down on plaque by avoiding sugary foods and brushing your teeth often.
With that said, if plaque is left untreated for a long time, it hardens into a yellowish substance called tartar. This substance can lead to cavities as well as an increased risk of gum disease. Tartar cannot be removed by brushing alone, so your dental hygienist will need to do it for you.
Your dentist can remove plaque by scraping your teeth with a special instrument. While it might sound scary, this process is mostly painless. You might experience some bleeding in your gums, but this is entirely normal. And removing plaque now can help you reduce the risk of problems later on.
After those necessary steps, your dentist will finally get into the actual cleaning portion. Often called polishing, your dentist will use a special gritty toothpaste that helps to remove excess plaque and make your teeth truly sparkle. This is a painless part of the process, and most dentists even let you choose your toothpaste flavor.
Gritty toothpaste is great, but it should only be used during your bi-yearly visits because it has the potential to wear down the outer protective layer of your teeth (enamel).
Some dentists will also give you a fluoride treatment, especially for younger patients. Fluoride is a natural mineral that makes teeth stronger and more resistant to acid attacks. It can also slow down the decaying process. There’s actually fluoride in most tap water, but fluoride treatments from a professional are a lot more concentrated and effective.
Flossing is another major component of cleaning your teeth, and even when you do it on your own, nothing beats some professional flossing from an oral hygienist. This helps them remove some leftover toothpaste and plaque that might be caught between your teeth to help prevent gum disease. Plus, flossing can help strengthen your gums to reduce bleeding and tenderness.
Importance of Dental Cleaning
There are plenty of good reasons to never skip your twice-yearly visit to the dentist for a routine cleaning.
Detect Early Signs of Problems
The main reason that a regular teeth cleaning from a professional hygienist is important is that it allows them to pinpoint and start treating problems before they become too serious.
This includes cavities and gum disease, but dentists can also notice warning signs of oral cancer and serious infections. The risk of developing oral cancer is 1 in 60, so getting a regular exam might just save your life.
This can also enhance your quality of life. Living with a toothache from a cavity or infection is never ideal, so getting the diagnosis you need from your dentist is the first step toward getting the proper treatment.
Whitens and Brightens Your Teeth
Having a whiter and brighter smile is something that most people aspire to. While there are plenty of whitening products and procedures available, many of them are expensive and are not covered by dental insurance plans.
However, teeth whitening is often covered by insurance, and it can have the benefit of making your mouth look brighter. The gritty toothpaste that hygienists use to clean your teeth can naturally polish them, making them look more attractive and giving you even more confidence.
Lets You Ask Questions
This is also a great opportunity for you to ask your dentist any and all questions you might have about your oral health. If you’ve been thinking about getting a whitening procedure or Invisalign treatment, now is the time to talk through your options and recommendations.
Is Dental Cleaning Covered By Insurance?
Dental cleaning and routine exams are one of the most basic procedures that are covered by dental insurance plans. Note that dental plans exist separately from health insurance plans.
And that’s just one of the barriers blocking many people from being able to get the care they need. Only about 50% of dentate adults have access to dental coverage, leaving almost half of the country struggling to afford basic dental health care.
But you don’t need to let price determine your health and happiness. Flossy is a pay-as-you-go service that saves you up to 50% on common dental procedures like cleanings – no insurance necessary.
With no monthly premiums and no annual fees, Flossy shows you exactly what you’ll owe before you get your procedure taken care of. And since all of our providers are vetted against a rigorous set of criteria, you can have faith that you’re getting the highest quality care from start to finish.
No insurance? Perfect. Find a dentist in the Albuquerque area today to get started on the smile of your dreams.
Dental cleaning is a bi-yearly activity that serves to prevent and even treat common dental disorders. Cleanings often start with a physical exam to determine any problem areas before moving into plaque removal, gritty toothpaste cleaning, and flossing.
Bi-yearly dental cleaning prevents problems down the road, brightens your smile, and also gives you the chance to ask your dentist some burning questions. While it’s covered by most dental insurance plans, it can be expensive when you need to pay out of pocket.
Flossy is a pay-as-you-go service that saves you up to 50% on the out-of-pocket costs associated with dental cleanings, cavity fillings, teeth whitening, and more. Stop letting price be a barrier between you and the care you’ve been waiting for.
Periodontitis - Symptoms and causes | The Mayo Clinic
Dental Plaque: What Is It, Causes, How to Remove, Prevent & Treat | Cleveland Clinic
Oral Cavity & Oropharyngeal Cancer Key Statistics 2021 | Cancer.org
Regional Variation in Private Dental Coverage and Care Among Dentate Adults Aged 18–64 in the United States, 2014–2017 | CDC
How to Floss Properly: Step-by-Step Guide to Flossing Teeth | Healthline