What To Expect During Dental Cleaning
You should visit the dentist twice a year for routine cleanings and care. But a lot goes into your appointment outside of just brushing and flossing.
Your dentist will start by doing a physical exam of your entire mouth. Your oral hygienist will use a small mirror to check around your teeth and gums for signs of cavities, gingivitis (gum disease), and any other concerns.
If they detect any significant problems, they will likely call the dentist to take a look and ensure it is safe to continue. This is a valuable step in the process, as it can allow you to get problems fixed before they become too severe.
Tartar and Plaque Removal
After the exam, the hygienist will use a tool called a scaler to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of your tooth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. These bacteria eat and break down sugars and starches in the mouth that form when you consume sugary or starchy foods.
Plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing, but over time, it hardens into a substance called tartar, which can only get removed at your dentist’s office with special tools. This is important because tartar can lead to gum disease and other oral health concerns if not removed promptly.
Gritty Toothpaste Cleaning
If you’ve ever had your teeth professionally cleaned before, you know that dentists use a special kind of toothpaste to clean your teeth. This toothpaste tastes and smells like regular toothpaste, though it has a gritty consistency that gently scrubs and polishes the teeth.
This is safe twice a year, but don’t brush too hard at home — this can wear down your tooth’s protective outer layer known as the enamel.
Flossing should be done daily after brushing, but a dental hygienist can do it perfectly. They’ll get deep between your gums and locate potential trouble spots where your gums might be more sensitive and start to bleed. This also helps remove leftover plaque or tartar from earlier on in the session.
Your dental hygienist will work hard to clean your teeth and make your smile look even better than it already did, but the dentist will give you some professional insight to ensure everything looks good.
While you’ll spend most of your time with a hygienist, a dentist will likely stop in at the end to give your teeth and gums a final pass over to ensure the hygienist didn’t miss anything. Dentists will also work to fill in cavities, provide root canals, or give you other dental procedures outside of the typical cleaning.
Importance of Dental Cleaning
There are numerous reasons you shouldn’t skip your routine dental visits, but let’s look at some of the most noticeable benefits of dental cleaning. Hygienists work to provide preventative care to keep your teeth looking good, whereas a dentist can diagnose and treat any problems or diseases that might occur in your mouth.
Prevent Gum Disease
If tartar and plaque go uncleaned for an extended period, they can start to infect the gum tissue surrounding your teeth. This infection can lead to periodontitis, which can cause the gum line to recede, which puts your teeth at risk of loosening or falling out.
Twice yearly cleaning can help to remove built-up tartar so that gum disease isn’t as much of a risk for your future.
Find Cavities in Early Stages
Cavities occur when bacteria wear away the outer protective layer of your tooth called the enamel. Cavities can cause tooth decay, pain, discomfort, and everything in between. If it goes untreated for too long, it might result in your tooth needing to be extracted.
However, a dental hygienist can find cavities before they become too severe and offer treatment methods upfront to help prevent that. Minor cavities can be fixed within minutes by a filling, whereas more severe cavities can be rectified with a root canal.
Either way, these are much better alternatives than losing an entire tooth, so this is another reason why visiting the hygienist once every six months is super important.
Remove Stains on the Teeth
Having a brighter, whiter smile is always something we yearn for, but drinking coffee and eating other foods can stain the teeth and make them discolored. While whitening techniques work to remove those stains, some of them can be abrasive and remove the outer layer of enamel from your tooth
But professional dental cleaning can remove those stains safely and effectively. The gritty toothpaste works to buff away stains and polishes your teeth without needing to worry about added tooth sensitivity or damage.
Cost of Dental Cleaning
Dental insurance plans cover dental cleaning and oral exams, but only about 50% of dentate adults have dental coverage. That means half the population is without affordable access to dental care. Considering that the average price of a complete oral exam and cleaning without insurance is over $220, many Americans are going without the care they need.
The good news is that Flossy is the pay-as-you-go service for people without insurance. With no annual premiums or membership fees, you’ll only pay for the services you receive. And did we mention we can save you up to 50% on standard dental treatments? So you can get a cleaning and exam for less than $120 through Flossy.
But just because you’re paying less doesn’t mean the quality of the service is downgraded. Our dentists are vigorously vetted based on specific criteria to ensure the highest quality care possible. From utilizing modern techniques to graduate degrees in accredited dental programs, we ensure that your experience is top-notch from start to finish.
There’s no waiting period either, so if you sign up today, you can start getting the care you need right away. Find a dentist in the Tucson area now to give yourself a reason to smile.
Getting a dental cleaning twice a year is a fantastic way to keep your teeth clean while also working to prevent severe problems in your mouth. At a cleaning, you’ll get a full oral exam, removal of plaque and tartar, as well as professional brushing and flossing.
All of this is important because it can prevent tooth decay and gum disease and brighten your smile. Since it’s covered by dental insurance, it’s usually accessible for most dentate adults.
But what if you have no insurance? That’s no problem. Flossy is the pay-as-you-go service that can save you up to 50% in out-of-pocket costs on common dental procedures.
There’s no waiting period to start getting the help you need, so find a dentist in your area and get started today.
Periodontitis | The Mayo Clinic
Cavities: Tooth Decay, Toothache, Causes, Prevention & Treatment | Cleveland Clinic
Regional Variation in Private Dental Coverage and Care Among Dentate Adults Aged 18–64 in the United States, 2014–2017 | CDC
Dental Plaque: What Is It, Causes, How to Remove, Prevent & Treat | Cleveland Clinic