Teeth cleaning. It’s something that you do every day, so why would you need to visit your Grayslake dentist twice a year for more cleaning? Does a dentist or hygienist really do anything different than you can do at home? Well, yes; yes they can. Here, we want to discuss what is involved in the average dental cleaning, and how it supports your long-term oral health.
What happens during a cleaning?
Often, teeth cleaning is performed in conjunction with routine dental exams. A combination appointment begins with a thorough physical exam during which we use a mirror and other instruments to observe all surfaces of your teeth and gums. The findings of the dental exam may dictate the direction a cleaning needs to go.
Once the exam is complete, a cleaning may include:
- Plaque and tartar removal. This is the step of the dental cleaning that may take the longest. Usually, plaque forms around the gum line. If plaque sits too long, it hardens to tartar. Both substances can be removed with a scaler, but tartar takes a bit more time.
- Cleaning and polishing. The two cleanings that you receive in our office each year are performed with a gritty toothpaste that removes surface stains and debris. Usually, this toothpaste has a nice, minty flavor. Because it has abrasives, the standard polishing paste used during a professional cleaning should not be applied to restorations like porcelain veneers or bonding. If you have restorations on your front teeth, a gentler toothpaste will be used.
- Even patients who floss every day may miss a spot or two. During the professional cleaning, the flossing step can identify what those areas are. In addition to cleaning them, your hygienist can offer suggestions for better home care.
After these steps are complete, your hygienist may rinse your mouth and apply topical fluoride if necessary.
What Professional Cleanings do for Your Oral Health
Twice-a-year cleanings are recommended for patients of all ages. Statistics indicate that, when this routine is maintained, patients receive the following benefits:
- Decreased risk of tooth decay.
- Reduced risk of tooth loss.
- Fresher breath.
- Better general health.
- An attractive smile.
- Less need for dental restorations like fillings.
We love serving our patients with friendly care that support lifelong oral health. To schedule your visit, call (847) 223-5200.