Teeth Cleaning: Standard Or Deep Cleaning?
When we say teeth cleaning, we’re not talking about you brushing your teeth when you wake up in the morning. We’re talking about a professional cleaning done by your dentist. Without getting a cleaning like this, you’ll get a build up of plaque and tartar. You can also get discolored teeth and, eventually, experience tooth decay.
When you begin to think about the potential consequences your teeth could endure by not going to the dentist, making an appointment twice a year to get them cleaned doesn’t sound so bad anymore. Getting a professional cleaning will remove all the junk from your teeth that cause them to decay!
But what does getting your teeth cleaned actually involve?
Your Standard Teeth Cleaning Procedure
Typically, a dental hygienist will examine your mouth to get an idea of the condition of your teeth and gums. They’ll use a small mirror to look around for any signs of inflammation, plaque & tartar buildup, or other problems. If any problems are uncovered, they may consult with your dentist to make sure it’s still okay to go ahead with the cleaning or if something else should be done.
1. Remove Plaque & Tartar
If any plaque or tartar buildups are uncovered, they’ll remove these with a tool known as a scaler. Typically, you’ll find these types of buildups near the gum line and between your teeth. You’ll hear what sounds like scraping, but don’t worry – this is completely normal and nothing to be worried about. The more buildup that’s uncovered, the more scraping they’ll have to do.
If this sounds like a terrible experience and it’s something you want to avoid, you’re going to need to make sure you brush and floss every single day. This will remove any plaque before it can build up and harden into tartar.
2. Clean The Teeth With Toothpaste
Once the hygienist has fully removed all plaque and tartar, they’ll brush your teeth using a special electric brush. You may hear a grinding noise against your teeth but, again, this is completely normal and nothing to be worried about. This is basically giving you a thorough deep clean. The toothpaste used will likely feel gritty as it’s made with particles designed to scrub your teeth.
3. Flossing & Rinsing
While flossing at home is always a great idea, having an expert floss for you is always the best way to get it done. They’ll able to effectively get in all of the hard-to-reach areas to remove all gunk. Plus, this flossing will help to remove any leftover toothpaste or plaque that’s left over from the previous stage of your cleaning.
Next, you’ll rinse out your mouth to get rid of anything that’s been left behind. Your dental hygienist will provide the liquid to rinse with and it’ll typically have fluoride in it.
4. Fluoride Treatment
Finally, you may get a fluoride treatment as the last step of your cleaning. Not all dentists will do this, but if they do, this is the step where they ask you what flavor gel you’d like. Then they place a gel-covered mouthpiece over your teeth and let it sit there for a minute or two. This will have to deter any cavities from starting in the months to come.
If your dentist doesn’t use a mouthpiece, there’s a chance that he or she will use a sticky paste that’s brushed onto your teeth. When you’re getting your teeth cleaned, you should experience them scraping off plaque and tartar, then them brushing your teeth, and finally getting a fluoride treatment. Every step of this process is important!
What Is A Deep Cleaning?
A deep cleaning is slightly different than a standard cleaning. Typically those who get this type of cleaning have gum and periodontal disease. If this is the case for you, then you may be required to get this every couple months.
Deep cleanings are similar to standard cleanings in the sense that they both involve scaling. However, your hygienist will also do what’s known as root planing. This is when plaque and tartar is removed from the roots of your teeth. Sometimes, getting a complete deep cleaning can involve two or more trips to your dentist.
In short, the goal is to remove any and all bacteria from the pockets of your teeth. This will allow your gums to heal and stay healthy. If you’re not sure whether or not you need a deep cleaning, consult your dentist and get his or her professional opinion on what’s best for you.