Everything You Should Know About Teeth Cleaning

At Family Dentistry of Arnold, our dentist offers teeth cleaning services using high quality tools and products to ensure you receive the best possible care. If you are not familiar with the professional teeth cleaning process, this will help you understand all you need to know.

Benefits of Teeth Cleaning

There are plenty of reasons to visit our dentist office for a teeth cleaning. Some advantages include:  

  • Tooth Loss Prevention: Plaque that is not removed through daily brushing and flossing can harden into tartar. When this isn't removed with a professional teeth cleaning, it can result in cavities and gum disease. Continued neglect can result in tooth loss. Having your teeth cleaned every six months by our dentist can prevent the development of these severe issues to ensure you maintain a healthy smile for years to come.
  • Improved Health: Numerous studies have found links between our oral and overall health, and gum disease may be a precursor for more serious health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and even dementia. Regular teeth cleanings from our qualified dentist can reduce your risk of developing more serious diseases.  
  • Bad Breath Prevention: Daily brushing and flossing can only do so much to remove the bacteria that cause bad breath. Teeth cleanings are more thorough at removing bacteria from places you can't reach with your toothbrush, which can go a long way to improving your breath. 
  • Brighter Smile: The stains on your teeth are typically caused tobacco usage, wine, tea and/or coffee. Fortunately, because these are surface stains, a simple teeth cleaning can remove them, leaving your teeth polished, and giving you a brighter and more beautiful smile.  
  • Cavities Prevention: Plaque, a white film that covers your teeth is one of the major causes of tooth decay. It's an acidic substance that starts eating away the enamel. If it is not removed regularly, cavities may form. The teeth cleaning process, in conjunction with diligent at-home oral hygiene, eliminates plaque to prevent cavities.  

The Process of Teeth Cleaning 

If you are not familiar with the professional dental cleaning process, here's what you can expect:     

1. Examination

Our dentist will conduct an oral examination to determine the health of your gums and teeth and identify any problem areas that need further attention. The dentist may also ask for your dental history and whether you have undergone any recent dental treatments. Once the examination is complete, we will begin the teeth cleaning process.

2. Removal of Tartar and Plaque

Our dentist will begin by targeting the larger deposits of plaque and tartar. This process may take longer if your teeth haven't been cleaned professionally in a while. Plaque is usually reduced with regular brushing and flossing, but it's not completely eliminated, and over time, it hardens into tartar. 

3. Polishing

After the tartar and plaque have been removed, our dentist will start polishing your teeth using an electric handpiece and slightly abrasive toothpaste.  

4. Flossing

After your teeth have been cleaned and polished, our dentist will floss your teeth. This step might feel unnecessary to you if you regularly floss your teeth, but it is actually important in the cleaning process. Flossing will help in removing any unwanted debris and plaque that was missed in the first two steps of teeth cleaning.  

5. Rinsing & Fluoride Application 

Lastly, our dentist will rinse your mouth to eliminate leftover debris and start the fluoride treatment. 

Types of Cleaning 

You should know about the different types of teeth cleaning. Typically, when you visit the dental office, our dentist performs a regular cleaning to eliminate the tartar and plaque buildup. However, you might need a different cleaning procedure depending on the state of your oral health. Continue reading to learn more about the different types of cleanings we offer.

  • Regular Cleaning: A regular cleaning, also known as prophylaxis, is a preventive process in which our dentist eliminates stains, tartar and plaque from your teeth. The teeth cleaning process is typically recommended twice annually, although you may require more frequent cleanings depending on your oral health. 
  • Deep Cleaning: This type of cleaning, also called root and scaling planning, is recommended by our dentist if you have signs of gum disease. The signs and symptoms include buildup of tartar and plaque under the gumline, deep gum pockets, or swollen, red or bleeding gums. 
  • Full Mouth Debridement: In rare cases when tartar and plaque buildup make it difficult to even finish an oral examination, our dentist might recommend this teeth cleaning procedure. Full mouth debridement includes the complete elimination of tartar and plaque from your gums and teeth. 
  • Periodontal Maintenance: This type of teeth cleaning is typically recommended by the dentist after you have undergone a periodontal treatment like deep cleaning. This process may be continued in different intervals per the directions of our dentist after evaluating your oral health. 

Frequency of Teeth Cleaning 

The standard recommendation is for patients to receive a professional teeth cleaning and examination every six months. However, our dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings for patients with gum disease or other oral health complications.

After the Cleaning 

Caring for your oral health shouldn't stop after a visiting our dental office. Our dentist will recommend a proper at-home oral hygiene regimen to maintain your oral health. Once your teeth cleaning is complete, it's important to be diligent in your at-home care.

Here are some tips to help you further improve your oral health: 

Teeth Brushing Tips 

Our dentist recommends brushing your teeth twice a day to remove plaque. 

Here's how to brush your teeth effectively:

  • Brush gently in the area where your gum and teeth meet to the edge of your teeth
  • Avoid aggressive brushing as it can be harmful for both your gums and teeth
  • Always brush your tongue, as well as the top of your mouth in a forward sweeping motion to remove all bacteria

Flossing Tips 

Our dentist recommends the use of dental floss at least once every day, however, it is best to floss each time after you brush your teeth.

Here are some useful tips for flossing:  

  • Ensure that you hold the strand taut by winding it around the middle fingers of each hand
  • Start with the top of teeth and then move to the bottom
  • Use your index finger to glide the floss between your teeth and avoid pushing hard as it can harm your gums

Flossing regularly will help safeguard your teeth and gums from decay- and disease-causing bacteria.  

Rinsing Tips 

A proper mouth rinse is needed to remove any debris left after brushing and flossing. Here's how to use it:

  • Choose a mouthwash that is antiseptic and contains fluoride to prevent cavities and other issues  
  • Rinse after you've brushed and flossed your teeth, or in between meals
  • Swish your preferred mouthwash for at least 30 seconds 

To schedule an appointment with our dentist at  Family Dentistry at Family Dentistry of Arnold call us at 636-464-1008 today! Our team is here to answer your questions to make your experience as comfortable as possible.