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Health and Fitness

Know What Happens During a Teeth Cleaning

When it comes to the hygiene of your teeth, there are several ways to achieve good oral health and avoid problems like cavities and bad breath. If you want to keep your teeth looking clean and white, finding a reliable dentist in your area who offers teeth cleaning services may be the best way to go. Here’s what happens during a teeth cleaning appointment, as well as some tips on how to prepare for the experience beforehand.

What happens during a teeth cleaning

Even if you go to a dentist’s office once every six months, you may be surprised by what actually happens during your teeth cleaning appointment. Most of us assume it’s just an oral rinse-and-polish session, but that isn’t always true. Here are some of your biggest questions about teeth cleanings and their answers:

1) What do I do before my teeth cleaning?

Before your teeth cleaning begins, you’ll probably sit in a dental chair as your dentist reviews any recent issues or concerns you might have had with your teeth or gums. The hygienist may also take an initial look at your mouth and will ask about any medications or medical conditions (such as diabetes) that could have an impact on her work. It’s important for your hygienist to review all of these things so she can give you proper care throughout your teeth cleaning procedure.

2) How is a general teeth cleaning different from an intensive one?

A general teeth cleaning lasts about 30 minutes. It focuses primarily on removing plaque from hard-to-reach areas in between each tooth (for example, under bridges and orthodontic appliances). A more intensive teeth cleaning lasts 60 minutes or longer; it also removes stains, but has more focus on areas around each tooth like gum lines and other hot spots.

3) Do I get x-rays during my regular visit?

Your dentist may use x-rays when planning future treatment options or if they notice unusual bone loss around certain areas of your mouth.

The appointment

For your first visit, plan on spending between two and three hours. You’ll want to allot time for X-rays, which should be done before your teeth cleaning appointment. The dentist will also want to examine you thoroughly during your initial visit so that they can determine if any additional work is necessary. For example, if you recently experienced an injury or have symptoms of gum disease, your hygienist may need to take special precautions to keep you as comfortable as possible during treatment.

Who cleans my teeth

Normally, dental hygienists are responsible for cleaning your teeth and educating you on oral health. But your dentist may join in to make sure everything goes well. Most cleanings last between 15 and 45 minutes, depending on what needs to be done. At minimum, here’s what happens: You’ll be given instructions on how to keep your teeth clean between appointments Your gums will be examined A fluoride treatment will be applied (if you don’t have any cavities) Your teeth will then get cleaned with an ultrasonic instrument called a scaler The plaque will be removed from all surfaces of each tooth, which is called scaling The tartar buildup (hardened plaque) will be removed from all surfaces of each tooth.

What equipment do they use

While dental hygienists have different roles, all of them are trained to use instruments like scalers and curettes to remove tartar or plaque from teeth. You can also use some very basic equipment at home; according to DeSimone, people can pick up a small mirror from their local pharmacy and learn how to look inside their mouth for signs of tooth decay. However, if you want your teeth cleaning near me experience to be comfortable and safe, it’s important that you find a good dentist in your area. Be sure ask lots of questions about what will happen during your appointment so you feel prepared. Most dentists offer free consultations where they will clean your teeth one time just to let you know what it feels like before they schedule an appointment.

Does the dentist polish my teeth

Most people assume that when they go to get their teeth cleaned, they’ll walk out with a shiny set of pearly whites. That isn’t always true. Most dentists only polish your teeth if you ask them to—it takes extra time and doesn’t always improve your dental health. If you do request polishing, expect your dentist to use an electric tool or buffer for about three minutes—not enough time to make any significant difference in your smile. You can also clean between teeth and surfaces with floss or interdental brushes, but it won’t have quite as much impact as polishing does. Your best bet is to brush twice daily and visit your dentist regularly, so he or she can provide professional cleaning services.

If you don’t want your teeth polished: Your dentist may suggest whitening treatments instead. He or she might even combine polishing with whitening for an even more effective treatment. Do some research on at-home whitening products before deciding what’s right for you; sometimes these are easier (and less expensive) than going through additional professional treatments every few months.

Do I need to take anesthetic, antibiotics or painkillers

When you need to have your teeth cleaned, there are some things that you should do beforehand. For example, if you normally drink coffee and/or smoke cigarettes, you should cut down on these activities before your appointment. That’s because caffeine and nicotine can both discolor your teeth and make them more sensitive while they’re being cleaned. If it’s been awhile since your last cleaning and that makes you nervous, talk to your dentist about taking an anesthetic such as novocaine or ibuprofen an hour before your appointment. This may help keep your mouth comfortable as work is done on sensitive areas like crowns or fillings.

How long does it last

The time it takes to clean teeth varies by dentist and clinic, but usually lasts around 45 minutes. If you have multiple cavities or gum disease, it may take longer—sometimes more than an hour. It’s important that your dentist is thorough and doesn’t rush through your appointment. You should feel like your teeth are completely clean after each cleaning. If you don’t, talk to your dentist about what he or she plans to do differently next time so that you can get out of there sooner (without sacrificing effectiveness).

At the end of the treatment

Before your appointment, bring a list of medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) you are currently taking and any health concerns you have. You can also ask to speak with your dentist in advance if there is anything that is especially important to you. For example, maybe you want them to let you know immediately if they find an unusual mole or other spot that could indicate skin cancer. The more information and understanding you share ahead of time, the more likely it is that all parties will get what they need out of your appointment. Likewise, having knowledge about what’s going on during your cleaning makes each step easier (and less stressful). That way, next time it’s not as scary.

Tips before, during and after your appointment

Before your appointment, make sure you brush and floss thoroughly so that any leftover food particles don’t get caught between your teeth. You also want to remove any old fluoride varnish. If you can, schedule your appointment on a day when you don’t have much going on, since you will be without anesthetic for up to an hour while the dentist cleans and polishes your teeth. And after your appointment, wait an hour before eating or drinking anything hot or cold—it will help minimize any discomfort!

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