Routine dental cleanings are important to maintaining good oral hygiene and help to prevent more serious dental issues in the future. Professional cleaning by an hygienist can remove mineralized plaque that my develop, even with careful brushing and flossing, particularly in areas that are difficult to reach. We recommend you have your teeth professionally cleaned once every six months.
How it’s done
You can expect your dental cleaning to last approximately one hour. A licensed hygienist will clean your teeth and take any necessary x-rays. (Bitewing x-rays are taken every 12 months and panoramic or full mouth, x-rays are taken every 3-5 years.)
There are two important steps in a dental prophylaxis (cleaning):
The first step is called scaling the teeth.
In this step the hygienist will remove plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces, by hand or with an ultrasonic scaler. The hygienist also clears the pockets around the teeth to remove any plaque buildup hiding below the gum line.
The second step is polishing to remove any remaining plaque and also to buff the teeth.
Before you leave the hygienist’s office, Dr. Gabriel will examine your bite, Temporal Mandibular Joint (jaw) and tooth health. Most patients find dental cleanings painless.