Your alarm rings. You wake up, get that big stretch in, and drag yourself to the bathroom. While grabbing your toothbrush to brush your teeth to get rid of morning breath, you look closely in the mirror. And then you see the stains, discoloration, and proof of your favorite foods and drinks spotted on your teeth. Not a great look, is it? So what do you do? You visit your dentist for a routine dental cleaning session.
The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once. This helps remove the sticky film of bacteria that accumulates on your teeth, known as plaque.
But you might be wondering why you should get routine cleanings done if brushing and flossing already help?
You’re right. Brushing and flossing do help, but only to a certain extent. Sometimes, plaque that you miss hardens to form tartar. You can not remove this on your own and require professional help.
Should you leave the tartar in your mouth, you are at an increased risk of gum disease. This can lead to many other dental problems in the future.
To achieve good oral health, you must combine at-home oral care steps with professional care.
How Often is Routine Cleaning Recommended?
Your dentist at Minneapolis Dental will advise that you visit us at least once every six months. However, they might suggest a different schedule based on:
People with poor oral health are usually asked to come in more frequently. On the other hand, having good oral health lowers your risk of future dental problems and requires fewer regular visits.
What are the Steps Involved in Routine Cleaning?
A lot of people dread getting their teeth cleaned. The strange noises, the discomfort in keeping your mouth open, and the poking around make people apprehensive about the process.
But for the majority, teeth cleaning is a painless and straightforward procedure. Here is what you can expect during routine cleaning.
1. The Physical Examination
Dental cleanings are done by either your dentist or a dental hygienist. But before they begin with the actual process, they physically examine your mouth with a small mirror.
The dentist checks the teeth and gums for any signs of inflammation or other problems.
They proceed with the routine cleaning if no major dental problems are detected.
2. The Removal of Plaque and Tartar
Using a small mirror and a dental scaler, your dentist or hygienist removes the plaque and tartar deposits. The target areas are between your teeth and around your gum line. Don’t be afraid of the scraping sound you hear – it is perfectly normal!
The more tartar in your mouth, the more they’ll scrape. If you dislike this process, remember to brush and floss regularly to prevent tartar from forming.
3. Cleaning with Gritty Toothpaste
Once the mouth is in a tartar-free zone, your dental practitioner brushes the teeth with a high-powered electric brush. It might sound scary, but it is an effective way to get a deep clean, removing any remaining tartar and stains.
The gritty consistency of the toothpaste gently scrubs your teeth. This process is performed safely by a dental professional and can be done twice a year. Avoid being super harsh with your teeth at home – you will wear down the enamel.
4. Expert Flossing
Even if you floss regularly at home, nothing beats flossing done by an expert. Your dentist or hygienist can get between your teeth, clean them, and locate potential trouble spots.
This step removes any leftover plaque or toothpaste from before.
5. Rinsing Your Mouth
In this step, your dentist gives you a liquid fluoride rinse. You rinse out your mouth, getting rid of any debris.
6. Application of Fluoride Treatment
The last step of the routine cleaning process is a fluoride treatment. This is done to protect your teeth against cavities for several months.
The fluoride treatment can be in the form of a gel, a paste, or a varnish. Your dentist applies it to the teeth and leaves it on for a minute. The fluoride hardens when it comes in contact with saliva. You can eat and drink immediately after the treatment.
Aside from keeping your teeth clean, regular cleaning sessions benefit your overall health.
Routine Cleaning Prevents Cavities
Cavities occur due to the accumulation of plaque. The acid present in plaque eats away at the tooth’s outer layer, creating tiny holes.
Over time, these holes get big and extend deeper into the teeth. Cavities cause toothaches and sensitivity.
Routine cleaning removes the plaque, preventing tooth decay.
Routine Cleaning Prevents Gum Disease
Plaque irritates gum tissue, causing gum disease. In the early stages, your gums appear red, swollen, and bleed. If not treated, the situation worsens and spreads to underlying tissue and bone. This causes tooth loss and dental problems.
Routine cleaning prevents gum disease by removing any trapped plaque or tartar.
Routine Cleaning Improves Your General Health
Poor oral hygiene leads to various medical problems such as stroke and heart disease. Making sure you have good oral health goes a long way in keeping these diseases at bay.
At Minneapolis Dental, we love to keep our patient’s smiles shining bright. Don’t sweat it if it has been a while since your last dental visit. We don’t judge! Simply book an appointment with us by dialing (612) 332-1255. You can also fill out the form here, and we will get back to you.
How long does a routine dental cleaning take?
While it depends on the condition of your mouth, the average routine cleaning time is around 30 minutes.
Does routine cleaning hurt?
Routine cleaning shouldn’t hurt. However, if you have gum disease, the procedure might feel painful. Your dentist might provide medication to help with the pain if it becomes unbearable.
How much does routine cleaning cost?
To find out the cost of teeth cleaning service at Minneapolis Dental, you can contact us at our number listed above and speak to a representative.