Many people dread having their teeth cleaned. It’s easy to understand their concern, given the prodding, strange noises, and occasional jaw discomfort. However, for most people, teeth cleaning is simple and painless.
Knowing exactly what is going on during the process can help you relax and enjoy the minty-fresh results more.
1. A physical examination
A dental hygienist performs the majority of dental cleanings in Singapore. They begin the cleaning process with a physical examination of your entire mouth.
The dental hygienist examines your teeth and gums with a small mirror to look for signs of gingivitis (inflamed gums) or other potential problems.
If they notice any major issues, the dental hygienist may contact the dentist to ensure everything is in order.
2. Plaque and tartar removal
The dental hygienist uses a scaler to remove plaque and tartar from around your gum line and between your teeth, using a small mirror to guide them. There will be scraping, which is normal. The more tartar there is in your mouth, the longer it will take them to scrape a specific area.
Brushing and flossing prevent plaque from accumulating and hardening into tartar. Tartar can only be removed at your dentist’s office once it has formed. So, if this is your least favourite part of the teeth-cleaning process, the lesson is to brush and floss your teeth more frequently.
3. Cleaning with gritty toothpaste
After your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned, the hygienist will brush them with a high-powered electric brush that makes a grinding noise. While it may sound frightening, it is an excellent way to deep clean and removes any tartar left behind by the scaler.
Professional cleanings use toothpaste that smells and tastes like regular toothpaste, with the option of selecting between flavours. However, it has a gritty texture that gently scrubs your teeth. This professional tooth polishing is considered safe to do twice a year. However, don’t be as rough on your teeth at home, as this will wear down the enamel.
4. Professional flossing
Whether you floss at home or not, nothing beats a professional flossing session. Your dental hygienist can reach deep between your teeth and identify potential problem areas where you may bleed at the gums.
If you floss at home, this may seem unnecessary, but having a professional floss your teeth removes any leftover plaque or toothpaste from earlier in the cleaning process.
After that, you rinse your mouth to remove any debris. Then, your dental hygienist will usually give you a fluoride-containing rinse.
6. Use of fluoride treatment
A fluoride treatment is a final step in the cleaning process. This treatment is used as a tooth protectant for several months to help fight cavities.
Your dental hygienist may inquire as to which flavour you prefer. The foamy gel (or sometimes a sticky paste) will then be placed in a mouthpiece that fits over your teeth. It is typically applied to your teeth for one minute. Fluoride varnish is also used on the teeth with a small brush in addition to the foamy gel. When exposed to saliva, fluoride varnish hardens, allowing you to eat and drink immediately after.
Other possible actions
Professional teeth cleanings are usually done twice a year, and X-rays are done once a year. Nonetheless, depending on what your dentist or dental hygienist sees in your mouth, they may perform additional exams during your visit. A dentist may recommend molar sealants for children to help prevent cavities in difficult-to-brush areas.
Whether you require additional measures, the key is to continue going to the dentist for regular teeth cleanings to avoid problems altogether. You’ll feel more at ease — and maybe even look forward to these appointments — if you know what’s going on ahead of time.