How This Marco Island Dental Clinic Professionally Cleans Your Teeth
Everyone knows that having your teeth professionally cleaned at the dentist’s office is a regular part of life. But have you ever wondered—perhaps while reclined in that dental chair—exactly what the dental hygienist or dentist might be doing during the different steps in the cleaning process?
Well, wonder no more as we are going to detail what’s happening in your mouth when you come to our Marco Island, Florida dental office for a teeth cleaning. The next time you come in for a cleaning you will understand exactly what actions are being taken to clean your teeth!
It Begins with the Reclining Dental Chair
Once you’re reclined in a position that provides the easiest access into your mouth with the least discomfort to you, your dental hygienist will conduct a visual exam, aided by the dental lights on the articulating arm, a hand mirror, and a dental probe. This pre-cleaning exam is used to assess the health of your gums and teeth, check for signs of gingivitis (inflammation), and spot any cavities or other potential issues of concern. The mirror helps the hygienist see otherwise hidden areas of the mouth, while the probe may be used to remove any food particles that you may have missed during your pre-appointment brushing and flossing (you did pre-brush and floss, right?). The probe can also be used to check for cavities and/or weak spots on teeth, as well as the strength of the gums.
If the hygienist spots any potential issues of concern, they will likely call in the dentist for their professional assessment and any directives regarding the planned-for cleaning. Note that some issues may preclude conducting the scheduled cleaning if such might exacerbate the issue or cause excess discomfort. Alternatively, the dentist could recommend not cleaning the specific area of concern until it is addressed.
Time to Scrape that Plaque and Tartar
After the visual inspection is concluded, your hygienist will replace the probe with a scaling tool, which is used to scrape and clear plaque and tartar that has formed around the gum line and behind and between teeth. The duration of this process is entirely dependent upon the amount of build-up, and, yes, your hygienist knows that the scraping sound is unnerving and that the process can feel uncomfortable. But a good hygienist– like those at our Marco Island Dental office– knows how to make the process as pleasant and comfortable as possible!
Electric Cleaning and Polishing
Once all the visible signs of plaque and tartar have been removed, your hygienist will use a high-powered electric brush to clean and polish your teeth. This electric brush is far more efficient than the one you may use at home, but not recommended for home use as its high power could wear down tooth enamel with regular use. The toothpaste used by your hygienist is similar to the toothpaste you use at home, but includes gritty particles designed further add gentle scrubbing power to your teeth. As with the professional electronic toothbrush, it is not recommended for regular home use due to its potential wearing down of enamel, but occasional use by a professional can make a huge cleanliness impact.
Your hygienist will conclude your professional cleaning by flossing your teeth to remove any remaining plaque/tartar bits and then give you a liquid rinse to wash out any remaining debris or toothbrush residue. Depending upon your dental history and overall dental health, your session may also end with fluoride treatment. The hygienist will insert a mouthpiece over your teeth that contains a fluoride solution designed to give your teeth additional, long-term protection from cavity formation.
Your teeth soak in the fluoride solution for a minute and then you are done. Thank your hygienist and know that these regular dental cleaning sessions are instrumental in helping you maintain the health of your teeth and gums.
Contact Island Tower for Your Professional Dental Cleaning
If you’ve been lax about getting your teeth professionally cleaned, but are now inspired by this article, the dental care professionals at Island Tower Dentistry on Marco Island, Florida stand ready to clean your teeth and enhance your oral health. To learn more about how Island Tower Dentistry can maintain the best in your oral health, contact us today at 239-394-1004 to make an appointment!