The goal during a dental cleaning appointment is to remove plaque and tartar from both above and below the gum line. Plaque is a biofilm or mass of bacteria that grows on tooth surfaces. These may become acidic causing demineralization on teeth surfaces causing dental caries to harden into dental calculus known as tartar. These bacteria and others cause tooth decay eventually leading to a painful tooth.
Dr. AhYou recommends two cleanings every year and dental X-rays once per year. During a routine cleaning, our hygienist uses an ultrasonic water-powered dental scaler and metal scaler to gently remove plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. The areas between your teeth are flossed and your teeth polished with a gently abrasive paste making your teeth smooth and shiny The newly renewed surface makes it harder for plaque bacteria to build up.
Your hygienist and Dr. AhYou will perform a visual inspection looking for any signs of dental disease or other problems. Having two a year regular preventative checkups and cleanings, along with good oral health practices at home, you’re much less likely to need other costly treatments to repair decaying teeth.
Oral health begins with keeping your teeth smooth and clean especially the area where your teeth meet your gums. This we help to prevent gum disease while keeping your tooth surfaces clean and help you fight off cavities.
Recommended Brushing Basics
We recommend brushing your teeth twice a day and, don’t rush. Take about two minutes to do a thorough job. After eating, wait at least 30 minutes to brush especially if you had something acidic such as grapefruit or soda. Don’t forget to clean your tongue and other areas in your mouth, which harbors bacteria. Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits your mouth comfortably. Consider using an electric or battery-operated toothbrush, which can reduce plaque and a mild form of gum disease (gingivitis) more than does manual brushing. These devices are also helpful if you have arthritis or other problems that make it difficult to brush effectively.
Practice good techniques by holding your toothbrush at a slight angle — aiming the bristles toward the area where your tooth meets your gum. Gently brush with circular short back-and-forth motions. Brushing too hard or with hard bristles can hurt your gums and cause grooving on the sides of teeth. Brush all surfaces, the outside, inside and chewing surfaces.
Keep Your Brushing Tools Clean and Bristles Straight
After brushing rinse your toothbrush with water and store uncovered in an upright position allowing it to air-dry faster. Keep your toothbrush separate from others to prevent cross-contamination. Prolonged moisture on your toothbrush can encourage the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast. Replace your electric or battery-operated toothbrush head every three months or sooner if the bristles flay or become irregular.
We Care About Your Oral Health and Associated Discomfort
The cost of dental care or fear of experiencing pain can keep you from seeing your dentist for preventive treatments, however the longer you delay getting a professional dental cleaning will eventually cause tooth pain from tooth decay. That said, if you haven’t gotten a cleaning in years, don’t use this as an excuse for delaying your dental care. The sooner the better, and our dental hygienist will do everything possible to help you get through the process with no pain.
Speak up if you have experienced discomfort in the past, or have dental anxiety or sensitive teeth. Make your hygienist aware of your issues. Your hygienist can devise a treatment plan that will make the treatments less stressful. If needed, he or she can use a topical anesthetic dabbed onto the area to numb your gum tissue and make you much more comfortable. You can also ask about taking an over-the-counter painkiller or anxiety prior to your appointment and may wish to switch to desensitizing toothpaste and mouth rinses a few weeks before your cleaning to help decrease the sensitivity of your teeth.
Book an Appointment
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