For some people, a trip to the dentist or hygienist can cause some anxiety. But if you know beforehand what to expect, it makes the process much easier.
Teeth cleaning is a very common – and essential – service provided by all dental offices. But why does dental cleaning hurt? And what are the benefits of teeth cleaning?
We’ll answer these questions and more. Let’s take a look at the types of dental cleaning and what happens during teeth cleaning sessions, so you can face your next one with confidence!
Types of Dental Cleaning
All types of dental cleaning have the same goal – to thoroughly clean your teeth. At times, there might be reasons why you need a deeper clean.
The three most common types of dental cleaning are:
- Prophylaxis cleaning
- Scaling and root planing
- Gross debridement
A dental hygienist will normally perform these treatments. A dentist may as you to see a dental hygienist before a regular examination. They may also refer you for a specialist clean.
Every cleaning will begin with an examination. If your hygienist has any concerns at this point, they will follow them up with your dentist.
This is the most common type of dental cleaning. If you have a healthy mouth, you should have a prophylaxis cleaning every six months.
Flossing and brushing help to keep tartar build-up mostly at bay. The focus of a six-monthly teeth cleaning is removing any plaque or tartar that has built up since your last clean.
It’s important to remove plaque and tartar regularly. If left untreated, it can cause your gums to recede and cause gum disease.
It’s not possible to remove tartar at home. Only a dentist or dental hygienist with specialist tools can remove it.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a more invasive form of dental cleaning. People who are suffering from periodontal disease need to have this treatment to remove tartar and plaque from below the gum line.
As it involves working just below the gum line, it is a time-consuming process. This usually takes four sessions to complete.
Many people worry about whether scaling and root planing will be painful. During the procedure, you will not experience any pain. Your dentist or hygienist will apply a local anesthetic so you won’t feel a thing.
It is normal to experience some discomfort after the procedure, but you should not experience tooth pain. As the anesthetic wears off, the gums may feel sore and bruised. The gums will quickly recover and can thrive now that the tartar is gone!
If it has been a while since you visited the dentist, tartar can build up so much that your dentist can’t properly examine your teeth. First, you need to have the tartar buildup removed. This is a gross debridement cleaning.
This process will remove the plaque that has built up below and above the gum line. When the debridement is finished, you’ll be able to have an exam from your dentist.
Do Dental Cleanings Hurt?
Normally, there is no pain involved while you’re having your teeth cleaned. If there is likely to be a little pain, your hygienist will numb the area with a local anesthetic first.
Most people experience some discomfort after the cleaning. This is completely normal and is because the gums are inflamed.
In a few days, they will settle down. Now that the plaque has been removed, will be healthier than before.
Can Dental Cleaning Damage Teeth?
It might seem with all the tugging and scraping that dental cleaning could damage your teeth. Actually, this is not the case. The teeth cleaning process cannot damage the enamel on your teeth.
However, if untreated, over time plaque and a poor diet will erode the enamel on teeth. Gum diseases can develop if you don’t have regular teeth cleaning. So rather than damaging teeth, there are many benefits of teeth cleaning.
What Happens During a Teeth Cleaning?
There are 5 main stages to teeth cleaning. They are:
- Plaque and tartar removal
- Cleaning and polishing
Your hygienist may offer further treatments. These include a fluoride treatment, x-rays as needed, and sealants for children’s teeth. Ask your dental hygienist before beginning the treatment if you would like any of these extras.
First, your dental hygienist will perform a thorough physical exam. They’re checking for caries and signs of gum disease.
If they find anything of concern, they will check with your dentist before proceeding with the clean.
2. Plaque and Tartar Removal
Your dentist or hygienist will use an ultrasound scraper to break down large deposits of tartar. Then, they use hand help instruments to remove any remaining small deposits of tartar on the teeth. This is the scraping sound we associate with teeth cleaning.
3. Cleaning and Polishing
When the tartar has all been removed, the hygienist will use a specialist toothpaste to clean your teeth. This gritty paste will remove any final bits of tartar.
The polish helps to get the surface of the tooth smooth. It can help to remove any minor stains on the teeth and smooth out rough patches. This is important because tartar can develop more easily on rough areas of the teeth.
Your hygienist will now floss your teeth. This will help to remove any final bits of tartar. It will get deep between the teeth to provide a thorough clean.
The final process is to rinse away anything leftover in your mouth. You will be given a special fluoride mouthwash for this purpose. After this, you can have a fluoride treatment painted onto the teeth for further protection.
Book Your Teeth Cleaning Today!
Regular teeth cleaning is an essential part of everybody’s oral care routine. Make sure that you book teeth cleaning every six months. Doing so will help to prevent serious conditions from developing.
At Limelight Dental, our friendly team is ready to attend to your teeth cleaning needs!
Contact us today to make an appointment for teeth cleaning.