Dental Hygiene Service
At Your Community Dental, we believe that our patients should be “in-the-know” about everything that’s going to occur from the time they walk into the office, when the sit in the dentist’s chair, to after they leave. Learning what happens during a regular checkup will satisfy your curiosity and possibly calm your nerves during your next visit.
Regular check ups are important for a number of reasons; they can reduce your risk of developing gum disease and potentially prevent cavities from worsening. This is why your hygienist will begin by examining your teeth and gums. Using a small mirror, they can look for inflamed gums and potential cavities. During this time, your hygienist will encourage you to voice any concerns or questions you have about your oral health.
At most regular check-ups, your dentist will take x-rays of your teeth and mouth. Digital x-rays are quick, safe and can allow your dental team to see oral abnormalities, like tumors, cysts, or bone loss, as well as decay, gum disease, and movement of teeth over time.
What happens during my cleaning?
Dental cleanings are recommended to occur every six months to a year, and are a part of your routine checkups with dental professionals. Dental hygiene services are important part of our preventative care services. During the cleaning, one of our gentle hygienists will professionally clean your teeth.
First, calcified plaque needs to be removed from your teeth. The hygienist will use a dental tool called a scaler, a small instrument with a blade-like end. The scaler is able to clean in all the hard-to-reach places untouched by brushing and flossing, removing plaque above and just below the gum line.
It is completely normal to hear scraping noises during this time, and the time-span of this step will depend on how much plaque has built up. If you’ve forgotten about flossing since your last dental visit, there’s a good chance (80% of people, actually) that you have gingivitis. Gingivitis can cause your gums to bleed after the removal of plaque.
A stream of water will rinse away loose plaque, and then you’re ready for the next step!
After the plaque is washed away, you’ll receive a teeth polishing with a lightly abrasive paste. The hygienist will use a powerful electric toothbrush to clean the grit away from the teeth, ultimately removing stains from the teeth.
Your teeth will then get flossed! This removes plaque from between the teeth. You can expect your hygienist to ask about your flossing habits, recommend new techniques, and point out any areas of concern.
In some cases, the hygienist will insert a mouthpiece filled with fluoride foam or gel into your mouth that fits over your teeth. After one minute, the mouthpiece is removed and the hygienist rinses your mouth out with water.
Because fluoride is already present in drinking/tap water, you may not receive a fluoride treatment at every visit. It can depend on when your last fluoride treatment was, or if you’re teeth are experiencing decay.
The Dentist’s Inspection
Your dentist and hygienist will examine your teeth for early signs decay, gum disease, oral cancer, or other dental issues. If you have bridges, fillings, or crowns, your dentist will check on the state of those restorations. Your dentist will address any further concerns from the x-rays or those brought up by the hygienists
This is also an opportunity for you to ask our dentists any of your questions or concerns. After this step, you’re all finished! Your teeth are clean, your smile is fresh, and you’re free to go about your day as normal.
At Your Community Dental, our dental hygienists work with our dentists to ensure a thorough examination and proper treatment for our patients. We work as a team and treat our patients like family! Now that you know everything about what happens to your teeth during a cleaning, are you ready for your next appointment? Call us today to schedule an appointment with Your Community Dental.
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Have a question? Call us at 910.342.9210