Here’s What Your Dentist Is Looking For During Your Cleaning

There aren’t too many people who look forward to their regular dental cleanings. Sure, you might enjoy the feeling of nice, clean teeth after your professional cleaning, but chances are you don’t eagerly check your calendar hoping the next appointment is coming up soon.

In fact, if you’re like slightly more than half of most of the population, you may even have some anxiety when it comes to visiting the dentist. Knowing what to expect during a routine cleaning may help you feel calmer and more relaxed. 

Overall health 

A routine cleaning is actually more than a cleaning. Your dentist provides an examination, and looks for all kinds of things of which you may not be aware. For example, your vital signs are taken during a regular dental exam. 

You may be wondering why you have your blood pressure taken when you go to get your teeth cleaned. The reason is that there are several chronic, systemic diseases that are first detectable in your mouth, including diabetes and certain types of arthritis, among others.

Your dentist may also discuss your overall lifestyle with you. Your diet, oral hygiene habits, stress levels, and other lifestyle factors can have a big impact on your teeth. 

Checking for signs of gum disease

Next, your dentist or hygienist checks to see whether or not you have any signs of gingivitis or other, similar problems. Gingivitis, or inflamed gums, can be the first step toward gum disease, so it’s critically important to curtail such problems early. This part of the exam is also where your dentist checks to see if you have any signs of cavities or tooth decay. 

The scaler

This is the part of the appointment that most people probably think of when they think about a dental cleaning. Your dentist or hygienist uses a tool called a scaler to carefully, gently scrape plaque and tartar off of your teeth. 

Even if you brush and floss daily, there’s going to be some buildup on your teeth. Removing it is one of the best ways to protect your teeth and prevent problems like gingivitis from developing. 

Professional flossing and brushing

Next, your dentist or hygienist will brush your teeth with a special, grittier-than-normal toothpaste. This is to remove any little bits of leftover plaque and tartar and give your teeth an extra polish.

After the polishing process, your teeth will get a professional flossing. Again, even if you floss daily, there’s nothing quite like a professional flossing!

A twice-yearly professional cleaning will keep your teeth healthy and looking great. It’s an excellent time to ask questions regarding your dental health, too.

If it’s time for your regular visit, you can book your appointment using our scheduling tool online, or give our office a call between 7am and 9pm Monday through Saturday. We look forward to seeing you! 

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