To maintain good oral health, regular teeth cleanings are an important procedure. The doctors at our Elizabethtown office are highly experienced in performing teeth cleanings for all variety of patients. A teeth cleaning helps remove hard-to-reach plaque that can build up even if the patient brushes and flosses every day.
What Is a Teeth Cleaning?
A teeth cleaning is a procedure that involves removing the buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth. The American Dental Association recommends that people have their teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year to prevent cavities and other dental issues.
When a patient comes into our Elizabethtown office, they often have a physical exam or X-rays performed on them as well to look for signs of gingivitis, tooth decay, or oral cancer. Teeth cleanings are a relatively minor appointment, so there’s no need to fear them.
Benefits of Having Regular Teeth Cleanings
Having regular teeth cleanings are an essential part of keeping the mouth healthy. Some of the main benefits for our Elizabethtown patients include:
- Preventing or reducing cavities. As plaque builds up over time, it can eat away at tooth enamel, leaving the tooth root exposed. Cleanings remove plaque to keep teeth healthy.
- Preventing tooth loss, which can happen if plaque makes its way under the gums to the bone that supports the teeth.
- Removing stains from wine, tea, coffee, or tobacco that can build up over time, leading to a whiter smile.
- Eliminating bad breath, which can emerge over time due to an accumulation of plaque on the teeth.
- Learning the proper techniques for brushing and flossing.
What to Expect With a Teeth Cleaning
A basic teeth cleaning has a few different parts. These may vary depending on the extent of the tartar and plaque buildup on the patient’s teeth, but a typical cleaning might go as follows:
- Removal of plaque and tartar using a tool called a scaler to scrape around the gum line and in between teeth
- Cleaning of the teeth with a gritty toothpaste to provide a thorough cleansing and remove leftover tartar
- Flossing to remove any leftover tartar that’s stuck between teeth
- Rinsing to clean out the mouth and remove the last of the debris
Overall, teeth cleanings at our Elizabethtown office shouldn’t take more than an hour from start to finish. If they’re paired with X-rays or another procedure, the appointment will take slightly longer. Patients shouldn’t feel any pain or discomfort, as the procedure is gentle and noninvasive.
Who Should Have Teeth Cleaning?
It’s imperative that every one of our Elizabethtown patients has regular dental cleanings. This form of preventative care helps them keep their mouths healthy so they won’t develop cavities that require fillings or root canals.
That being said, there are some types of patients who have a higher risk for dental problems and should make regular teeth cleanings even more of a priority. For example, patients who have a risk factor for gum diseases, such as diabetes or smoking, will definitely want to adhere to the six-month cleaning schedule. Additionally, if a patient has had a lot of cavities or other oral health issues in the past, teeth cleanings are a way for our doctors to monitor their condition to make sure decay and infection aren’t spreading.
What Happens After a Teeth Cleaning?
After a cleaning, patients will find their mouth feels clean and refreshed. When they run their tongue over their teeth, the surface should feel smoother and less gritty. Before they leave our office, our doctors may instruct patients on proper flossing and brushing techniques, as well as make other recommendations for maintaining good oral health. We’ll also establish when the patient’s next appointment should be.
Patients shouldn’t expect any side effects or recovery time for teeth cleaning. In some patients, the gums might be a little sore in the areas that were cleaned, but this is mild and should subside on its own in a few minutes. Patients can immediately eat, drink, exercise, or go back to their normal routine without any restrictions.
Choose Our Elizabethtown Doctors for Your Next Teeth Cleaning
Teeth cleanings are not something to avoid. They’re an excellent way to catch problems before they spread as well as stop them from forming in the first place. Even if you haven’t had teeth cleaning in years, now’s a great time to get back on the oral health bandwagon.
To schedule your teeth cleaning or learn more about our other services, call our Elizabethtown office today at (270) 769-3306.