Teeth cleaning at the dentist is undertaken during your regular dental appointment. It primarily involves a check-up and clean which is part of general dentistry. Teeth cleaning is designed to remove plaque and tarter from your teeth to enhance your oral health.
By conducting a check-up and clean, your dentist can monitor any oral issues you may develop over time.
What does the dentist/hygienist do at a teeth cleaning?
You will likely undergo a teeth cleaning with your dentist or dental hygienist. Teeth cleaning is usually connected to an examination (check-up) and a patient is checked for oral health, gum disease (periodontal disease), tooth decay and other dental problems.
Your dentist or dental hygienist will clean the surface of your teeth with instruments such as:
- Small mirror
These dental tools enable your dentist to provide a deep clean between your teeth and underneath your gum line. The cleaning process is painless, and you will leave your appointment with a fresh new smile.
Does it hurt?
Teeth cleaning can be painful as the bump or vibration from the instruments may cause immediate, short-term sensitivity.
So how do dentists’ clean teeth? There are several steps your dentist will do to clean your teeth as explained below.
Firstly, your dentist will assess your gums and teeth by using a small mirror. This is done to detect any signs of inflammation in your gum line (gingivitis) and other oral issues before proceeding with the deep clean. At Coastal Dental Care, our dentists will also take photos and an x-ray so they can provide further analysis on your oral health. This will allow them to monitor and compare your oral health throughout the year.
During the cleaning process, your dentist will use the mirror and a dental scaler to remove any tartar or plaque built up between your teeth. Furthermore, the scaler extracts a thin, high pressured streamline of water which enables it to provide an affective clean.
Removing excess tarter and plaque
Once completed, your dentist may floss your teeth to clear out any small tarter or plaque that may be left behind. The water flosser deploys a thin, high pressured stream of water which enables your dentist to provide a thorough clean between your teeth.
Following this, your tooth surface will be polished with dental toothpaste and then you can rinse your mouth out with water in the chair-side sink
Fluoride treatment (optional)
You also have the option to receive a fluoride treatment which is usually administered in a gel form. The fluoride is provided to patients who are at risk of caries or to generally strengthen their teeth. Following a fluoride treatment, you should not eat or drink for 30 minutes.
How long should a typical dental cleaning take?
A regular check-up and clean appointment usually take around 30 minutes to complete as it includes a:
- Teeth clean or scale
However, this time frame is generally based on the influence of good oral hygiene. Over time, if you are not regularly brushing or flossing your teeth, you may develop more tarter or plaque within your mouth. Therefore, this may prolong your appointment depending on your case.
Can dental cleaning damage teeth?
Teeth cleaning is a safe procedure and your dentist will do a great job ensuring your teeth do not get damaged.
In severe cases, the paste used to polish your teeth may scratch or damage your teeth. However, your dentist is qualified enough to identify any foreseeable issues.
Furthermore, you should let your dentist know of any pre-existing issues within your family such as gum disease. This will help your dentist to structure your cleaning to suit your oral health, so you get more value out of your appointment.
The main reason your dentist cleans your teeth is to ensure bacteria and other issues do not develop or spread to other parts of your body.
What is the cost of teeth cleaning?
At Coastal Dental Care, we offer check-up and cleans for $153 to all of our patients who are not with a health fund.
Our $153 check-up and clean includes:
- An x-ray
If you are with a private health fund, we offer No GAP check-up and cleans if you have available dental extras.