Teeth Cleanings

Teeth Cleaning (Basic and Deep) in San Antonio, TX

What Is Teeth Cleaning?

When we say teeth cleaning, we’re talking about professional dental cleaning, not just brushing your teeth at home. Without professional cleaning, tartar and plaque could build up, discolor your teeth, affect your gums and bone, and lead to decay or tooth loss. When you think about the consequences of not taking care of your teeth, visiting the dentist twice a year (recommended) doesn’t sound so bad after all. A professional tooth cleaning gets all the plaque and tartar off your teeth. But what does a cleaning actually look like?

Dental Cleaning Procedure

Depending on the condition of your teeth, the time cleaning takes can vary. But usually, the whole appointment can last between 30 minutes and an hour.

Below is the step-by-step process of dental cleaning:

Examination

The dental professional, usually a dental hygienist, will first examine your mouth to get a baseline. Using a small mirror, they will look around your teeth and gums for signs of inflammation, plaque, and tartar, or other oral health concerns. If they discover any of these issues, they may double-check with the dentist to make sure they can go ahead with the cleaning.

Removal of Plaque And Tartar

If they find any plaque and/or tartar, they will remove them with a tool called a scaler. Usually, plaque and tartar congregate near your gum line and between your teeth.

Polishing the Teeth

After the hygienist is done cleaning your teeth, she will use a polishing past to make your teeth feel very smooth. This also makes it much harder for tartar to form and adhere to your teeth.

Flossing

Yes, flossing at home is a great idea. But getting an expert to floss your teeth is the real deal. They are able to get deep between your teeth and get all of the gunk out. Plus, when the hygienist flosses your teeth, it removes any plaque and toothpaste from the previous steps.

Rinsing

You will then rinse out your mouth to get rid of anything left behind. They provide the rinse, and it usually has liquid fluoride in it.

Fluoride Treatment

The final step is the fluoride treatment, which some but not all dentists will do. This is when the hygienist will ask you what flavor gel you want. Then they’ll place a gel-covered mouthpiece over your teeth and let it sit there for about a minute. This process helps deter cavities for several months afterward.

Instead of using this mouthpiece, some dentists may use a sticky paste that they brush onto your teeth.

When a dentist cleans your teeth, they’ll first scrape off any plaque and tartar. Then they’ll brush your teeth and give you a fluoride treatment. Every step is very important.

Deep Cleaning Teeth

A deep cleaning versus a simple cleaning is not like a deep tissue massage versus a light pressure massage. There is sometimes a misconception that a deep cleaning is just a more thorough cleaning, kind of like the different options you have when you go to a car wash. However, it is a procedure specifically and only for patients that have developed periodontal disease.

Periodontal diseases are mainly the result of infections, inflammation of the gums and bone surrounding and supporting the teeth. In its early stage, called gingivitis, the gums can become swollen, red, and may bleed while brushing. In its more serious form, called periodontitis, we start seeing bone loss on the x-rays, the gums start receding or peeling off the teeth. Patients sometimes notice empty triangles between the teeth, that were not there before. Teeth may loosen or even fall out.

Lasers in Deep Cleanings

Lasers have revolutionized multiple industries, and oral care is no exception. In recent years, lasers have been proven to be effective in the removal of the inflamed pocket lining around the teeth and reduce the amount of bacteria that causes periodontal disease.

We take pride in being a state-of-the-art office Periodontal disease is mostly seen in adults. Periodontal disease and tooth decay are the two biggest threats to dental health.

What Does Deep Cleaning Look Like?

It’s similar to a basic cleaning in that it involves scaling, but the hygienist will also do root planing. That’s when they will remove plaque and tartar from the roots of your teeth. Getting a deep clean may require two visits to the dental office. The idea is to get all of the bacteria removed from the pockets of your teeth, allowing the gums to heal and stay healthy.

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