These appointments help set the tone for your entire oral healthcare plan, from what dental services you may need in the future to oral hygiene tips you should be practicing at home.
Keeping Your Teeth Clean and Gums Happy
Dental cleanings are one of the most important things that we do at Abra Dental (formerly ChildSmiles•FamilySmiles)! These appointments help set the tone for your entire oral healthcare plan, from what dental services you may need in the future to oral hygiene tips you should be practicing at home. We can tell a lot about your oral health from the moment you open your mouth and say, “ahh.”
What Happens During a Dental Cleaning?
Every dental cleaning appointment begins with a physical examination. One of Abra Dental’s dental hygienists will walk you or your child through the entire process so everyone can feel calm and enjoy their appointment. Before the actual cleaning process begins, we will start with a physical examination of the entire mouth.
We use a small mirror to check the teeth and gums for any physical signs of gum disease or other potential concerns. If they notice anything of interest, they may inform your dentist to ensure it is safe to proceed with the cleaning.
Remove Plaque and Tartar
Using the same small mirror to guide them, your dental hygienist will begin scaling and polishing each tooth as needed. This process gets rid of the plaque and tartar around the gum line and between the teeth. You may hear scraping, which can be scary to some children, but the process itself should not hurt. We do our best to distract children during the entire cleaning process to keep them from being uncomfortable.
The more tartar that is present in your mouth, the longer this process will take. We recommend following Abra Dental oral hygiene instructions to prevent plaque buildup in the future.
Toothpaste Cleaning and Polishing
After removing all the tartar from your teeth, your hygienist will brush them with a high-powered electric toothbrush. Again, this tool may sound scary due to its grinding noise, but the process itself is painless. This step allows us to polish each tooth and remove any plaque or bacteria that may remain after scaling.
Many patients enjoy this step because the toothpaste has a similar smell and taste to regular toothpaste used at home. The difference is that our toothpaste has a gritty consistency that gently scrubs the teeth. As part of a professional dental cleaning, this gritty toothpaste is completely safe. However, it is important that you do not brush too rough at home during regular cleanings because it is not good for the enamel.
Professional flossing doesn’t replace flossing regularly at home. Your dental hygienist will floss deep between the teeth to remove any stuck food or debris. Most patients bleed during this process because they skip flossing at home. However, your hygienist will be extremely gentle and will provide you with the education you need to make flossing daily a part of your oral care routine.
Usually a short step in the dental cleaning process, rinsing is designed to quickly remove any debris that remains from the first few steps.
The final step of the dental cleaning process is a fluoride treatment, which is designed to protect your teeth and fight against cavities. Our fluoride treatments are foamy and will be inserted into a mouthpiece that you’ll wear over your teeth for just one minute.
How Often Should I Schedule a Dental Cleaning?
Teeth cleanings should be scheduled twice a year for both children and adults. X-rays are usually only scheduled once per year and can be completed when you are here for one of our cleanings.
The American Dental Association recommends a child’s first dental visit should occur around 12 months old. The earlier we can detect and fix problems while encouraging healthy habits, the greater long-term health success your child will have!