Frequently Asked Questions on Dental Cleanings

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How often should I get a dental cleaning?
Dentists generally recommend attending your dental checkups at least every six months. If you suffer from gum disease, your dentist may recommend attending more frequent checkups, like every three months. However, if you feel as though you need your teeth cleaned on a more regular basis, you are more than welcome to discuss that with your dentist.

Why do I need a dental cleaning?
Dental cleanings are very important because they not only deep clean your teeth, but they also reduce the chances of developing periodontal (gum) disease. The type of cleaning they provide at the office is not one you can do at home, and it is one of the only treatments that can help prevent oral diseases. Dental cleanings are also important because they give your dentist the chance to prevent dental issues as well as treat any problems at the early stages of development.

Are dental cleanings painful?
No, dental cleanings are not typically painful. They do, however, involve small tooth vibrations and some pressure. If these sensations make you feel uncomfortable, you can let us know and we will do our best to be as gentle as possible.

What happens during a dental cleaning?
Your dental cleaning will begin with the dentist or hygienist scraping the plaque from your teeth with a special tool. The tool will either be a small metal instrument with a blade-like end or an ultrasonic vibrating device that shakes the plaque loose. Once the plaque is removed or loose, the dentist or hygienist will wash it away with a stream of water. Then, the dentist or hygienist will polish your teeth with a special paste. This paste might leave a gritting feeling in your mouth, but it won’t last long because you will have the chance to rinse your mouth. The dentist or hygienist will conclude the cleaning by flossing your teeth. If it’s necessary, you will also receive a fluoride treatment that will come in the form of a foam, gel, or varnish.

How do I keep my smile clean after the appointment?
After your cleaning, you will need to brush your teeth after each meal or at least every morning and every night. You will also need to floss and rinse your mouth with mouthwash once a day. Please use fluoride toothpaste while you brush and bacteria-killing or fluoride mouthwash while you rinse.

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