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Focused dentist with dental drill cleaning bad patient's teeth

What To Expect At Your Next Dental Cleaning

Teeth cleanings should be done by a dental professional at least once every six months. For some, going to the dentist may be scary, but there’s no need to worry when making your appointment for a dental cleaning. 

Today, your reliable dentists at WhiteWing Dental in McAllen, TX, will describe what you should expect in a dental cleaning so that you’re prepared for your next visit. 

What Is a Dental Cleaning?

A dental cleaning is performed by a dental professional to keep your teeth and gums clean. A typical teeth cleaning takes 30 to 60 minutes and the vast majority of dental offices follow a similar routine. 

Before your cleaning begins, your dental hygienist will use a small mirror to check your mouth for any signs of oral problems, such as inflamed gums, plaque, tartar, build-up, or dark spots on teeth. This allows the dental hygienist to identify what to focus on when preparing for your cleaning. If any serious issues are found, your dental hygienist will alert your dentist so that it can be further examined. 

The next step involves your dental hygienist using a small hooked tool called a scaler so that they can remove any plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth, near the gum line, and in-between the teeth. 

After the scaler is used, your dental hygienist will polish your teeth while also removing any stains using a handheld tool and a gritty toothpaste referred to as prophylaxis paste. After this is done, they will then floss your teeth to eliminate any remaining plaque or paste. 

In some dental offices, they will finish off with a fluoride treatment. Oftentimes the patient will get to choose the flavor and then they will be required to leave the mouthpiece in their mouth for a minute. 

Is a Dental Cleaning Painful?

For most patients, a dental cleaning is not considered a painful process. However, there are certain factors that might make it uncomfortable for certain individuals, including: 

    • ① Dental sensitivity due to inflammation, tooth decay, or gum disease  
    • ② Jaw pain due to TMJ (temporomandibular disorders) 
    • ③ Waiting a long time in between cleanings 

If you ever experience pain throughout a dental cleaning, you should always let your dental hygienist know. In most cases, the dental hygienist will give you a break from the cleaning or attempt a different, less painful method. 

Should I Be Worried About Getting a Dental Cleaning?

Having a fear of routine dental visits is common among adults and nothing to be embarrassed about.

However, there is no reason to be afraid of going to the dentist for your dental cleaning. Dental cleanings are part of dental hygienists’ daily routine and are generally performed several times a day. Even though dental cleanings can feel rather uncomfortable and invasive, they are important to keep up with so that you can prevent dental disease and save yourself from some serious dental issues down the road. 

Along with regular dental cleanings, it is also critical to stay in the habit of flossing and brushing in between visits to make sure plaque and tartar do not build up in your mouth. 

Don’t push off a dental cleaning – keep your pearly whites healthy and bright when you stop by WhiteWing Dental!

If you want to maintain a healthy mouth, part of that involves going for routine dental cleanings to make sure everything is how it should be. Remember when you are afraid, that the dental issues that can arise are much more of a cause for worry. 

We can ensure that we will accommodate you as much as we can to make your experience as comfortable and safe as possible.

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