How long does a dental cleaning take?
Professional dental cleaning in lynnwood washington, done by a licensed and certified dental hygienist, removes stains, plaque, and tartar from the teeth. Regular brushing and flossing can remove some plaque, but it’s unlikely to remove all plaque, and plaque will turn to tartar and may stain if left unaddressed for too long. With periodic professional dental cleaning, which is recommended every 6-12 months, plaque, tartar, and staining can all be managed or eliminated. Additionally, regular oral hygiene and periodic professional dental cleanings can also help reduce the chances of painful and unsightly periodontal disease.
Plaque is a sticky film that develops on everyone’s teeth when saliva and mucus combine with bacteria. The bacteria can lead to gum disease and tooth decay if not addressed with routine flossing and brushing, along with regular dental visits. Eventually, plaque will harden, or calcify, and turn into tartar, also known as dental calculus. Tartar contributes to tooth decay, and it may also lead to discoloration or a foul odor. Professional dental cleanings aim to remove the plaque and tartar that gradually build up in everyone’s mouth, providing patients with a shiny, healthy smile.
While regular brushing and flossing can reduce the amount of plaque in the mouth, only a dental hygienist’s specialized tools can effectively and safely remove tartar from the surfaces of the tooth and gumline. These tools are thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and sterilized after each use, ensuring safety for each patient. Dental hygienists and dentists will use a dental mirror, which is a small, round mirror on a long handle, to allow them to see all the way into the patient’s mouth and to examine backs of teeth and molars. Dental professionals also use dental mirrors to inspect the gums, looking for any signs of inflammation or decay. The first thing your dental hygienist will do during a professional cleaning is use a small ultrasonic wand to loosen plaque and tartar on the surfaces of the teeth. This wand’s gentle vibrations loosen areas of tartar that are then rinsed away with sprayed mists of water. After dislodging more sizeable areas of tartar, the dental hygienist will begin using other hand-held tools, like a scaler, or curette. The curette is a small metal wand with a curved tip; the hygienist will use this curette to scrape away smaller tartar deposits on the teeth and to smooth the surfaces of the teeth. Each tooth is scaled individually and carefully, to ensure that all tartar is sufficiently removed. Finally, after the mouth is free of tartar and the surfaces of each tooth have been smoothed, the dental hygienist will use a different tool to polish the surface of the teeth. The polishing tool consists of a rubber cup that contains an abrasive tooth polish and spins to further smooth and polish the surface of the teeth. Finally, your dentist may apply fluoride solution to your teeth, using a soft foam tray, to strengthen the tooth enamel and protect against future plaque and tartar buildup.
Generally, routine dental cleaning is painless. Dental hygienists must apply slight pressure to effectively remove tartar and polish the teeth, but this usually does not cause any discomfort. Make sure to let your dental hygienist and dentist know if your dental cleaning is painful, as this may point to larger dental issues. They will work with you to find a pain-free solution. The average duration of a professional dental cleaning is anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. The patient reclines in a cushioned dental chair while the dental hygienist cleans and polishes the teeth. After your teeth are professionally cleaned, you will notice that they feel smooth and fresh and look shiny and bright. Professional dental cleaning is necessary for more than simply cosmetic reasons, however. Combined with twice-daily at-home brushing and regular flossing, professional dental cleaning treatments are one of the best ways to treat and prevent periodontal disease and to maintain a healthy mouth. Considering they only take about an hour once or twice a year, professional dental cleanings are a small investment to make for a healthy future for your mouth!
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