Dental Cleaning FAQs

How often should I get a dental cleaning?
Dental cleanings are very beneficial, and dentists today strongly recommend attending a dental cleaning appointment every six months. However, if you have major dental issues, like periodontal disease, it is generally recommended to get your teeth cleaned every three months. But, if you would like to know how often to attend these appointments based on your specific oral health situation, you are more than welcome to ask your dentist.

Why should I get a dental cleaning?
Dental cleanings are very important, and they are vital if you wish to maintain a healthy, beautiful, and functional smile. These appointments deeply clean your smile, eliminate risks associated with gum disease, and prevent major dental problems. This cleaning process is only available in the dental office—not at home.

Are dental cleanings painful?
Dental cleanings are not painful. They do, however, involve small tooth vibrations and small amounts of pressure. If these sensations make you feel uncomfortable, the dental team is more than happy to do whatever they can to help you feel more comfortable and safe. If it helps, you can establish a key word or signal that means “stop” before you begin your cleaning. That way, you will have the control and comfort you need in the dental chair.

What is involved in a dental cleaning?
First, your dentist or hygienist will cover your chest and clothes with a bib-like cloth. Then, they will begin to clean your smile by removing the plaque from your teeth with a small metal tool or with an ultrasonic vibration device. When the plaque is removed or loosened, you will rinse your mouth with cool, refreshing water. Second, your dentist or hygienist will polish your teeth with paste. This may leave a gritty feeling in your mouth, but it won’t last long after you rinse your mouth. Third, they will then floss your smile and clean between each tooth, freeing any food particles that are stuck. Fourth, they will conclude the cleaning with a fluoride treatment, which will come in the form of a foam, gel, or varnish. This treatment will nourish and strengthen your smile.

How do I keep my teeth clean after my appointment?
In order to keep your smile clean, you will need to brush your teeth twice a day, floss your teeth at least once a day, and rinse your mouth daily. If possible, brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water after each meal and snack. As you brush, please use fluoride toothpaste. As you rinse, please use bacteria-killing or fluoride mouthwash.

7 Instructions to Follow After Wisdom Teeth Removal

The procedure to remove your wisdom teeth is a major surgery. However, with the proper preparation and care from you and your dentist, you can undergo this procedure without any problem. However, afterwards you still need to follow some steps to continue preventing complications from the surgery. Here are 7 after-care instructions for wisdom teeth removal.

  1. Avoid tobacco and alcohol use because these substances irritate oral tissue, dry out the mouth, and can slow the healing process.
  2. Eat soft foods after your wisdom teeth are removed. Do not eat foods which are chewy, hard, spicy, or hot.
  3. Drink plenty of water after the surgery and avoid beverages which are acidic, spicy, caffeinated, hot, and carbonated.
  4. Rest for a few days after the procedure because if you increase your blood pressure you can dislodge the blood clot that is protecting the extraction site.
  5. Avoid using a straw or spitting for a day or two after the wisdom teeth are removed because doing so can also dislodge the blood clot.
  6. If you are experiencing pain or swelling, apply a cold compress to your face and also take some painkillers.
  7. You can begin gently brushing your teeth 24 hours after the procedure and rinsing your mouth with salt water to keep it clean.

Words of Advice From an Experienced Dentist

As a patient, you probably have a lot of questions for your dentist. But have you ever wondered how many questions and/or comments your doctor has for you? Here are five things dentists around the country say they want to say to their patients as they are working on their mouths:

1. You probably aren’t brushing enough – Most people brush for less than one minute – leaving more than half of the plaque from the night before still on their teeth. Brushing for the full two minutes ensures that all plaque is reached by the toothbrush.

2. You can’t be healthy without a healthy mouth – Many assume that your mouth is an entirely separate thing when it comes to health, but, in reality, it is indicative of the health of the rest of your body. If your mouth is unhealthy, chances are the rest of your body isn’t healthy either.

3. Take a closer look at your tongue – The tongue gives a lot of information regarding the health of the rest of the body. For example, if the tip of the tongue is red, it can be a sign of thyroid or heart problems; if the tongue has a yellow/green tint, it can mean liver or gallbladder problems. We often think of the mouth as simply the teeth and gums, but it is really a lot more than that.

4. Bleeding gums are a red flag – It is common for gums to bleed a little bit after a good, long brushing or cleaning, but excessive gum bleeding can mean significant inflammation and infection that has potential to spread to the rest of your body.

5. Oral cancer is one of the most deadly cancers – People don’t check for signs of oral cancer as much as they should, as it is one of the most deadly cancers. Signs of multiple, consistent lesions on the tongue or in the mouth. No matter how small they may be, say something to the dentist. It could end up saving your life.

6. Too much exercise can ruin your smile – Exercise is very healthy for the body, but if one does not stay properly hydrated and exercises too much, your smile can be affected. Sweat diminishes the amount of saliva in the mouth, leading to dehydration. Sports drinks are often consumed during exercise, as well, and those are full of sugars that can ruin your teeth and gums.

7. Tell your dentist if you take Aspirin daily – While many don’t consider this a “drug”, it can have an effect on bleeding if taken consistently. If you take Aspirin daily, it can lead to intensified bleeding at the dentist when you need to get work done on your mouth. If the dentist knows this is a possibility beforehand, he can account for that during the procedure.

Am I Brushing My Teeth Too Hard?

Believe it or not, brushing and flossing your teeth too hard can harm your mouth. Learn about the damage it can cause and how to correctly brush and floss without problem.

Vigorous Brushing And Flossing Damage

  • Brushing your teeth too hard can actually rub away enamel. Even though tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body, it is still susceptible to the wear of mechanical abrasion caused by vigorous tooth brushing.
  • Gingival recession can occur when you brush your teeth too hard. This condition causes the gums to recede and expose tooth roots.
  • Flossing vigorously can also harm the gingival tissue. When the floss is snapped up against the gums, it can cause bleeding.

Tips On Correctly Brushing And Flossing Teeth

  • Don’t snap floss up against the gum line. Instead, slowly rub it up between the teeth and curve it away from the gum when you slide it between the gum and the tooth.
  • Brush gently using short, back and forth motions.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste and a toothbrush with soft bristles.
  • If you still experience bleeding gums and pain when you brush and floss your teeth, you may need to see your dentist.