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01/24/2024

Dentists That Leave You Smiling: What To Expect During a Professional Teeth Cleaning Procedure

Regular visits to the dentist ensure long-term dental health and a great smile. In the case of dental cleaning procedures, it should be done at least twice a year.

It’s natural to dread visiting the dentist. But we’ve found that learning more about what to expect is exactly the push we need, especially for a simple teeth cleaning process.

What goes into making your teeth sparkle after a visit? What do dentists use to clean teeth? In this blog, we’ll answer some of your most pressing dental queries.

What Are the Common Dental Cleaning Steps?

The teeth cleaning process is the most straightforward of all dental health procedures. Here’s what you can expect when you first walk into your appointment:

The Examination

Before the actual scrubbing begins, your dental provider will carry out a physical inspection of your mouth. This is done to determine the extent of plaque buildup and look for any possible signs of tooth decay or conditions like gingivitis.

This inspection is done with the help of a small mirror. If any emerging dental issues are discovered, the dental provider will decide if it is safe to proceed with the teeth cleaning process or whether to refer you to a specialist for treatment.

In some cases, you may need a dental x-ray to further explore the condition of your teeth. But this is only done when a dentist needs to ensure that there are no deeper problems that aren’t immediately apparent, such as bone loss or an abscess.

The Examination

The Clean-Up 

In the next stage of the dental cleaning process, the dental provider will slowly scrape away at the plaque between your teeth in a process known as scaling. This is especially important to prevent the risk of infections or tartar from developing.

If the plaque has hardened into tartar, it should ideally be removed by an expert.
The professional will use a scaler to scrape away any plaque build-up. This handheld device has a curved blade that helps it reach areas you may otherwise miss in your daily brushing and flossing routines.

Don’t worry, though—the scraping may be slightly uncomfortable for those with sensitive teeth but is rarely painful.

The Polish

Once your teeth are free of plaque and tartar, the dentist will move on to the next step of the dental cleaning process—gritty toothpaste cleaning. The dentist will use a high-powered toothbrush and special toothpaste to gently scrub away your teeth.

This deep clean removes any remaining tartar and plaque and gives the teeth a shiny white glow. The harsh sound of the electric toothbrush may be intimidating, but once again, the process shouldn’t hurt at all.

The Floss

Much like flossing at home, a dentist’s expert floss gets rid of plaque from in between your teeth. But unlike your daily routine, a dentist will reach spots that you may miss.

This part of the teeth cleaning procedure may result in slight bleeding in the gums. This is not a cause for worry.

The Floss

The Rinse

All the remaining debris in your mouth is cleared through a quick rinse. For this stage of the dental cleaning process, a doctor may use a special fluoride-based solution.

The Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride is a mineral that is known to strengthen teeth and prevent decay, which is why you’ll find it is a main ingredient in most toothpastes.

In a professional procedure, the fluoride treatment protects your teeth against cavities for several months. It is applied as a foamy gel onto a mouthpiece that fits onto your teeth. In some cases, a fluoride varnish may also be applied with a brush. The varnish hardens, so you can eat and drink as usual without worry.

With this last stage, the dental cleaning procedure is officially complete.

How Long Does a Dental Cleaning Take

In most cases, the teeth cleaning process takes between 30 minutes to an hour. But the exact length of time depends on several factors, such as your general dental health and plaque levels.

With the initial inspection and post-fluoride treatment, the session may last up to 90 minutes. The duration may also increase depending on whether you need a dental x-ray.

A dentist in Valley Village will be able to give you a more conclusive answer to how long does a dental cleaning take? It all depends on your specific case.

Teeth Cleaning Before and After

Before you go in for a dental cleaning procedure, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Bring all your previous dental records. This will minimize the initial examination time, and your dentist can focus on subsequent dental cleaning steps.
  • Brush and floss well so it’s easier for the hygienist to identify issues.
  • Keep a list of pressing questions ready so you don’t leave without addressing potential issues you may be facing.
  • Go to the clinic well ahead of time.
  • Teeth Cleaning Before and After

    Here are some ways to maintain hygiene after the teeth cleaning process:

  • Wait 30 minutes before eating and drinking.
  • Avoid eating acidic and very hot and cold foods for a few hours, as your gums may still be a bit sensitive.
  • Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush before you go to bed.
  • While a dental cleaning procedure is largely free of side effects, in some cases, issues may arise. Look out for bleeding that doesn’t subside in a few days or gums that don’t heal as fast as they should.
  • The dental cleaning process should be carried out at least once every six months. By brushing before and after teeth cleaning and maintaining generally good oral hygiene in the interim, you can keep your teeth free of tartar, decay, and infections.

    The Bottom Line

    Having slight anxiety before visiting a dentist is normal and quite common. But the teeth cleaning process couldn’t be any easier: it’s pain-free, leaves you with a picture-perfect smile, and your dentist can point out underlying issues.

    If you’re looking for dental treatments in Valley Village or Studio City area or have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact Valley Dental Spa today.

    Our experienced team is committed to ensuring that your teeth sparkle and that you stay comfortable through the process. See you there!

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