There are people who consider professional teeth cleanings to be optional. They reason that they do just fine by brushing properly, using floss, and making the best of a higher quality mouthwash. While all those efforts are great and they do contribute to general dental health, they are not replacements for a professional dental cleaning. Here are some basics that you should know about those cleanings and why they are so important.
What is Included in Dental Cleaning?
The typical dental cleaning includes more than you may realize. A key task is the removal or plaque and tartar from between the teeth. That includes any residue that’s collected along the gum line. Along with the spaces between teeth, the professional conducting the dental cleaning will also go over the surfaces of the teeth carefully and remove any buildup found there.
While the cleaning is in progress, you are also having a dental exam. The professional is on the lookout for signs of any type of tooth decay, swelling or bleeding around the gum line, and general wear on the teeth. The goal is to determine if there are any issues developing that will eventually require some attention.
You can also expect the professional to floss your teeth. This is often done after the buildup is removed. Flossing helps to determine if there is any residue left. If so, the professional may spend a little more time removing residue from between the teeth.
The last step is typically a polishing. This requires brushing the surface of the teeth using agents designed to lift and remove any lingering residue. The product used is often slightly gritty, but the process will not harm the enamel. Once the work is completed, your mouth will feel fresher than it has in some time.
Does a Dental Cleaning Hurt?
Generally, undergoing a dental cleaning in Barrie, Ontario does not involve any discomfort. You are not placed under any type of sedation and there’s not any local anesthetic administered in most cases. You are awake and aware for the duration of the cleaning.
While you are not hurting, you will feel the movement of the instruments as they are used to remove residue between the teeth and along the gum line. The sensation feels somewhat like using floss at home. From time to time, you may be asked to rinse, providing the professional with an opportunity to make sure an area is cleared of any residue.
There are situations that would make your teeth more sensitive during a cleaning. For example, tooth decay often triggers greater sensitivity on and around the affected tooth. If there is any type of gum infection or disease present, that may also increase the odds of feeling some discomfort.
If you do feel any pain, let the professional know immediately. Describe the pain and where it seems to hurt. A closer inspection will usually reveal the origin of the pain and make it possible to arrange for the proper treatment.
What is the Difference Between Regular Cleaning and Deep Cleaning?
You may hear dental professionals refer to a regular or basic dental cleaning. Perhaps you’ve heard of a deep dental cleaning. The deep cleaning will include everything that you find with a basic cleaning: removing residue, polishing the teeth, checking for obvious signs of developing issues, and a final flossing.
The deep cleaning will also include taking a set of X-rays before the cleaning commences. They can be helpful in identifying pockets of residue that may not be apparent to the eye immediately. Once the cleaning is complete, a second set of X-rays are also taken. This helps to show if all the residue is gone.
A deep cleaning may also include screenings for different types or problems. This is especially true if you’ve had an infection or some type of gum disease in the past. The screenings matter since your dental health do have an impact on your general health.
If there is any gum disease detected, the deep cleaning will include procedures known as scaling and root planing. Both are designed to remove buildup that may be lurking just below the gum line. In many cases, removing the source of the irritation coupled with the right type of medication will clear up the gum disease or infection quickly.
Checking for Oral Cancer
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, 4,700 people were diagnosed with oral cavity cancer during the calendar year of 2017. During that same period, 1,250 people died from the condition. Men were twice as likely to develop and die from the cancer than women.
Having a professional clean your teeth makes it easier to check for oral cancer and to take swift action if the condition is present. As with any form of cancer, early detection is key to stopping it from spreading and increasing the odds of survival.
Since oral cancer can develop quickly, it’s important to have your teeth professional cleaned at least twice a year. It’s not overdoing it to have your teeth cleaned every three months. Along with protecting your oral and general health, you get to enjoy the other benefits that result from the cleanings.
Sweeten Your Breath
You already know how fresh your mouth feels right after a cleaning. The sensations often linger for a few days, provided you brush after meals, floss, and use mouthwash. Along with the great sensation, the cleaning goes a long way to freshen your breath. That’s important any time, but especially important if you work closely with other people. The last thing you need is for your breath to make a bad impression on a prospective client. From this perspective, the dental cleaning cost can be seen as an investment in continuing to be successful in your career.
Spot and Eliminate Gum Infections
A standard and deep dental cleaning certainly makes it easier to identify and treat gum infections. With the residue out of the way, the professional can see signs that something is not quite right with the gums. That leads to taking a set of X-rays that help to tell a little more about the severity of the condition. Paired with the cleaning, the right treatment fort the infection will help to clear it up quickly. That’s important, since an ongoing gum infection can have negative effects on the rest of your body.
Reduce The Risk of Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is one of the most common dental issues. Choosing to have regular cleanings makes it easier to spot the decay and take action before any more of the tooth is affected. Remember that decay weakens teeth and increases the odds of needing an extraction or a root canal. When a simple dental cleaning procedure reveals the first signs of decay on a tooth, it’s much easier to remove the decayed portion and install a quick filling. Thanks to the fact that the problem was caught early, the tooth remains relatively strong.
Minimize the Need for a Number of Dental Procedures
So many issues can be caught during even a routine dental cleaning that it makes the time and expense worth it. Correcting dental issues early on means that there is less damage and fewer complicating factors to deal with later on. Since some dental issues will spread throughout the gums and even begin to affect surrounding teeth, it’s a good thing to correct conditions early on. Doing so means you are less likely to need more frequent and more comprehensive procedures later on.
You Save Yourself Pain in the Long Run
No one is a fan of dental pain. If you would prefer to avoid toothaches and pain from gum swelling, two or more dental cleanings per year is a good idea. By removing residue that could cause problems and spotting existing problems early on, you greatly reduce the risk of experiencing any type of oral pain.
You Get to Keep Your Teeth Longer
Healthy teeth that are cleaned properly translate into keeping those natural teeth for more years. That’s why you should have cleanings even during special circumstances. Did you know that it’s possible to have a dental cleaning while pregnant? In fact, your physician may recommend it. Along with reducing the potential for complications, you continue effective dental care that keeps your teeth healthy throughout the pregnancy and for years to come.
You’ll Feel More Comfortable Smiling
If you need more incentive, understand that all types of dental cleaning improve the look of your smile. They ensure the teeth are perfectly clean and not marred by any buildup between the teeth. That makes it all the easier to relax and smile as much as you like in social settings. That can only mean good things for your professional as well as your personal life.
Would you like to know more about dental cleaning? Perhaps you have more questions about oral cancer screening during a cleaning, or wonder if you should have a dental cleaning before surgery. Your dentist can answer these questions and any others that come to mind. If it’s been some time since your last cleaning, schedule one today. You’ll be glad that you did.