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The Steps of a Standard Dental Cleaning

It’s okay to admit it. The dentist’s chair may not be your very favorite place in the world to spend a Saturday morning. But don’t forget that your time in that chair ensures that your teeth remain strong, healthy, and white for years to come.

So what exactly happens at a regular dental cleaning at your St. Petersburg dentist office that is necessary every six months for optimal oral health?

dental office


A dental hygienist is responsible for cleaning your teeth before the dentist comes in to take a look around. Before dental cleaning, however, your hygienist will complete a physical exam of your entire mouth using a small mirror to see from all angles. She does this to check for any obvious problems like the swollen and inflamed gums of gingivitis, cavities, or odd residue on your tongue.

Remove Tartar and Plaque

This is the step that requires the picking tools that cause many people anxiety. In reality, all the hygienist does during this phase is scrape away plaque and tartar from in between the teeth and where the teeth meet the gums. The scraping you hear is necessary to separate the tartar from your teeth.

Plaque can be removed at home with floss and a toothbrush, but plaque turns to tartar when it hardens, and at that point it can only be removed by a dentist. This can be a learning experience to determine if you need to take better care of your teeth at home.

The Electric Brush

Kids might know this brush as “Mr. Tickle,” but adults know it as the spinning electric brush that applies gritty toothpaste for an extra deep cleaning. This brush helps to catch any hidden tarter and scrub your teeth for a better clean than your regular toothbrush can accomplish.

Floss, Rinse, Fluoride

Once all of the hard work is done, your hygienist will floss your teeth with dental expertise, ask you to rinse your mouth out, and then apply a cavity-busting fluoride treatment if it’s appropriate. Afterward, the dentist comes in to check out your mouth and make notes. This gives you a chance to bring up any concerns you may have, like increased tooth sensitivity.

See, a trip to the dentist really isn’t frightening at all. It’s a quick and simple process that helps keep your teeth in the best condition possible.

Updated: March 5, 2016 — 10:19 pm
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