Teeth cleanings are an integral part of any oral health regimen. When completed regularly, cleanings can help treat and prevent anything from periodontal disease to tooth decay. Cleanings are also critical in helping dentists catch and treat issues like cavities, bone loss, and even oral cancer. These preventative treatments also help patients with conditions like diabetes manage the impact of those conditions on their overall oral health. Cicero Family Dental Care can clean your teeth and treat any conditions found during your visit.
What Happens During A Dental Cleaning?
A cleaning, also called prophylaxis, is traditionally completed by a dental hygienist. Dental hygienist is a specialty within dentistry that requires specific trainings for them to perform their jobs. During the procedure, the hygienist will scrape any tartar that is attached to a patient's teeth or just below the gum line. The hygienist will also use a vibrating tool to loosen any remaining tartar or plaque in those areas. They will also floss in between all of your teeth. Once complete, they will use a polishing tool on the enamel of your teeth.
After your cleaning is complete, then the dentist will come and complete an oral exam to look for any issues such as cavities or periodontal disease. They will also look at any areas of concern the hygienist noticed during their cleaning. A treatment plan for any issues will be created, and any needed future appointments will be scheduled to treat the issues that are found in your appointment.
How Often Should A Person Have A Dental Cleaning?
The standard for dental cleanings is twice per year. While an individual with good oral hygiene habits can help prevent plaque from building up, they can’t remove it once it has attached to a person’s teeth. Only a professional cleaning from a hygienist can do that. To make sure that there isn’t significant buildup on a person’s teeth, they should receive a professional cleaning twice per year. As an FYI—most dental insurance plans also cover two cleanings per year for policyholders.
Studies backup this treatment plan. A person who has two professional cleanings per year is shown to have fewer cavities than those who do not maintain this standard.
Do Dental Cleanings Hurt?
As a general rule, dental cleanings should not hurt. Hygienists are trained to perform these procedures without causing pain. If a patient has gum disease or other oral health issues, a cleaning may feel uncomfortable and increase a patient's sensitivity to treatment. These issues can complicate a standard cleaning. Once any oral hygiene issues have been resolved, the discomfort should dissipate.
How Soon After A Cleaning can You Resume Normal Activities?
Technically, you can resume normal activities like eating and drinking right away. Not every patient will want to though. Some individuals experience teeth sensitivity for a few hours after their cleaning is complete. However, a person should be ready to resume normal activities within 24 hours.
Regular cleanings are vital to a person's oral health. If you have fallen behind on your routine cleanings, Cicero Family Dental Care can help you get back on your twice per year schedule. Contact us today at (680) 688-6026 to schedule your appointment.