Woman having her teeth professionally cleaned in Salmon Creek WA

One of the first lines of defense when it comes to good oral health, professional cleanings are standard practice. Along with brushing and flossing your teeth daily, a dental visit at regular intervals is the best way to maintain good oral health. It also allows us to monitor your teeth and gums on a regular basis.

Your maintenance visit is an ideal time to talk with the hygienist or dentist about any issues or concerns you are having with your teeth. Being in the office allows us to investigate any problems first hand, which is much more accurate than a phone conversation or an email. Should you have a more urgent concern, such as swelling or a broken tooth, it is important to contact us as soon as possible.

The Teeth Cleaning Process

Usually performed by the dental hygienist, the maintenance appointment will include an inspection of the teeth and surrounding oral tissues. This may also include measurements of the pockets around the teeth and necessary radiographs (x-rays).

If there is a major problem, the dentist may be called in to make sure it’s okay to proceed with the cleaning. Gingivitis, or swelling of the gums, is something that can be dealt with during the cleaning. A crumbling tooth or infection will need more immediate attention. If everything looks good, the hygienist will begin cleaning the teeth.

Using specialized instruments called scalers, the hygienist will carefully begin removing plaque and tartar from the teeth both above and below the gumline. The amount of built-up deposits you have on your teeth will determine just how much scaling will need to be done. As a general rule, regular professional visits, as well as regular brushing and flossing at home will mean an easier hygiene visit with less scraping. Everyone builds up plaque, calculus, and stain over time, but some people are more susceptible to heavy deposits. Some people benefit from having their teeth professionally cleaned more frequently in order to maintain health.

Once the scaling is complete, The teeth are polished with a specialized paste that will remove any remaining stain and give the teeth a shine and a smooth feeling. Often a fluoride treatment will follow which serves to fortify the enamel against decay.

More than just a cleaning

It’s during the regularly scheduled cleanings that we will assess your gum and bone health by measuring with a periodontal probe. This is a good indicator of how the tooth supporting structures are doing. Any necessary radiographs will be made, and a thorough exam by the dentist will be completed. The exam will include a review of the information gathered, an inspection of all the oral tissues, and an oral cancer screening exam.

Regular professional teeth cleanings are just one of the dental hygiene services we provide at Creekside Dental. Through these visits, we’re able to help you maintain excellent oral hygiene and health. If you have any more questions about teeth cleanings or other procedures we perform, please contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.