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Taking care of your teeth is an important part of your overall health. If left unchecked a simple toothache can lead to disease which can then spread to the rest of your body. Visiting your local Idaho Falls Dental office to maintain your oral health and have regular preventative dental visits can save yourself time, money and aches. Regular dental cleanings are the best and easiest way to keep up on your dental health.

What to Expect During a Cleaning

For some people having a standard dental cleaning can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. For others it’s just another simple and painless process for maintaining your health. The general recommendation is to have a dental cleaning twice a year, every 6 months. If you have gum disease the recommendation is every 3 months. If you know what to expect going into your dental visit you can help alleviate some of your anxiety. A standard cleaning usually includes:Dental X-ray

  • X-rays: X-rays are generally only performed once a year depending on your dentist and your insurance plan. X-rays are a quick and harmless way to assess the state of your teeth and gums. X-rays can alert the dentist of bone loss, oral abnormalities, tooth decay, tumors and cysts, gum disease or movement of your teeth.
  • Physical Exam: This step is performed by a dental hygienist. They use a small mirror to look around your mouth to assess if there are any signs of gingivitis or any other potential concerns.
  • Removal of Plaque and Tartar: During this step the dental hygienist will use what’s called a scaler to remove the plaque and tartar around your gum line and between your teeth. You may hear some scraping noises and that is completely normal. Plaque is the bacteria that builds up in your mouth and on your teeth. You are able to remove plaque yourself by brushing and flossing on a regular basis. It’s recommended to brush and floss your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time. If plaque sits too long it can harden and then turn into tartar. Tartar should only be removed by a professional. Attempting to remove it yourself could potentially harm your teeth and gums.
  • Polishing and Flossing: The next step consists of using a high-powered electric toothbrush and gritty toothpaste to clean and polish your teeth. Most dentists offer a couple of different flavored toothpastes such as mint, bubblegum, strawberry and sometimes even chocolate! After polishing, the dental hygienist will floss your teeth. During the flossing process the hygienist can potentially find trouble spots. If the floss catches or your gums begin to bleed this can be a sign of other dental problems.
  • Fluoride Treatment: The final step of your dental cleaning is the application of a fluoride treatment. This treatment is used as a protectant for your teeth to help fight against future cavities. Just like with the toothpaste, fluoride is also often offered in different flavors. The foamy gel is put in a mouthpiece that fits over your teeth. The mouthpiece is left in your mouth for about one minute. Afterwards you will rinse out the excess fluoride with water.

Friendly DentistOnce all of these steps have been completed your dentist will then enter and perform a final examination. During this examination they will review your x-rays and look in your mouth. If there are any concerns with the x-rays or physical examination they will be addressed during this time. Also, if you have any questions or concerns yourself now is the time to discuss them with your dentist. Majority of dental patients find this whole process quick and painless. However, it’s important to let your dentist know of any discomforts during the examination so they can be evaluated and recommend alternative options to help your teeth cleaning and daily oral health be more enjoyable. From start to finish, your normal dental cleaning is over in under an hour.

Now that you’re aware of the ins and outs of a dental cleaning you should be able to confidently schedule your next dental cleaning to help maintain your dental health. If you’re looking for an experienced, friendly and trusted dentist, Contact Us to make your appointment now.

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