Growing up, many of us used to hate going to the dentist’s office for our dental cleaning. However, as we got older, we realized that it’s a part of life we just have to put up with if we want to keep our teeth in our old age. Healthline suggests you should get your teeth cleaned once a year for your dental exam. Choosing a handy dentist near to you might help you keep that appointment. We’ve gone into much detail on our blog about why you should have a dental cleaning, but what does it really involve? Let’s break down the process for you here.

More Than Just Plaque Removal

Many people avoid dental cleanings because they think it’s just removing plaque from their mouths, but there’s more at play here than just that. Before a dentist even begins cleaning, they will subject the patient to a thorough review of their teeth, gums, jaw, face, and neck muscles for anything odd. This superficial examination helps highlight issues that the patient may have and offer clues as to what the patient might also be suffering from. If the patient has concerns or the dentist notices something strange, they might consider taking x-rays to confirm or deny their suspicions. After this cursory examination is over, the actual cleaning can begin.

Scaling to Remove Residue

Inside your mouth are two types of residue. The hard residue is known as plaque, but there’s also a softer residue called calculus. Dentists use a procedure called scaling to remove these residuals from your teeth. Typically, power-driven scalers are used to clean your teeth. Once the plaque and calculus are gone, they can use an abrasive polisher to get your teeth white and shiny. A dentist might opt to give you a fluoride treatment at the end of the cleaning. Fluoride is a crucial component in having solid and resilient teeth throughout your lifetime.

What Happens After a Cleaning?

The cleaning usually leaves you feeling a bit out-of-sorts for a while afterward. Depending on how much scaling was done and if any power tools were used, you might feel disoriented and worse for wear. If you run your tongue over your teeth, however, you’ll feel a smooth, silky texture there. It might feel completely different from the usual texture your teeth might have had pre-cleaning. Your dentist will likely instruct you on keeping your teeth clean for the long haul. It’s in your best interests to follow the dental hygienist’s advice, as they are professionals and experienced in the matter. Following just a few simple steps will set you up for long terms dental and hygienic success. And if you don’t, they’ll know the next time you come in for a dental cleaning!