A routine dental cleaning, or teeth cleaning, is a key part of maintaining optimal oral health and hygiene. Most dental cleanings take around 30 minutes to complete in our office in Madisonville, LA and are performed by one of our talented hygienists. We recommend coming in every six months for your teeth cleaning. Doing so helps prevent excessive plaque buildup and when paired with a routine exam by Dr. Ferrara, allows us to examine your teeth for potential problems. Plaque left untreated can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay which is why it is important we fight it off as proactively as possible.
What happens during a routine cleaning?
Scaling - A routine dental cleaning typically begins with scaling. Scaling is the process of removing plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces with a variety of methods, depending on the amount of plaque and tartar. It is a non-surgical procedure and dental hygienists traditionally perform scaling by hand. However, new and advanced technology has led to more modern methods such as electric scalers. This sophisticated tool allows dental cleanings to be performed more efficiently and in less time while also maximizing comfort for patients. Both electric and manual scaling methods can be combined to achieve the best results.
Polishing - After scaling is performed, polishing completes the cleaning process. Polishing is done by attaching a small rubber cup to a dental drill and dipping the cup in an abrasive polishing compound, which often feels like a gritty toothpaste and can come in a variety of flavors. This compound is then used to clean the teeth and is completely safe if swallowed. As the gritty compound rubs the teeth it smooths out the surface of the tooth, minimizing the chance of future plaque build-up.
Flossing - Following polishing, your dental hygienist may want to floss your teeth. Flossing during your cleaning may seem unnecessary if you are a routine flosser at home, but it allows our team to take a deeper look at your gums and make note of any bleeding or other potential problems. It is also nice to have a professional floss your teeth so any leftover debris from the scaling and polishing processes is sure to be removed.
Rinsing - Once your teeth have been scaled, polished and flossed, your hygienist will rinse your mouth out with water to get rid of any remaining debris.
Our hygienists work with a gentle touch throughout your entire teeth cleaning to ensure each step of the process is as comfortable as possible. We will work at a pace that is ideal for you.