Getting Your Teeth Cleaned
Cleaning your teeth every day at home, while important, is only part of a successful routine. Visiting your dentist at least once a year will help ensure a healthy mouth. Your dentist will use professional tools to remove plaque, tartar and bacteria build-up that you are generally unable to efficiently clean yourself. Combining regular brushing and flossing with an annual dentist’s office visit will not only give you a more confident smile, but it will also help protect you from tooth decay, tooth loss and gum disease.
What Is a Teeth Cleaning?
A professional teeth cleaning is a procedure in which your dentist uses a variety of tools to help deep clean your gums and the surface of your teeth. First, your dental hygienist will use an ultrasonic cleaner and a water sprayer to loosen and remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums. Your dental hygienist will then scrape additional plaque and tartar off your teeth by using a metal tool called a hand scaler. You could feel mild discomfort during this part of the procedure. Your dental hygienist may also sand and smooth the roots of your teeth in order to remove plaque and other bacteria. Finally, the dental hygienist brushes your teeth with a rotary toothbrush and a gritty type of toothpaste that polishes and cleans your teeth. After doing this, your dental hygienist may floss your teeth or give you a fluoride treatment to strengthen them.
How Often Should I Get My Teeth Cleaned?
The American Dental Association recommends that you visit your dentist at least twice a year to get a routine examination and cleaning. If you have a history of gum disease, you should get your teeth cleaned more often in order to prevent the recurrence of infections or disease. You should also have your teeth cleaned more often if you suffer from chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease due to the link between these diseases and tooth problems.
If you smoke, you should consider quitting. Smoking can permanently stain your teeth and create other tooth and gum problems. If you do not intend to quit smoking, you should get your teeth cleaned more frequently. Talk to your dentist to find out exactly how often you should get your teeth cleaned.
Why Do My Gums Bleed After a Teeth Cleaning?
If you have a lot of bacteria built up in your mouth, it can irritate your gums so that they become more sensitive and bleed more easily. This can happen after you visit your dentist for a teeth cleaning, because the dentist has to brush and touch instruments against your teeth and gums. Your gums may remain sensitive for a day or two after a cleaning.