Follow us on Social Media
Card image cap M-TH 8am - 5pm | Fr 8am-12pm

What to Expect During a Teeth Cleaning

Teeth Cleaning Wyoming Mi

Did you know between 10–20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear? Skipping dental appointments and regular teeth cleanings can have a negative effect on your oral health. Knowing what to expect during a teeth cleaning may help alleviate some of your dental fears so you can get the treatment you need to protect your smile.

Let’s take a step-by-step look at what you can expect to happen during a routine teeth cleaning. Our Wyoming, MI, dentists will do everything within our power to make your visit as comfortable as possible. Keep in mind that most dentists recommend getting a teeth cleaning at least once every six months.

Routine Oral Exam

When you arrive at our office, our dental hygienists will escort you back to a dentist’s chair and will start with a routine oral examination. This allows us to look for signs of gum disease, cavities, and other oral health concerns. That way, if we spot a serious problem, we can make sure our dentists address it during their own examination.

If you’re due for a new set of dental X-rays, our dental hygienists will take you to our X-ray machine to collect images of your teeth. This is a painless process that mostly involves smiling a bit awkwardly for our X-ray cameras as we take pictures of your teeth. We may place something in your mouth to bite down on so we can get the images we need.

Teeth Cleaning

After your oral exam, the teeth cleaning process will begin. This typically consists of three steps:

  1. Scraping
  2. Brushing
  3. Flossing

1. Scraping

Scraping may sound unpleasant, but it’s actually painless, and it’s crucial for your oral health.

Plaque is a thin film of bacteria that develops on the surface of your teeth over time. Typically, you can remove plaque by engaging in good oral hygiene habits: brushing two minutes twice a day and flossing daily, for example.

However, the average brusher may not remove all of the plaque on their teeth on their own. Plaque that’s left on your teeth will turn into tartar, a harder substance that’s impossible to remove on your own. In fact, tartar can only be removed with the tools and techniques of a dental professional.

Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to gum disease and tooth decay, damaging your smile and threatening your oral health. By gently scraping your teeth with a scaler, our dental hygienists will remove all of the plaque and tartar from your teeth.

2. Brushing

Next, our dental hygienists will brush your teeth. Although you’re probably used to brushing your teeth on your own, this kind of brushing is a bit different. Our dental hygienists use a grittier toothpaste and a high-powered toothbrush that, combined, allow us to polish your teeth instead of simply brush them.

3. Flossing

Finally, our dental hygienists will floss your teeth to remove any plaque or tartar that’s hiding along your gum line. We’ll use similar floss to what you use at home, but you may find that our technique is stronger and removes more plaque. Feel free to ask our hygienists if you’re flossing your teeth correctly at home and what you can do to make flossing more effective.

Dentist Inspection

Once your teeth are clean, one of our dentists will stop by to give your teeth a final inspection. Our dental hygienists will inform the dentist of any concerns they spotted during your routine oral exam. Our dentist will inspect your teeth, gums, and bite to determine if you have any other oral health issues that need to be addressed.

The dental inspection is a great time to ask our dentist any questions or concerns you may have about your smile. For example, if you’re curious about cosmetic dental procedures such as Invisalign® or porcelain veneers, feel free to mention it to our dentist. After your inspection, we’ll either schedule an appointment for any necessary or requested procedures, or we’ll schedule you for your next teeth cleaning six months out.

Schedule Your Next Visit

It’s okay to be a little nervous about going to the dentist, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting the dental care you need. Our Wyoming, MI, preventive dentists recommend six-month teeth cleanings to protect your smile and keep an eye on your oral health. Call Family Dentistry today at (616) 534-5602, or contact us online to request an appointment.