As you sit back in the chair at the dental office for a teeth cleaning, you may be wondering what is going on inside your mouth to get that job done. Here is what you need to know about how a teeth cleaning is performed.
Your dentist will probably start by getting out some dental floss and actually flossing your teeth. This will help remove any loose plaque that is on the surfaces between your teeth and make it a bit easier to start cleaning with the scalers.
The Ultrasonic Scaler
A common tool that a dentist will use to start off a teeth cleaning is an ultrasonic scaler, which uses a combination of vibrations and water to remove tartar, plaque, and stains from your teeth. The dentist has the ability to increase or decrease the power of the ultrasonic scaler, which may be done if they notice you are more sensitive to the more powerful setting. This tool is highly effective at removing most of the buildup of material on your teeth.
The Hand Scalers
A dentist does not just use one instrument to clean your teeth. They'll do another pass at your teeth with a variety of different hand scalers. You may not be aware that there are different scalers that are used to remove plaque and tartar from different parts of the teeth. For example, because of how they approach the tooth, there is a scalar designed to be used on the front and back surface of your front teeth. The scalers for the front of the teeth are going to have a bigger curve to them. The hand scalers help ensure that all surfaces of every tooth have been cleaned thoroughly and properly.
Once all the surfaces of the teeth can be cleaned, your dentist can start the process of polishing the teeth. Polishing is designed mainly to help remove stains on your teeth. Having it done every six months will help fight off those foods that may have left your teeth a slightly different color. The polishing process also helps smooth out the surfaces of your teeth. If the surfaces are very smooth, it will be much harder for plaque and tartar to collect on your teeth.
Have more questions about the cleaning process? Make sure to ask your family dentist during your next visit. They'll likely be more than happy to describe what they are doing during the cleaning.