Tooth decay is a big deal. It can lead to expensive and complicated dental procedures that are normally quite avoidable. One way to avoid tooth decay is to regularly have your teeth cleaned by one of our dental hygienists. This short visit is very helpful in keeping your gums and teeth clean so that you can avoid tooth decay or more significant problems down the road.
Because of dental phobias and anxieties, some patients fear a dental cleaning or any type of visit to their dentist. This, ironically, leads to an eventual dental visit where some level of anxiety may actually be justified when dental problems grow worse due to neglect. Our goal is to ensure that you have a thorough understanding of what should be expected during a teeth cleaning so that your experience is completely free of stress.
The goal of dental cleaning is to ensure that tooth decay is prevented. Your mouth contains millions of bacteria at all times, even if you are taking care of things at home with your oral care routine. However, some bacteria will always remain. Bacteria eventually forms a sticky film that adheres to the surface of the teeth. Called plaque, this material eventually hardens into something called tartar. Tartar can only be removed by a dental professional.
As tooth decay progresses, the acidic substances secreted by the bacteria began to eat away at the outer surface of the tooth; the enamel. Now you have a tooth cavity. The layer under the enamel is known as the dentin, which is a softer tooth structure than enamel.
Once infection reaches the dentin, things progress very quickly. What we don't want to happen is for infection to reach the inner part of your tooth: the dental pulp. This is soft, living tissue containing many nerves and blood vessels that support your tooth. An infection at this point usually results in a root canal procedure or a tooth extraction.
By keeping up with your regular dental cleanings, you are helping to prevent the necessity for expensive, complex procedures that would otherwise be needed down the road.
Before we begin cleaning your teeth, your hygienist will use a special mirror to examine your mouth for signs of any oral issues like inflamed gums, plaque and tartar, or stains on your teeth. These provide indications of areas of focus that can be passed on to the dentist who may be visiting you later. If serious problems like gum disease or cavities are detected, your dentist will conduct a more thorough examination.
Your hygienist will use a special hooked tool known as a scaler for the removal of any plaque and tartar found on your teeth. This material may be present around your gumline or between your teeth. Based upon the extent of buildup, either an ultrasonic or manual scaler will be used. You may hear the sound of scraping on your teeth when your hygienist is using a manual scaler, while the ultrasonic form utilizes mild vibrations and water to remove large deposits.
The next step of your dental cleaning is when your hygienist will polish your teeth for purposes of stain removal with a handheld tool. This electric tool has a rubber cup attached to it, and your hygienist will use it in conjunction with a gritty toothpaste. It is normal to experience a slow grinding sensation on your teeth during this part of your visit. Next, your hygienist will floss your teeth so that any remaining plaque and paste is removed.
Some patients are concerned and anxious about experiencing pain or discomfort during a dental cleaning. If you have been committed to the proper practice of oral hygiene at home, you should not expect any discomfort during your dental cleaning. If you have not been as careful with your oral hygiene habits, you could experience some minor discomfort. However, we are here to ensure that you remain as comfortable as possible. We can even use a topical anesthetic to ensure your comfort. The important thing is to not postpone dental cleanings out of fear. The better you take care of your teeth, the less pain you will experience down the road.
Besides regularly brushing and flossing at home, dental cleaning is the best way to prevent tooth decay. If you have been putting off dental cleaning, get back on track by contacting Aesthetic Dental Center of Bergen County to schedule an appointment.
We take our patients’ privacy seriously. Please refrain from providing any personal health or sensitive information. Call us at (201) 440-2100 to schedule your appointment over the phone.
“I was seen a little earlier than my scheduled appointment so that was a plus. The dental office was immaculate! My tooth extraction was done in less than 5 minutes. I didn’t even realize it was out until he said ok all done!! Absolutely no pain, no pressure! The oral surgeon was brilliant! I’ll highly recommend this a million times!!”
- Emelyn Gonzalez
“I chipped my tooth and needed a new sentient. I called the Ridgefield park office and spoke to a very friendly, professional receptionist and was able to get an appointment soon. The dentist did a beautiful job with my tooth. I would recommend this place 💯”
- Joan Gennaro
“Dr. Jennie Lee was very patient and so good with my 4-yr-old son. He was at ease and sat through the whole filling treatment without any difficulty. They were very accommodating to his needs and didn't give him any unnecessary treatment just to take your money. Highly recommend!! Staff is friendly as well.”
- Jennifer Rodriguez