What is a dental cleaning?
A professional dental cleaning, called prophylaxis, reinforces the home-care oral health regimen of brushing and flossing and gives the dentist an opportunity to locate areas in the mouth that may need special attention. It’s usually performed every six months. People who regularly practice good oral hygiene at home with proper brushing and flossing techniques typically do not experience discomfort during a cleaning. However, those who have neglected their oral hygiene habits may experience some discomfort or sensitivity during a dental cleaning.
The hygienist can use a topical anesthetic before the cleaning to alleviate any discomfort.
During your first dental cleaning in our office, you’ll receive diagnostic services t as well as any needed educational information.
Diagnostic services may include:
- Reviewing and updating medical history, including information about heart problems, pregnancy, diabetes, and medications, which may have an impact on your oral health
- Oral cancer examination and screening
- Evaluation of gum tissue
- Chewing and swallowing patterns
- X-rays or examination of teeth to detect decay
- Referral to specialists for specific treatment, if needed
Dental cleaning services may include:
- Removal of plaque and tartar
- Stain removal
- Fluoride application
- Subgingival scaling
- Polishing teeth, including fillings and crowns
Educational services may include:
- Tooth brushing and flossing instructions
- Nutritional counseling
- Recommendations for future treatment: when to return for follow-up hygiene treatment, periodontal (gum) concerns, or restorative options
- Evaluation of self-care effectiveness
- Tobacco-cessation counseling