It may sound crazy to go to the dentist if your teeth feel fine, but having a professional dental cleaning has several benefits you might not be aware of.
Questions and History
First, the hygienist is going to ask you some questions about your brushing and flossing habits and your dental history. This will allow him or her to get an idea of how your teeth are cared for, and it’s a good time for you to check in with yourself. Are you flossing as often as should? Has it been too long since you’ve replaced your toothbrush? Are you using the best kind of toothbrush for your teeth and gums? These are questions that can get answered in your conversation with the hygienist.
Second, the hygienist is going to take measurements of your teeth and gums. This is called periodontal charting, and it’s a way of tracking gum recession. Gum recession can indicate teeth grinding, periodontal disease, and other conditions, so it’s a good idea to have a chart to track any issues. If the hygienist has an assistant, he or she will probe and measure your gum line, calling out measurements in millimeters to the assistant. Numbers between 0-3 millimeters mean your gums are healthy. Numbers between 3-5 are not cause for alarm unless there is bleeding, but numbers over 3 often indicate that your home brushing and flossing routine could be improved. Numbers of 5 or higher indicate oral health issues.
Third, you may be asked if x-rays can be taken. X-rays can reveal a variety of dental issues. There are two common types of x-rays. Bite-wing x-rays are done by having you bite down on a cardboard tab while the x-ray is directed at the corresponding side of your mouth. That process is repeated until four different x-rays have been taken. Another type of dental x-ray is panoramic. This x-ray provides a full mouth view in one image.
Cleaning and Flossing
Lastly, it’s time for your cleaning, or what’s known by those in the dental world as prophylaxis. The hygienist will use metal instruments to remove any deposits. He or she will frequently flush your mouth with water throughout this process and use a suction tool to remove the water and debris from your mouth. After any deposits are removed, the hygienist will use a motorized toothbrush to polish the teeth. As the final step of the process, the hygienist will give you a good flossing then send you on your way with some goodies like toothpaste, floss, and a toothbrush.
The order of these steps may vary somewhat, but generally, this is what you can expect from your hygienist and a routine professional dental cleaning. At Mountain View Dental, their friendly staff and comfortable office will make the experience as smooth as possible. Visit their website at https://www.smilemountainview.com/ or call to schedule your cleaning today.