Receiving a professional teeth cleaning can make a worlds difference for an individual’s oral health. In fact, regular dental hygiene visits also impact overall health since recent studies have proven that poor oral health can result in heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
What Goes On During A Cleaning
Typically, professional teeth cleanings are scheduled every six months or so to ensure that at home-care is effective and that the teeth are healthy. During this time, x-rays may be taken of the teeth to ensure that there are no areas of decay (cavities) or other dental concerns located in the mouth.
After x-rays are taken, the hygienist may use a series of instruments to remove tartar (the hardened form of plaque) from the teeth. Tartar may be sitting on top of the tooth surface or below near the gum lines. It can take more effort to remove tartar that is sitting near the gum line or below the gum line, which may cause bleeding, sensitivity, or slight irritation to the gums.
Disease like gingivitis, an early form of gum disease can be treated with a dental cleaning by flushing out any bacteria that has built up on the teeth or underneath the gum lines. For patients that may have gum disease, cleanings can help to keep the teeth and gums as healthy as possible.
Towards the end of a teeth cleaning, the dental hygienist may ask which flavor of fluoride is preferred or if you would like fluoride. This is because fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay against the acids that strip the tooth of its enamel.
If you do decide to receive fluoride as a preventative measure, it should be understood that you would need to wait at least 30 minutes after the cleaning to eat or drink. This goes for any food or drink! For example, refrain from any snacks, sodas, sweet tea, coffee, etc. This may seem like a silly rule, but the 30 minutes allows the fluoride to take full effect so that the teeth can properly absorb the fluoride.
If you plan on receiving fluoride before your visit, it may be best to eat something or drink that sweet tea prior to your cleaning so that you won’t have to wait until after! Additionally, it may help if you are able to schedule your dental cleaning at a time that doesn’t conflict with a meal so you won’t have to worry about going hungry or thirsty afterwards.
If you have yet to find the right Richmond, VA dentist for you, the doctors at River Run Dental Spa are ready to serve your dental needs! At River Run Dental Spa, we believe that regular dental cleanings are effective and beneficial to our patients. Please contact our office today at 804-442-3873 to schedule your first dental cleaning with us— We look forward to hearing from you!