Bell Hill Dental
Young boy holding up large tooth brush at family dentist in Dunedin, Otago

How Do Dentists Clean Teeth?

June 28, 2022
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Posted By: Bell Hill Dental
Woman getting her teeth cleaned at dentist in Dunedin

Teeth cleans are a crucial part of oral care, and most dentists recommend one to two teeth cleanings per year.

Oral health in Dunedin, Otego starts with regular check-ups and teeth cleans, and we always customise your treatments based on your oral health and goals.

What Is Professional Teeth Cleaning, and Why Is It Important?

A professional teeth cleaning is a way to rid your teeth of stubborn plaque and bacteria that your toothbrush and dental floss can’t clear away. But, unfortunately, some tartar is tenacious, and it builds up, making it impossible to get rid of without help from your family dentist in Dunedin.

Besides being stubborn, plaque, tartar, and bacteria can collect in hard-to-reach areas, making it difficult to eradicate without a dental professional.

Dental cleans are vital because plaque, bacteria, and tartar can lead to oral health conditions that threaten your teeth and gums, including:

  • Tooth decay—Areas of decay on a tooth can spread, leading to crumbling or the need for extraction.
  • Oral infections—Tooth root infections can be excruciating and require root canal therapy to prevent tooth loss and stop the spread of infection.
  • Gingivitis—This is a precursor to gum disease. It is reversible with intervention from your dentist.
  • Gum disease—We can treat gum disease (or periodontitis), but we can’t completely cure this condition.
  • Teeth cleanings may also contribute to better breath by eliminating bacteria from the teeth and gums.

What Happens During a Teeth Clean in Dunedin?

Teeth cleanings at Bell Hill Dental start with a visual check of the teeth and gums. We want to make sure there are no signs of gingivitis, gum disease, or other oral health issues before we start. If we find a problem, we may recommend treatment before moving forward with your teeth clean.

If everything is okay with the visual exam, we start cleaning your teeth, which happens in steps.

#1 Clearing Plaque and Tartar

We use a special tool to scrape plaque and tartar from the gum line and between teeth. This is a painless undertaking but so beneficial to your oral health. If there is an area of build-up, it may take a bit longer to clear that location than it will another.

As a rule, if you brush and floss on schedule, you may not have a lot of build-up to eradicate, and this portion of your dental clean may not take very long.

#2 Special Brushing and Flossing

When your teeth are free of tartar and plaque, your dentist will likely provide a specialised brushing and flossing using prescription-grade toothpaste and an electric toothbrush. This is a great way to clear any remaining debris.

We also rinse your mouth, often with a fluoride rinse.

#3 Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride strengthens your tooth enamel, helping it stand up to daily use—eating, chewing, etc. The fluoride may be administered with dental trays or applied as a sticky or smooth gel. This gel eventually hardens and can protect your enamel for several months following application.

#4 Other Potential Steps

If you’re prone to cavities, your dentist may apply a dental sealant to lock bacteria, tartar, and plaque away from your tooth enamel. This is a painless and straightforward step.

Additionally, if we suspect underlying issues, we may recommend a more thorough oral check or x-rays. And our team will always discuss findings with you, and we can suggest tips for at-home care as well.

Tips to Protect Your Smile

Between dental check-ups and teeth cleans, brushing and flossing daily is essential—at least twice daily is ideal, but after every meal is even better.

We also suggest eliminating or reducing sugary and acidic foods and beverages.

If you have an oral health change that does not improve, we strongly urge you to reach out to your Dunedin dentist.

Book an Appointment with Your Dentist in Dunedin, Otago

Gum disease is a severe oral health condition that may lead to tooth loss and put your body health at risk. To mitigate that risk, we encourage regular dental cleans. We await your call if you would like to learn more or if you’re ready to schedule a visit to Bell Hill Dental.