Many people are afraid to go to the dentist because they think they'll need a lot of dental work done. An unfavorable outcome after a dental exam worries many. But the majority of patients will have no trouble or pain during a dental cleaning. To make the process less stressful, let's briefly go over it.
It's customary for Dr. Schiffer to examine your entire mouth before cleaning your teeth. He'll use a small mirror to check for problems like gingivitis (inflamed gums). If he finds something serious, that may affect how we conduct the cleaning.
Removing Plaque and Tartar
If you neglect your teeth, bacteria will fester on them. Bacteria produce plaque, which hardens into tartar. You can't remove tartar from a tooth on your own. You'll need professional dental help for that.
If Dr. Schiffer finds and plaque or tartar between your teeth or around the gumline, he'll remove it using a scaler and the mirror mentioned above. You may hear a scraping sound when he does this, and that is normal. The more tartar that has built up, the more time we'll need to remove it. To prevent plaque and tartar from forming, always brush and floss every day.
Cleaning with Electric Toothbrush and Gritty Toothpaste
Once all the tartar is gone, we'll deep clean your teeth with a high-powered electric toothbrush and a gritty toothpaste. This will remove any tartar that might remain. The toothpaste we use tastes and smells like over-the-counter toothpaste, but we have multiple flavors for you to choose from.
We don't advise trying to give yourself a professional cleaning at home. If you do, you can weaken the enamel. But when a professional cleans your teeth this way, you can rest assured that they will do so safely.
You should floss your teeth once per day before going to bed. But even when you floss this often, we'll still perform a professional flossing during your cleaning. This allows Dr. Schiffer to get down deep between your teeth and locate problem spots or any parts of the gums that might start bleeding. If any plaque or toothpaste remains from previous parts of the cleaning, the flossing session will eliminate them. At the end, you'll rinse out your mouth to remove any remaining debris.
We might take x-rays of your teeth and jaws during your appointment. While we recommend that you come in for professional cleanings twice a year, we typically only need to take x-rays once a year.
We may also need to conduct other exams during your visit, based on your individual dental plan and what Dr. Schiffer finds during the physical exam. For example, child patients may have dental sealants placed on their molars or premolars to prevent cavities from forming in those areas, which are difficult to reach.
Whether or not you need further exams, you must act proactively in caring for your teeth on the other 363 days of the year that you don't come in to Gwinnett Dental Implant & Periodontal Center. Brush and floss your teeth every day and avoid foods and beverages with lots of sugar. If you do this, you can avoid hazardous dental complications and the costly procedures needed to treat them.
For more information, please contact our office at (470) 222-8983.