Did you know that poor oral health will not only affect your teeth but even the quality of your life as well? When you have some missing teeth, infections, and pain, it will affect your social life and even hinder you from enjoying some of your favorite meals. Poor oral health will generally affect your physical, social, and mental well-being. It’s therefore vital to ensure that you take excellent care of your oral health.
One of the many ways that can help you in ensuring your oral health is in excellent condition is regular teeth cleaning, which is medically known as dental prophylaxis. At La Puente Advanced Dentistry, we offer prophylaxis services among many other dental care services. When you have dental prophylaxis, your teeth, gum, and mouth are generally cleaned, which helps prevent periodontal and gingivitis diseases. You can have dental prophylaxis after every six months, but sometimes your dentist may recommend you have the procedure after every three months.
Benefits Associated with Dental Prophylaxis
With regular dental prophylaxis, you will reap some of the following benefits:
When you have dental prophylaxis, your oral health specialist will thoroughly clean your teeth, gum, and oral cavity. This cleaning ensures that no food particles are hiding between your teeth or below your gum line. You will realize that the remaining food particles in your mouth contribute to plaque creation by bacteria in your mouth. These leftover food particles in your mouth, if not removed, will rot, creating a conducive environment for bacteria multiplication which will lead to infections and other periodontal diseases. Infections will make your breath stink, but when you have dental prophylaxis, you will prevent all these problems and, at the same time, enjoy a fresh breath throughout your day.
Boost in your Confidence
Sometimes your confidence may receive a hit, especially if you have stained or yellowing teeth. Regular dental prophylaxis will remove these stains, giving you a bright smile to conquer your day with.
Helps in Tartar Removal
You will realize that you still have some left-over food particles in your mouth even with regular brushing and flossing. If not checked on time, these food particles could lead to plaque buildup, contributing greatly to the formation of gingivitis and periodontal diseases. Therefore, your dentist will use specialized instruments to spot, remove, and stop tartar or plaque buildup during dental prophylaxis.
Prevention of Other Diseases
Dental prophylaxis involves various examinations done to your oral cavity. Some of these examinations include oral cancer screening and evaluating your risk of contracting any periodontal diseases. In addition, your dentist will be in a position to spot signs that indicate you have other medical problems like kidney or diabetes. It is easier to manage some of these diseases if they are spotted on time. Your dentist will also recommend a health regime that will prevent some of these diseases.
Is There Any Risk Associated with Dental Prophylaxis?
Yes, there is a risk associated with teeth cleaning, though the benefits far outweigh the risk. With dental prophylaxis, you can suffer a joint infection. This infection occurs when your gum is agitated during the procedure, making bacteria enter your blood system.
Teeth Cleaning Procedure Preparations
When it comes to teeth cleaning, you might think that all you have to do is to settle on the dental chair, and your dentist will do the rest. But for every successful treatment procedure, you need to prepare even when it seems to be a minor procedure. With proper preparation, you will ensure a comfortable procedure is carried out, and you will also feel in control of your situation. Some of the simple things that you will need to do to ensure you have smooth teeth cleaning procedure include:
Brush and Floss
When you are scheduled to have your teeth cleaned at the dentist, it is essential to brush before leaving home. Brushing and flossing will freshen up your breath and, at the same time, show your dentist if you are doing a great job at it. Another point to note is that every mouth has some germs. Therefore, when you brush before heading to your dental appointment, you will be assisting in the prevention of germs transmissions.
Take a Painkiller
You will find that plaque and tartar build-up can lead to gum swelling during the cleaning procedure. You can take a painkiller like ibuprofen an hour before the procedure and another dose several hours after the procedure. If you have a bleeding problem, consult with your health provider or dentist so that they can prescribe something for your pain.
Do Not Whiten Your Teeth
Even if you want to impress your dentist by showing them that you are excellently taking care of your teeth, do not overdo it by whitening your teeth. In most cases, Teeth whitening makes your teeth very sensitive, which may be counterproductive when it comes to teeth cleaning. Instead, you can have teeth whitening immediately after teeth cleaning, which is ideal as, at this point, your teeth will be very responsive to the whitening agents since there is no plaque or tartar on your teeth.
Brush Your Teeth Correctly
Brushing is crucial to excellent oral health, but it could end up causing more damage than good if you overdo it. When you brush your teeth using the wrong technique, you will end up making them porous. Proper brushing of teeth prevents their sensitivity and will make your teeth cleaning procedure more comfortable.
Write Down Any Questions You Might Have
Sometimes you may forget to ask a question plaguing your mind once you are at the dentist’s office due to anxiety. It is, therefore, important to jot down any question you may have on a piece of paper or your phone. This way, you will cover the entire basis and go home a satisfied person. Some things you might notice when brushing, but if you do, write them down somewhere you can easily forget, and they might be crucial in your dental evaluation.
Keep Calm and Avoid Anxiety during the Procedure
You will realize that about 45% of American adults are afraid of visiting their dentist. This fear or anxiety contributes to the majority of people missing out on their dental appointments. If you are anxious about visiting your dentist, some steps or measures can help you keep calm. When you take your seat, take a deep breath and let it out slowly. You can also have your favorite playlist playing and listen to it while your dentist cleans your teeth.
You can also talk with your dentist about your anxiety, and if you can’t come up with a way to calm down, they can offer medications like nitrous oxide to calm you down. Some dentists can also prescribe anti-anxiety drugs that are short-lived to help you relax.
Reschedule Your Appointment if You are Sick
When you are sick, your immune system is compromised, and this can be very risky when it comes to teeth cleaning. You will realize that teeth cleaning involves teeth scraping, a process that is essential in plaque removal. Teeth scraping can lead to gum irritation which causes bacteremia, a situation where bacteria are released into your bloodstream from your mouth. Under normal circumstances, this is not risky, but when you are sick and your immune system is probably compromised, it may negatively affect your health. If you are under medication, kindly let your dentist know so that they can advise you accordingly.
Come Up With a Signal if Uncomfortable
Some of your fears may stem from the fact that you may not be in a position to communicate with your dentist if the pain is too much or when you need a break. However, you can overcome this by discussing and coming up with a sign you can use while you want your dentist to stop.
Take your Oral Appliance with You
If you have an oral appliance to assist with your sleep apnea, remember to take it with you when you have your scheduled teeth cleaning. At times you may have guards or orthodontic work to assist with your grinding. Despite the situation, always carry your oral appliance, guard, or orthodontic works with you so that they can be cleaned as well. These devices may have plaque and tartar just like your teeth, and your dentist will place them in an ultrasonic machine and have them ready by the time they are done with your teeth.
General Teeth Cleaning Steps
You may decide to have your teeth cleaning during a regular dental check-up or when your dentist suspects severe gingivitis or periodontal disease. Your dentist will have to place a tube in your mouth that will protect your lungs from harmful bacteria removed from your mouth during the procedure. The procedure will involve several different steps, which include:
Your dentist will examine your mouth using a concave mirror to ascertain if you have any oral problems like inflamed gums, tartar build-up, and dark spots on your teeth. This procedure is crucial as it helps your dentist know which areas to start with and focus on. In addition, if your dentist finds any periodontal disease or cavities during this examination, they will know how to address the issues and come up with a treatment plan that is ideal for you.
Your dentist will use a scaler to remove tartar and plaque buildup on your teeth and the gum line during this step. There are two types of scalers; manual and ultrasonic. Your dentist will use a manual scaler if the plaque buildup is not very large and an ultrasonic one when you have a large plaque buildup. When it comes to a manual scaler, you will feel like your dentist is scraping your teeth, while an ultrasonic one will experience some gentle vibrations on your mouth. The ultrasonic scaler uses water to remove the plaque deposits from your mouth. Scaling involves the following:
When it comes to supra-gingival cleaning, your dentist will use scaling tools to clean the areas between your teeth and gum line to remove plaque and tartar.
With subgingival cleaning, your dentist will clean the areas beneath your gum line and remove tartar and plaque from your gum pockets. If you are suffering from periodontal diseases, then you will benefit greatly from this cleaning.
Your dentist will carry out a root planing procedure to eliminate residual bacteria from your tooth root. Any residual bacteria can be extremely harmful to you, especially if you suffer from any periodontal diseases.
After cleaning your teeth, your dentist will then polish them to ensure no remaining stains. A prophylaxis paste is used during this step and is applied using a handheld electronic gadget. All that you will experience is a grinding motion on your teeth. After polishing, your dentist or oral hygienist will floss your teeth to ensure no remaining tartar or plaque.
You will find that most dentists offer fluoride treatment during the teeth cleaning process. During fluoride treatment, your dentist or oral hygienist will place a fluoride gel inside a mouthpiece which you are to wear for about a minute.
It is essential to apply an antibiotic cream to promote fast healing and ease any discomfort from your gum pockets regarding any tooth procedure, whether root planing or scaling.
Regular X-ray Examinations
Regular x-ray examinations are extremely helpful for the management and treatment of periodontal and gingivitis diseases. In addition, an x-ray will assist your dentist in identifying any progressing illness and help them in ascertaining if a particular treatment is working or not.
What to Do After Teeth Cleaning Procedure
After having your teeth cleaning procedure, you should work hard to ensure that your oral health is at its peak. Some of the things that you should do include:
Wait for the Numbness to Wear Off
While cleaning your teeth, your dentist will apply some local anesthesia to numb your jaw. If you are hungry, you should wait until this numbness wears off before indulging in that tasty meal.
Eat Right After Dental Cleaning
You can eat immediately after having your teeth cleaned; the only issue is that, at times, your teeth or gum might be very sensitive. Eating right means that you should avoid eating extremely cold or hot food immediately after having your teeth cleaned.
Take Some Time Before Eating If You Had Fluoride Treatment
When you have fluoride treatment and your teeth cleaned, you cannot eat immediately after the procedure. Fluoride treatment will need about 30 minutes to set around your teeth, and you should wait until it has sealed around your teeth before eating anything. One of the benefits of having a fluoride treatment is the fact that it will strengthen your teeth and help protect them against tooth decay while at the same time help in repairing your teeth’ enamel.
Foods That You Can Eat After Teeth Cleaning
Though you are free to eat immediately after having a teeth cleaning procedure, you will need to give your teeth some time before the sensitivity wears off. While waiting for the sensitivity to wear off, you can take some foodstuffs like soups, soft food, and hard-boiled eggs.
Take a lot of water as it will help keep you hydrated, and at the same time, it won’t stain your freshly cleaned teeth. Avoid taking sugary foodstuffs and drinks as these may be harsh on your already sensitive teeth. Apart from sugary foodstuffs, avoid taking spicy, sticky, crunchy, or even food containing citrus in them for some time.
Take Note of Any Discomfort or Pain
After having your teeth cleaned, you will experience discomfort because your gums may be tender or swollen. You may also have extremely sensitive teeth, especially when you take anything hot or cold. If you experience any of these discomforts, you don’t need to worry as they will be gone within a few days. But if the discomfort persists, you should consult with your dentist as soon as possible.
Remember to Take your Medications Regularly
After the cleaning procedure, your dentist may prescribe some pain medications to take care of any pain and some antibiotics if you have infections. You should take these medications as prescribed by your dentist.
Use Salt and Water for Rinsing
You can use salt and water to rinse your mouth after teeth cleaning two or three times a day. This rinsing will help in reducing the rate of inflammation in your mouth.
Maintain Excellent Oral Health
Though it may prove difficult to brush and floss immediately after a teeth cleaning procedure due to the sensitivity, try as much as possible to maintain oral hygiene once the sensitivity wears off. Brush at least twice daily and practice regular flossing. Change your toothbrush after three months and clean your teeth using proper brushing techniques.
Contact a La Puente Dentist Near Me
Maintaining excellent oral health is one way of ensuring you remain healthy and detecting other diseases like diabetes early. Teeth cleaning is one way of ensuring that your teeth and gums are in a healthy condition. Your dentist will be in a position to examine you and create a treatment plan if necessary.
At La Puente Advanced Dentistry, we have a team of qualified oral health specialists who will examine you and develop a treatment plan that is ideal for you. With our in-depth experience gained over the years, you can rest assured that your oral health is our topmost priority. Therefore, feel free to contact us at 626-626-7075 and book your appointment today.