A twice-annual dental cleaning is one of the most important things you can do to maintain a healthy smile. A professional cleaning is the only way to remove tartar from your teeth. Tartar forms when plaque hardens on your teeth over time. It’s the perfect host for bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease. So you want to keep your teeth as tartar free as possible.
A dental cleaning is among the least invasive dental procedures, and we always use a gentle touch. Despite that, cleanings can sometimes cause discomfort, especially for those with sensitive teeth.
The more often you get cleanings, the more comfortable they will be. When we clean your teeth regularly, there will be less tartar to remove. This means less scraping will be involved. We recommend visiting at least twice a year for a dental cleaning. If you need to schedule one, call 334-600-1423. Here are some other ways to ensure your cleanings go well.
Let Us Get You Numb
We can apply a topical numbing agent before we begin your cleaning. We can also offer you a pillow and headphones for listening to music, so you can relax while we work. In addition, if you’re still nervous or worried about discomfort, you can receive inhaled sedation. Also known as laughing gas, it takes effect quickly and wears off quickly too. You’ll feel like yourself right away and can drive yourself home.
In addition, you can:
- Brush with a desensitizing toothpaste like Sensodyne Pronamel or a similar product.
- Take an over-the-counter pain medication. This will reduce inflammation that may occur after your appointment. It’s best to take it about an hour before your cleaning and again a few hours after.
Take Good Care of Teeth Between Cleanings
Proper oral hygiene helps prevent tartar from forming. Again, the less tartar we need to remove, the more comfortable your dental cleaning will be. Brush your teeth twice a day, for at least two minutes each time. Floss at least once a day.
Use a brush with soft bristles and use gentle pressure. Brushing too hard makes your teeth more sensitive. If you tend to use a lot of pressure when brushing, consider using an electric toothbrush. It does more of the work for you, and it also cleans below your gumline, an area where tartar often collects.
Talk to Your Dental Team
If you have any concerns about your dental cleaning, based on past experience, be sure to let us know. We’re happy to discuss any special needs you might have. In addition, we can agree on a signal you can use to let us know you’d like to take a break. For instance, many patients raise their hand.
Remember when you were a kid and got a treat when your dental appointments went well? There’s nothing wrong with rewarding yourself after a dental cleaning. Go to a movie you’ve been wanting to see, meet a friend for coffee, or stop for a favorite snack on the way home.