When you visit the dentist for a checkup, odds are that the first person to check your teeth isn’t your dentist; it’s your dental hygienist! What’s the difference?
Your dental hygienist is responsible for assessing your oral health, preventing tooth decay by removing tartar, and educating you on the best ways to keep your teeth healthy. Your dentist is responsible for diagnosis and treatment of oral health problems.
If you have good oral health habits, it is likely you will see your dental hygienist for basic cleanings more often than you will see your dentist for treatment. Regular cleanings help you avoid serious dental issues that could later lead to expensive procedures.
The dental cleaning process:
A dental cleaning is recommended at your bi-annual visits to the dentist. Special instruments and procedures allow an effective cleaning. The cleaning process usually involves 4 simple steps.
Step 1: An ultrasonic device creates vibrations and gently knocks off the tartar that accumulates on teeth. The device is not sharp and is designed only to shake off the tartar. A misty spray helps wash the loosened tartar off the teeth.
Step 2: Hand tools are then used to get to the stubborn deposits embedded between teeth. These tools also smooth the surface of the teeth.
Step 3: A handheld tool is then used to polish the teeth with the help of a toothpaste-like paste.
Step 4: Next is a fluoride treatment to strengthen the teeth. A foam cast carrying flavored fluoride is placed over the teeth for half a minute followed by rinsing.
Keep in mind, not all cleanings include a fluoride treatment. These treatments are typically recommended for children or those with a history of cavities.
Three ways dental cleanings will save you money
Regularly visiting your dentist’s office for dental cleanings is beneficial in more ways than one. Oral hygiene apart, regular care also helps you save money!
Avoiding fillings: In most cases, fillings can be avoided by simply following a stringent dental cleaning schedule. Dental concerns leading to a need for fillings at a later stage can usually be detected and treated in time.
Keep your teeth healthy for life: Regular cleaning helps you avoid complicated procedures and treatments that are more expensive.
Detect and avoid severe tooth problems: A dental cleaning helps dentists detect oral problems before they have the chance to get worse. This means that your dentist may still be able to carry out cheaper corrective measures instead of having to treat an issue later that could cost more.
Now aren’t you excited for your next cleaning?